Ticking all the boxes for $35
The Nike emblem is one of the world's most recognisable, and it's often the simplest ideas that are the best – as proved by this mark created by Portland student Carolyn Davidson in 1971. Paid $35 for the logo at the time, she later, in 1983, received a gold swoosh ring embedded with a diamond and an envelope containing Nike stock from founder Phillip Knight. It's perhaps one of the most interesting – and most widely reported – stories in logo design history.
Davidson's tick-like logo was seen as a symbol of positivity, but it's actually the outline of the wing of the goddess Nike (who personified victory). Her logo was subsequently registered as a trademark and, aside from some tinkering with the Nike lettering, has remained unchanged.
According to Nike's website, upon first seeing Davidson's design, Knight said: "I don't love it, but it will grow on me." In 2011, Davidson told OregonLive.com that it was a challenge to come up with a logo that conveyed motion and that Phillip Knight was very impressed with the stripes of rival company Adidas, so it was increasingly hard to come up with something original.
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