Nike Swoosh Portraits by Andy Gellenberg

Nike Swoosh Portraits by Andy Gellenberg 5

In 1995, Nike began using the stand-alone Swoosh as its corporate logo as a form of debranding, and continues to use it that way today. Now, Andy Gellenberg has found a brand new way of using the most famous logo in the world today, by creating unique portraits of various Influencers with it. Only with it.

Andy Gellenberg is a passionate freelance Illustrator and graphic designer from Germany, looking for new ways to improve. “I´m always interested in using new technics and leaving my comfort zone to push my work”, he says smiling.

History:  The Nike “Swoosh” is a corporate trademark created in 1971 by Carolyn Davidson, while she was a graphic design student at Portland State University. She met Phil Knight while he was teaching accounting classes and she started doing some freelance work for his company, Blue Ribbon Sports (BRS). 

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 football boot called the Nike, manufactured in Mexico. Knight approached Davidson for design ideas for this new brand, and she agreed to provide them. Over the ensuing weeks, she created at least a half-dozen marks and gathered them together to present to Knight, Bob Woodell and Jeff Johnson (two BRS executives) at the company’s home office, at the time located in Tigard, Oregon.

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.” For her services, the company paid her $35. In September 1983, Knight gave Davidson a golden Swoosh ring with an embedded diamond, and an envelope filled with an undisclosed amount of Nike stock to express his gratitude.

And in June 1972, the first running shoes bearing the Swoosh were introduced at the U.S. Track and Field Olympic Trials in Eugene, Oregon.


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