The Nike logo is meant to suggest movement, because it represents the wings of the Greek goddess of victory, Nike. The iconic "swoosh" was designed in 1971 by Portland State University student Carolyn Davidson, who was hired by the company's co-founder, Phil Knight.
Davidson estimates that coming up with the seemingly simple logo took over 17 hours of work. Though the heads of Nike were not initially enthusiastic about the design, they quickly adopted it as the company logo. Phil Knight has been quoted as saying, "Well, I don't love it, but maybe it will grow on me." By 1972, Nike was selling its running shoes.