The Nike logo: a history

Air Max Scorpion shoe
The current Nike logo, as it appears on the Air Max Scorpion (Image credit: Nike)

If you had to pick a contender for the world's most recognisable logo, Nike's famous 'Swoosh' design would at least be on the shortlist. But the logo hasn't always looked like this. 

The company, which was founded in 1964, began life as Blue Ribbon Sports, and had a completely different design to match. Then, when they changed their name to Nike in 1964, came the famous Swoosh. Unusually, this iconic design was created by a graphic design student at Portland State University, Carolyn Davidson, and was chosen from a number of different options presented to the company's co-founder, Phil Knight. According to Nike's website, upon first seeing Davidson's design, Knight said: "I don't love it, but it will grow on me." (Looking for inspiration? Check out the best logos of all time.)

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Tom May

Tom May is an award-winning journalist and editor specialising in design, photography and technology. Author of the Amazon #1 bestseller Great TED Talks: Creativity, published by Pavilion Books, Tom was previously editor of Professional Photography magazine, associate editor at Creative Bloq, and deputy editor at net magazine. Today, he is a regular contributor to Creative Bloq and its sister sites Digital Camera World, and Tech Radar. He also writes for Creative Boom and works on content marketing projects.