Nike is a famous American brand that occupies more than 60% of the market for sports shoes. The company owning it appeared in 1964. At first, it was called Blue Ribbon Sports and sold Onitsuka Tiger sneakers. Everything changed in 1971 when co-founder Phil Knight decided to launch his production of products under the Nike brand.
Meaning and History
Runner Phil Knight was one of the founders of a powerful sports equipment company. But it all started with sports shoes, which Phil began to supply from Japan, as the American market was saturated with expensive brands that ordinary citizens could not always afford.
1964 – 1970
Phil Knight founded Blue Ribbon Sports to supply shoes from Japan. Athletes liked the shoes, and the products sold well. Then the idea of expansion came up to open our production. And then the company logo was a simple combination of letters of the company name “BRC.”
1971 – present
The abbreviation BRC, which was used as a graphic sign from 1964 to 1971, went unnoticed. The most famous symbol of the brand is the so-called “Swoosh” – a rounded checkmark with sharp ends. Carolyn Davidson invented this logo.
A novice graphic designer at that time was in college and needed money. Knight invited her to create a logo for Blue Ribbon Sports as a side job. But he did not like the result, so he paid for the drawing only $ 35 (at the rate of $ 2 per hour).
Carolyn was also not enthusiastic about her work: the student simply showed a tick, disappointed in unsuccessful attempts to come up with something extraordinary. However, the swoosh became a recognizable feature of the brand, and its author, after ten years, still received a worthy award: an envelope with shares in the amount of $ 643,035.
1971 – 1978
Throughout Nike’s history, this logo has changed several times. In 1971, the icon was white – it stood out only thanks to the black outline. On top was the inscription “Nike” in italics.
1978 – present
In 1978, designers moved the word up, capitalized the letters, and used the sans serif Futura Bold font. And in 1985, the experimenters updated the palette by placing a white logo inside the red square.
The final version of the brand name was presented in 1995. The developers took the path of minimalism, removing the inscription and geometric shape. There was only a swoosh. He first appeared on football boots in 1972 and has since remained virtually unchanged.
According to legend, the emblem is closely connected with the ancient Greek goddess of victory, Nike. It is believed that swoosh is a wing of a celestial woman, a mythological symbol of speed and victory. That is what Carolyn Davidson herself claimed. According to another version, the figure shows an inverted fragment of a treadmill. But the creator of Phil Knight denied all assumptions. He said that a graphic sign is just a drawing that conveys energy and movement.
In May 2010, the brand was accused of stealing a logo from a Newport cigarette brand. Enemies said that Nike completely copied it and turned it upside down. However, there is overwhelming evidence that Davidson came up with the logo on its own. And so that the swoosh would not be confused with a tick, she specially made it curved and rounded.
Font and Colors
The Nike logo is rendered in italic sans-serif typeface reminiscent of the Futura Bold Condensed Oblique. A simplified Futura headset was developed in 1928 specifically for the Bauer Type Foundry. After eight years, it was slightly modified by the typographer Paul Renner. Nike also made minor tweaks, adapting the lettering for the logo. And to make the brand name look laconic, they adhered to a strict black and white range. As a result, the dark word and swoosh were on a light background.