This is one of the most recognized brand logos in the world, the swoosh from athletic shoes and apparel, Nike.
The story goes that this logo was influenced by Nike, the Greek winged goddess of victory.
Nike from Samothrace
This is the statue of Nike from Samothrace (Nike from Samothraki, Greece, Νίκη τῆς Σαμοθράκης / Níkê tês Samothrákês), a collection of Musée du Louvre, Paris. I took this picture during my visit to the museum in 2013.
Nike, the victory goddess is a daughter of Titan Pallas and nymph Styx. She and her siblings (Zelos, Krator and Bia) help Zeus during his battle against the Titans. In legends and stories she is always pictured as a young woman with her victory wings.
This Nike statue at Musée du Louvre is from marble. It measures 5,57 meter high. The gracious artwork is estimated to have been created in the year 200 BC by Phytokritos. The winged victory of Samothrace as this statue is officially called, was discovered in 1863 in Samothrace island by French honorary consul to Turkish empire, Charles Champiseau. He found this statue in pieces. They were sent to Louvre for reconstruction. A couple of years and reconstructions later, Nike has been welcoming Louvre’s visitors elegantly at the Daru staircase.
The swoosh and Nike
The swoosh is said to be influenced by Nike’s wing, but it is depicted upside down. I wrote above it is said because when Carolyn Davidson created it in 1971, the company’s name was not Nike yet, but Blue Ribbon Sports. Anyhow this link with the statue has contributed to the story around the swoosh. Both the logo and the statue complement each other.
My reason to tell you this story is because I love Greek mythology. This is not an advertorial for Nike.
Nike of Samothrace is really impressive to look at. It is actually one of great Hellenistic masterpieces in the world. When you are in Louvre, Nike is surely a must see.
Closing this post, I want to share the following; While Nike the brand is pronounced as Nikey, Nike the goddess is pronounced as Ny-kee. Interesting right?
Musée du Louvre