The Woman Who Designed The Nike "Swoosh" Got Like $35
There are few corporate logos as immediately recognizable as the curvy Nike symbol, meant to convey the speed of your feet (and your wallet emptying). So what was the reward for creating one of the most iconic symbols in corporate history? $35, which was actually quite a bit from a company that couldn't keep a profit going at the time.
Just Do It For Really Cheap.
Upon its unveiling in 1971, the "Swoosh" was not an immediate hit with Nike CEO Phil Knight, though graphic designer Carolyn Davidson was pretty sure it was the best of the designs she had done up for the company. Due to time constraints, they wound up choosing it, though they didn't even have a name for the company yet. Nine years later, in 1980, Nike went live on the stock market, earning approximately all the money. For 12 years, Davidson must have bitterly watched her $35 logo appear on every billboard in the world without getting an extra dime. Then, in 1983, Nike executive Bob Woodell passed Knight in a hallway and reminded him of the woman who had made his brand soar. And so it was, 12 years after she gave a face to a cultural behemoth, that Davidson was invited to lunch at the Nike campus. She was given certificates, golden rings, and an envelope containing shares of Nike worth a few hundred thousand dollars. All thanks to the kindness of corporate executives.
Motoya Nakumura/The Oregonian