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The Nike Logo History: The Story Behind the $35 Iconic Swoosh

By March 8, 2023Nike

Nike Logo History - AIO BotLet’s talk about the Nike logo history! We know a lot about sneaker history and the most prominent industry-changing moments. But, how much do you actually know about the most popular sneaker brands in the world? In particular, THE most popular sneaker brand, Nike! 

So, it comes as no surprise that Nike is the biggest fish in the sneaker sea. In fact, when you look at it, Nike is more like the WHALE of the sneaker industry. Therefore, it also comes as no surprise that there’s a lot of history behind the brand. Now, we’re not here to talk about the history of Nike as a brand. We’re actually here to talk about the ICONIC Swoosh logo that has become an international symbol.

The Nike logo history is something that a lot of people don’t really know. If we’re being honest, MOST people don’t know where this particular part of their branding comes from. And, once you know the real story behind it, you’ll be SHOCKED. It is definitely a story worth hearing! 


Also, while we’re on the topic of Nike, let’s touch on the topic of actually owning a pair of Nike! What’s the point of learning about the Nike logo history if you don’t own Nike sneakers? You won’t be able to appreciate the history behind it. Our point is, you have to learn how to cop Nike sneakers online! This means three things:

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So, the Nike logo history goes back to the year 1971 when Carolyn Davidson, a graphic design student, created it. She was a freelance contractor for the company which, at the time, was Blue Ribbon Sports. Phil Knight, one of the founders of Nike, was Carolyn’s accounting professor then. He approached Carolyn to create a logo that would, in the future, become a global icon!

Knight wanted something that would convey movement and speed. And so, the journey to create the most recognized logo in the world began. Carolyn designed a few different options for Knight, but he ultimately chose the Swoosh. A design that took inspiration from the Greek goddess, Nike. Nike’s “wings” motivated her fighters to have no fear! Also, part of the Nike logo history was actually Knight’s reaction to it.

Phil did not actually like the logo all that much but decided to “go with it” either way. However, the most shocking part of the entire Nike logo history is how much Carolyn Davidson was paid!

Phil Knight paid Carolyn $35 to design the Nike logo!

Does this mean that creating the Nike logo history cost just $35? Davidson took around $2/hour as compensation for her work designing the logo. But, of course, once the logo became a worldwide iconic symbol, Nike wanted to reward Carolyn more!

In 1983, Nike invited Carloyn to an executive dinner and presented her with a diamond-set ring engraved with the Swoosh. And, they also gave her company stock

The Swoosh design logo has since had a few minor modifications but generally stayed true to the original design. It is now a symbol of innovation, performance, and excellence in the world of footwear. They’re also tested out a few variations of the Swoosh including the FUTURA and MOTION swoosh! But, the classic Swoosh of the Nike logo history is the same! It is simple, powerful, and iconic!

Nike Logo History - Motion - AIO Bot