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Swoosh

Swoosh

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Encyclopedia
Swoosh is the symbol of the athletic shoe and clothing manufacturer Nike
Nike, Inc.
Nike, Inc. is a major publicly traded sportswear and equipment supplier based in the United States. The company is headquartered near Beaverton, Oregon, which is part of the Portland metropolitan area...

. It is among the most easily recognized brand
Brand
The American Marketing Association defines a brand as a "Name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller's good or service as distinct from those of other sellers."...

 logo
Logo
A logo is a graphic mark or emblem commonly used by commercial enterprises, organizations and even individuals to aid and promote instant public recognition...

s in the world.

History



The Nike "swoosh" is a design created in 1971 by Carolyn Davidson
Carolyn Davidson
Carolyn Davidson is a graphic designer best known as the creator of the Nike "swoosh".Davidson designed the swoosh in 1971 while a graphic design student at Portland State University. Phil Knight, who was teaching an accounting class at the university, noticed Davidson working on an assignment, and...

, while she was a graphic design
Graphic design
Graphic design is a creative process – most often involving a client and a designer and usually completed in conjunction with producers of form – undertaken in order to convey a specific message to a targeted audience...

 student at Portland State University
Portland State University
Portland State University is a public state urban university located in downtown Portland, Oregon, United States. Founded in 1946, it has the largest overall enrollment of any university in the state of Oregon, including undergraduate and graduate students. It is also the only public university in...

. She met Phil Knight
Phil Knight
Philip Hampson "Phil" Knight is an American business magnate. He is the co-founder and Chairman of Nike, Inc. He resigned as the company's chief executive officer in 2004, while retaining the position of chairman of the board...

 while he was teaching accounting classes and she started doing some freelance work for his company, Blue Ribbon Sports (BRS). While most people would regard the symbol as a check mark, the Nike swoosh was inspired by the Greek goddess Nike
Nike (mythology)
In Greek mythology, Nike was a goddess who personified victory, also known as the Winged Goddess of Victory. The Roman equivalent was Victoria. Depending upon the time of various myths, she was described as the daughter of Pallas and Styx and the sister of Kratos , Bia , and Zelus...

, the winged goddess of victory. The swoosh symbolises her flight.

For seven years after its founding in 1964, BRS imported Onitsuka Tiger brand running shoes. In 1971, BRS decided to launch its own brand, which would first appear on a soccer cleat called the Nike, manufactured in Mexico. Knight approached Davidson for design ideas for this new brand, and she agreed to provide them, charging a rate of US$2 per hour.

In the spring of 1971, Davidson presented a number of design options to Knight and other BRS executives, and they ultimately selected the mark now known globally as the Swoosh. "I don't love it," Knight told her, "but I think it will grow on me." Davidson submitted a bill for US$35 for her work. (In 1983, Knight gave Davidson a diamond Swoosh ring and an envelope filled with Nike stock
Stock
The capital stock of a business entity represents the original capital paid into or invested in the business by its founders. It serves as a security for the creditors of a business since it cannot be withdrawn to the detriment of the creditors...

 to express his gratitude.)

In June 1972, the first running shoes bearing the Swoosh were introduced at the U.S. Track and Field
Track and field
Track and field is a sport comprising various competitive athletic contests based around the activities of running, jumping and throwing. The name of the sport derives from the venue for the competitions: a stadium which features an oval running track surrounding a grassy area...

 Olympic
Olympic Games
The Olympic Games is a major international event featuring summer and winter sports, in which thousands of athletes participate in a variety of competitions. The Olympic Games have come to be regarded as the world’s foremost sports competition where more than 200 nations participate...

 Trials in Eugene, Oregon
Eugene, Oregon
Eugene is the second largest city in the U.S. state of Oregon and the seat of Lane County. It is located at the south end of the Willamette Valley, at the confluence of the McKenzie and Willamette rivers, about east of the Oregon Coast.As of the 2010 U.S...

. Nike continues to use the brand today.