The fascinating facts about the Nike swoosh. The Nike swoosh logotype was created by Carolyn Davidson. In 1971 the Nike company founder Phil Knight was supplementing his modest income from his fledgling Blue Ribbon Sports, Inc, by teaching an accounting class at Portland State University.
There he met Carolyn Davidson, a graphic design student, who was working on a drawing assignment in the hallway. Knight offered to pay her a couple of bucks an hour if she would do some design work for his small company.Knight wanted a design that suggested movement.
She let loose the creative juices and came back to him with numerous designs. None captivated his imagination.
However, Knight was staring down a deadline. Shoe boxes in Mexico were waiting to be printed. He needed a logo. He needed a decision. So he grabbed her rendering of the Swoosh, telling Davidson, “I don’t love it, but it will grow on me.”
Being fresh out of school with a design degree, and hungry for work, Davidson submitted her bill for $35 for the Swoosh design. She continued to design for the newly renamed company Nike, including ads, brochures, posters and catalogues.
The company’s growth was exponential, and there came a point when her one-person design shop was too small to handle Nike’s advertising needs. Nike and Davidson agreed it was time for a full-service ad agency.
The Nike Swoosh
One day in September 1983 Davidson got a telephone call inviting her to have lunch and touch base again with a few of the people she used to work with at Nike, including Knight.
When she arrived, much to her surprise, she was greeted with a catered lunch and was presented with a gold Swoosh ring embedded with a diamond. She also received a certificate from Knight and an envelope containing Nike stock.