Nike’s logo, the Swoosh, appears to be a rather elegant checkmark (or tick) but it is actually intended to be a symbol that conveys motion. Carolyn Davidson, a graphic design student at Portland State University created the logo in 1971. She was hired by Nike’s co-founder Phil Knight to design a logo that “had something to do with movement”.
I’ve seen mentioned many times in numerous articles that the Swoosh logo also symbolizes the wing of Nike, the Greek goddess of victory and the company’s namesake. This seems to be a very popular belief, but I have yet to find proof that designer Carolyn Davidson actually had this inspiration in mind while designing the logo.
BONUS FACT: Michael Jordan makes more money from Nike annually than all of the Nike factory workers in Malaysia combined. That is incredibly sad and I kind of wish I hadn’t discovered this fact.