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5 Surprising Facts You Didn’t Know About Nike’s Swoosh Logo

Campbell Jof by Campbell Jof Tweet - in Logo Design - 4 min read

Story Behind Nike Swoosh Logo Design

Last updated on May 17th, 2017

Nike is everywhere. And so is its iconic Swoosh symbol. It is one of the most iconic American brands, recognized instantly across the world with its “Swoosh” Logo design.

nike logo evolution

Sold in more than 120 countries, Nike employs more than 44,000 employees in its 700 outlets and shops all over the world. The company sells a wide range of products apart from its ever-popular sports shoes.

Nike’s simple yet creative logo design formed with just two curved lines has a long list of tall tales, stories and facts associated with it.

Some mind-blowing facts about most recognizable Nike’s Swoosh Logo

Fact#1: The Iconic Swoosh Logo Was Acquired for Just $35!

The logo was designed by Carolyn Davidson, a graphic design student at Portland State University. Pressed by a tight deadline, company’s co-founder, Phil Knight approached Davidson in 1971 to craft the logo. Though Davidson came out with several concepts, in the end, Knight chose the “Swoosh” as Nike’s logo. Knight wasn’t really happy with the ‘Swoosh’ symbol and told Davidson that he didn’t love the design, but it would grow up on him. Davidson was paid just $35 ($2 per hour) for creating the ‘Swoosh’ logo that later went on to become one of the world’s most recognizable icons.

swoosh nike symbol

Fact#2: Swoosh Logo Symbolizes Greek Goddess of Victory’s Wing

‘Nike’ is named after ancient Greek Goddess of victory, Nike. Greek folklore has it that Goddess Nike influenced countless brave warriors to win battles of their motherland. The wings of Goddess Nike is called swoosh and is said to have brought motivation and audacity to the warriors heading to the battlefield. A fair share of experts believe that this was actually the inspiration behind Nike’s ‘Swoosh’ logo design.

nike goddness of victory

Fact#3: The Swoosh Logo Was Red for a Long Time

The original ‘Swoosh’ logo wasn’t black as we see it today. For a very long time, Nike used red and white color palette on its logo. The company motive behind the color scheme was that red stood for energy, passion and joy and white expressed nobility, purity and charm of the brand. Later, the company changed the color scheme of its ‘Swoosh’ logo to make it sleek and classy.

nike logo in red color

Fact#4: The First Swoosh Was Not On a Sneaker

The mere mention of Nike’s ‘Swoosh’ logo brings the images of Nike’s amazing sneakers to mind. However, initially Nike’s sneakers didn’t bear the ‘Swoosh’ on it. In fact, the first sneaker to have Nike on it wasn’t a sneaker at all, it was a soccer cleat. It was in 1971 that Nike released its “The Nike” football boot.

Sports logo

This was first shoe to have the ‘Swoosh’ symbol on it. Priced at $16.95, the show didn’t hold up too well in cold and wet weather and soon lost race to other popular brands at that time. This is when Nike started to focus on ensuring durability in its running, tennis and basketball footwear.

nike sneaker

Fact#5: “Just Do It” Inspired by a Serial Killer’s Last Words

Now, whenever you think of ‘Swoosh’ logo, you get to envisage Nike’s popular slogan “Just Do It”. The slogan has long been a popular ad slogans. In fact, it was ranked amongst the top 5 ad slogans of the 20th century. But here’s the shocker! The slogan was inspired by the last words of a serial killer. Dan Wieden, who pitched this slogan, reveals that the slogan was inspired by Utah killer Gary Gilmore, who was sentenced to death in 1977 for robbing and murdering two men. Gilmore allegedly said “let’s do it” when he faced his execution.

just do it

You’ve just seen 5 fun facts about Nike’s ever-popular ‘Swoosh’ logo design. We’re sure these fun facts would have psyched you out.

Now, if these amazing facts about the ‘Swoosh’ logo have left you craving for a similar, uniquely bewitching logo design for your business, then go ahead and launch a logo design contest now!

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Campbell Jof

I'm a blogger and designer and I work as a creative head for Designhill. I write on topics concerning design, ecommerce, startups, digital marketing, interactive content. My creative work has earned me several laurels over the years. Facebook | Twitter | Google+

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  • PersonaBLAH

    this website is incredibly obnoxious with the takeover ad and what the hell is with the ad that pushes the article off the page i have to keep reloading to get the site to look in order to read what a design disaster this is just one giant ad