L'histoire du Swoosh

The story behind the Swoosh

This comma, we know it, it is in all our cupboards, as it has always been. A Swoosh that sticks with us, that follows us, that sees us grow, and the more we grow, the more we dream of it. This famous logo that pushes us to window shop no matter the circumstance is not what it seems to be. RADAR Cannes tells you the origin of this emblematic logo.

1971. The "top hits" are endowed with extinct legends, the cars are long and thin, the vinyls live their hours of glory. Bill Bowerman and Phil Knight launch Nike. After a bit of research they decide on the name "Nike". This choice is not random since it refers to the Greek goddess Nike, who symbolizes victory in mythology. Namely that the brothers and sisters of the chosen character symbolize power, speed and ardor. The choice therefore seemed obvious.

The logo causes them more worries and they want to hire someone. Phil Knight was teaching at the University of Portland at the time and knew a student in graphic design. Carolyn Davidson, far from suspecting the impact of her little job, therefore designed the "Swoosh" representing the curvature of the wings of victory and therefore of the goddess Nike. It is also said to represent the runner's foot starting. Phil and Bill give him the sum of $35, on their side far from knowing how much this comma would give them back. Phil calls despite not being convinced by this tick, but says he'll get used to it.


The logo will see several evolutions and revisits, but its essence will remain intact. Carolyn Davidson continues to work in communication with the co-founders, and will make a way with the brand. We hope today that Mr. Knight has gotten used to it.

At Radar Cannes we continue this legendary creativity by searching for the best Nikes that meet your most unexpected needs. Come and discover our everyday models as well as our collector's items.

Photo: @troypetite

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