It’s easy to think that a logo as popular as the Nike logo must have cost thousands of dollars and taken dozens of hours of hard work to come up with such a successful logo. Still, the best ideas do not necessarily come after hundreds of hours of work and the story behind the Nike swoosh proves it very well.
The well-known swoosh was created in 1971 by Carolyn Davidson, a graphic design student, for the company then known as Blue Ribbon Sports. The founder, Phil Knight, who was her accounting professor, contacted her to design a logo inspired by the Adidas brand. He wanted a logo that inspired the movement. Davidson, therefore, produced several logo proposals and Knight made his choice on the swoosh, a symbol inspired by the shape of the goddess Nike's wings. Although Knight was not completely satisfied with the work, his budget did not allow him to develop another logo so he thought he would develop this idea.
Davidson was paid $ 35 for her work ($ 2 / hour), which she considered enough for the work she did. She went on producing the graphic elements of the company, until the work became too much for one person, and was entrusted to an advertising agency, in 1976.
In 1983, Davidson was invited to an executive dinner at the company and received a swoosh-embellished diamond ring and company shares, estimated to be more than a million dollars worth today.
Subsequently, other graphic elements were added to Nike's branding, such as the Jumpman designed in 1984 for the Nike Air Jordan, which represents the silhouette of the basketball player, Michael Jordan. Later, the slogan Just Do It, which was added to the logo in 1988.