Aug 25, 2015

The Value of the Iconic Nike Swoosh Design


Building a brand that connects in many ways is one of the hardest things to crack. Still to this day one of our favourite brands is Nike. You’ll be surprised to know that it was created in 1971 by Carolyn Davidson, a graphic design student from Portland State University. The crazy thing is, she was only paid $35 (which works out at roughly £20, give or take) for the masterpiece.

Carolyn Davidson met Phil Knight (co founder of Nike) who at the time was an assistant professor at PSU. Davidson started helping Knight at a freelance rate of just $2 an hour whist Knight was beginning work on creating his own brand of athletic shoes.

Lo and behold, the Nike Swoosh was created. A “tick” shape designed to indicate movement and speed. The swoosh was also themed to lightly symbolise a wing to honour the Greek goddess of victory. This was created in 17.5 hours, which totalled to the amount of $35 (again, roughly £20). Davidson continued producing designs for Nike until she then branched out to be a freelance designer in 1975.

Carolyn Davidson was eventually commended for her tremendous input to the well known brand. The company threw a party to honour her and she was given a generous amount of company stock along with a diamond and gold ring featuring her iconic design.

This is just a small example of how important and influential a brand can grow on to be.

written by James Collins

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