I was watching CNBC over the weekend. A special business report explored how Phil Knight built the Nike empire. Ever wonder where that famous "Swoosh" logo came from? The answer involves a low-cost graphic design student from Portland State University. It's a rather intriguing story, especially for MSPs that need to work on their branding.
According to Dinesh.com:
The Nike "Swoosh" [was] a design created in 1971 by Carolyn Davidson, a graphic design student at Portland State University. She met Phil Knight while he was teaching accounting classes and she started doing some freelance work for his company, Blue Ribbon Sports (BRS). BRS needed a new brand for a new line of athletic footwear it was preparing to introduce in 1972. Knight approached Davidson for design ideas, and she agreed to provide them, charging a rate of $2 per hour.
In June 1971, Davidson presented a number of design options to Knight and other BRS executives, and they ultimately selected the mark now known globally as the Swoosh. Davidson submitted a bill for $35 for her work. (In 1983, Knight gave Davidson a gold Swoosh ring and an envelope filled with Nike stock to express his gratitude.)
Go Back to SchoolNo doubt, there are local colleges and universities in your back yard. Check in with them. See if they have internship programs or class projects that assist small businesses with branding, PR and advertising. If you're in the New York area, you might want to check in with NYIT's Carleton Group -- a student-run advertising and public relations agency. (I used to work at NYIT.)
You can find more info about multiple student-run advertising agencies on Wikipedia.
Is this a one-size-fits-all solution to your branding and marketing needs? Certainly not. But sometimes I wonder why we don't spent more time tapping cost-effective, next-generation talent.