Nike and its “Swoosh” logo, is one of the world’s most recognized brands. It was created in 1971 by Carolyn Davidson, a graphic design student at Portland State University.
Ms. Davidson was doing freelance design work for Phil Knight’s company, Blue Ribbon Sports. Mr. Knight, who was teaching an accounting class at Portland State University, offered to pay Ms. Davidson $2 per hour for graphics design work for his fledgling company.
Ms. Davidson’s bill for the work? $35 USD (roughly $190 USD today). The logo design is simple – initially, it was used with the name NIKE (the Greek goddess of victory) printed in orange over the outline of the swoosh. Today, the swoosh has so much brand identity that the name is not necessary.
Ms. Davidson was later honored by Nike and given Nike stock (in 1983).
Such success can’t be expected every time a designer sketches an idea. But one thing is certain…it’s impossible to get noticed without trying. No wonder that Nike’s “Just do it” campaign has been a battle cry for an entire generation.
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