Gee Whillickers!

Just Design It

The NIKE® swoosh is one of the most recognizable corporate logos in the world, but it had humble beginnings. Caroline Davidson, a Portland State University student interested in advertising, met Phil Knight (NIKE’s founder) in an accounting class he was teaching in 1971. He commissioned her to create a logo for the side of the shoes he was developing. She designed and presented the Swoosh; Knight handed her the fat payment of $35.

The swoosh symbol is a representation of the wing of Nike, the Greek Goddess of Victory. You may also know her from the famous statue “Winged Victory.”

NIKE now holds the lion’s share of the US athletic shoe market (close to 40%). And, to put things into perspective, NIKE’s 1993 revenues equaled all the TV deals, tickets and paraphernalia of the NBA, NFL, and Major League baseball combined.

Show Me the Money!

The huge endorsement deals of sports superstars serve as the marketing backbone to the athletic shoe and apparel industry. And with so much money at stake, things can sometimes get touchy.

At the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, Dream Team basketball player Charles Barkley said he had “two million reasons” not to accept a gold medal while wearing a USA sweat suit bearing the Reebok logo (it turned out he actually got $4 million from NIKE that year). So, what happened? After deliberation, team leader Michael Jordan wore the jacket—with a US flag draped over himself to conceal the rival logo.

NIKE’s founder, Phil Knight, the sixth richest man in America, once said, “There is no value in making things any more. The value is added by careful research, by innovation and by marketing.”


Gosh, That’s Handy!

Color, Theoretically Speaking
Part V, Color Closeness

There are a few ways to convey depth. One of them—though often overlooked—is color. Some colors seem closer or further than others in relation to each other (depending on the background). You’ll notice this sometimes in photos and designs where something looks close where it should look far; or the depth of the thing is just plain hard to look at, like some drunken Twilight Zone representation of another dimension.

Be careful in working with color depth perception that you always follow color harmonies as well. Using these two principals hand in hand can often make color choices obvious.


Gee Whillickers!

Out with the Old In with the New

Even if you’re not into sports at all, you’ll still get a kick out of this presentation of old and new team logos from the NFL.

Green Bay Packers

1951-1955

1968-Present

Denver Broncos

1960-1964

1997-Present

Oakland Raiders

1960-1962

1964-Present

Kansas City Chiefs

1963-1971

1963-Present

New England Patriots

1960-1961

2000-Present

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

1976-1996

1997-Present