The Nike “Swoosh” is a design created in 1971 by Carolyn Davidson, a graphic design student at Portland State University. She met Phil Knight while he was teaching accounting classes and she started doing some freelance work for his company, Blue Ribbon Sports (BRS).[adsense]
BRS needed a new brand for a new line of athletic footwear it was preparing to introduce in 1972. Knight approached Davidson for design ideas, and she agreed to provide them, charging a rate of $2 per hour.
In June 1971, Davidson presented a number of design options to Knight and other BRS executives, and they ultimately selected the mark now known globally as the Swoosh. Davidson submitted a bill for $35 for her work. (In 1983, Knight gave Davidson a gold Swoosh ring and an envelope filled with Nike stock to express his gratitude.)
The logo represents the wing of the Greek Goddess.The Nike logo is a classic case of a company gradually simplifying its corporate identity as its frame increases. The company’s first logo appeared in 1971, when the word “Nike,” the Greek goddess of victory, was printed in orange over the outline of a checkmark, the sign of a positive mark. Used as a motif on sports shoes since the 1970s, this checkmark is now so recognizable that the company name itself has became superfluous.
The solid corporate logo design check was registered as a trademark in 1995. The Nike logo design is an abstract wing, designed by Carolyn Davidson, was an appropriate and meaningful symbol for a company that marketed running shoes. The “JUST DO IT” slogan and logo design campaign communicated such a strong point of view to their target market that the meaning for the logo design symbol evolved into a battle cry and the way of life for an entire generation. Isn’t it amazing how a small symbol we call a logo design can make a company into a huge success.