The Nike logo is possibly one of the most recognizable logos in the US, if not the world. The history of this logo is unique, as it has stayed the same since before the company was even officially named Nike. Right now it’s one of the most recognizable logos in the world but the company originally only bought it for $35. The logo hasn’t changed much since then which possibly lends to its success. It is very simple, consisting of the recognizable “swoosh” design along with the company name, Nike.
The two elements that make up this logo are the “swoosh” design and occasionally the company’s name, Nike. The text, Nike, is in an all capitalized, bold, sans serif font. The lettering is very intense, and slants slightly. The “swoosh” is almost a check mark on the page, thicker at the bottom left and thins down to a point on both ends. The right side of the “swoosh” is much longer than the other end, lending to it’s “check-like” nature. When the “swoosh” part of the logo is not on it’s own, it’s accompanied by the thick font name NIKE, as previously discussed, which sits right in the half moon of negative space created by the bowl of the swoosh. The thick lettering on the “E” of NIKE runs into the longer end of the “swoosh” and connects with the coloring of the “swoosh” figure. This design is typically colored plain black on a white background but will change based on what advertisement it’s being used for or what marketing the company is using it for. For example, if the logo is used for an Orioles game the company will use the Orioles orange with white or black. Overall, the logo gives the viewer a sense of rapid movement because of it’s pointed edges and slanted nature. The logo’s “swoosh” is an ode to the wings of Nike, the Greek goddess of victory, making it well suited to represent active wear and goods.
The Nike logo has an interesting history. The founder of Nike, which was then called Blue Ribbon Sports, contacted a graphic design student at Portland State University, Carolyn Davidson, before the company even had it’s name. She only charged him $2 an hour to make this timeless design. When Davidson first made the logo it consisted only of the simple “swoosh” design, the company did not incorporate the text in the logo until later. Since the company has vastly grown Carolyn Davidson has since been compensated more for her work. The logo has only changed subtly over the years and changing its design completely would be detrimental to the companies’ success.
Nike uses their logo on everything they manufacture. Unlike companies that use their logos only for advertisements the Nike logo is used on all their products, and advertisements. The simple, timeless logo design has lasted many decades without much variation. People all over the world are very likely to recognize this logo, which makes advertisements very easy for the company. Nike has created a very strong and successful logo by avoiding clutter and incorporating it in all of Nike’s designs and endorsements.