Client: Adidas, Google
Packaging Design, Prototyping, Photography, B2B
Adidas x Google lock up logo
Muse
Since the shoebox was intended as a gift for the CEO of Google, we started by gathering some insights from his background to help it feel more personal. He's a huge fan of Barcelona FC, so we sourced a Leo Messi signed Tango cleat. In his early college studies he majored in Metallurgic Engineering which is an insight that later informed the materialization of the box.
Cardboard shoebox prototype
Prototyping
I prototyped two boxes. First, a ramp-based design that upon opening would jut the shoe towards you on a display ramp. Then, I created a less complex box that served the same purpose as the previous design. This nested wedge-shaped box was built to embody the adidas' brand aesthetic, communicating a minimal design with high functionality. The interior plastic was to be sourced from recycled ocean waste via our Parley collaboration. The parts stack together making a display ramp that resembles the shape of the adidas logo.
Prototype shoebox demonstrating ability to act as a showcase platform.
The final prototype consisted of a telescoping design. The outer shell acts as a storage container for the display case. The display case can be taken out and stood vertically, or be placed horizontally on top of the box itself.
Graphic Applications
Once we had narrowed down a box concept, we worked on creating the right look and feel for it. We explored various graphic directions from sleek vinyl applications to more expressive wraps done in Barcelona FC colors. Here we utilized our insight about the CEO, Sundar's, metallurgical background by subtly engraving the aluminum-alloy lids.
Final Results
Below is the finished piece. We landed on a very clean aesthetic. A look that feels professional and elevated. Not overdone, not based on a fad or trend, but rather a timeless keepsake that Sundar can save and show forever. I was tasked with the final studio photography and took the photos as well as did the post-production on them.
Photograph of final box standing upright with adidas x google logo varnish being highlighted through focused lighting.
Photography of final display box open, with shoe out and engraved end-caps propped against acrylic shoe housing.
Additional top-down view of display box with shoe housed in acrylic container sitting atop the larger box.
Photograph of shoe in display case with focus on the Messi autograph.
Photograph of shoe in display case, side view.
Photograph of top of display case when positioned vertically, highlighting the adidas x google engraving on the aluminum end-cap.
Great Design Solves a Problem
We explored incredibly wide in box design and graphic application--coming to a solution that best addressed the initial objective. The final design is a testament to trusting the process. And while there was a lot of work put into the prototyping phase, the end result was what was needed. Below is the hand-off to Sundar. He looks pretty happy to me, so I am going to consider this project a success!
Photograph of Sundar Pichai holding the display case alongside notable adidas execs.

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