Nike adopted the swoosh for its logo in 1971. It’s symbolic, it’s iconic, and it’s very appropriate for their business. (And was designed by a college student, btw.) So what is it about the swoosh that makes so many decision makers want to use it for their logo? It’s everywhere. And no one uses it as well or as meaningfully as Nike.
It seems that both big and small companies in all industries think a swoosh logo is also right for them. Take Capital One for instance. What does their new swoosh say for them? That they’re fast moving? Is it an orbit? Does it intimate forward thinking? Truly these are not unique concepts, even if that is what they’re thinking. How about coming up with a logo that distinguishes them from the competition? One that focuses on their key strenght(s).
I have to wonder what motivated each of these companies to adopt a swoosh logo. Did they see swoosh logos everywhere and figure that was the thing to do? Did they subconsciously “copy” the swoosh from one of the few companies that use it successfully (Nike, Intel)? Did they see it as hip or trendy or otherwise worthy for their compay’s most valuable asset — thier brand?
Here are some examples of the swoosh logo gone wild. I’d love to know what they were thinking. Let’s start with the swoosh on the top.
PVVC actually describes the thinking behind their new swooshy logo, saying the swoosh, “symbolizes PVCC’s location and scenic campus on a rolling hillside in Albermarle County.” Really? That’s a blue rolling hillside?
But the swoosh abuse doesn’t stop there. Some companies put the swoosh on the bottom. I’m not sure what that means. They’ve arrived here very quickly? Take a look at these.
There are so many swooshy logos out there. Now that you’ve read this, you’ll proably be seeing them for weeks, with a million variations. Here are a few who have their swoosh on the top, but on the left, rather than the right. (There seems to be an endless number of ways to abuse the swoosh.)
Just as the swoosh logo is nothing new, neither is ranting about it. Here’s another great post on swoosh abuse by Elbowruminations. The author makes some great points on not just the possible thinking behind the swoosh craze, but on the drawbacks. Just in case you were thinking that a swoosh logo is just what your company needs.