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A Look at Nike’s Vibrant History of Prints and Patterns

Discover the company’s ethos inspired by the emotive-aesthetic equation.

In a recent essay published by Nike, the sportswear behemoth offers a comprehensive history of the brand’s prints and patterns. In its opening remarks the exposé describes chromology, which is the psychology of color that explores how hues impact emotion. From this simple concept is derived an entire label’s ethos that has famously integrated high performance attire with visually striking designs. Tracing back to the founding of its first in-house Art Department in 1983, Nike has since fused this emotive-aesthetic equation into its products via prints and patterns on apparel. Nike’s first all-over prints were produced on running attire and arrived in 1985 in the form of a pink, white and red pattern inspired by shoe outsoles, and another with gold barbells on a black background.

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Inspired by external influences such as cultural trends, historical references, global sporting events and more, print designers continued to collaborate closely with the company’s apparel and footwear designers. Even as the brand moved into the ’90s, each and every design was still meticulously rendered. After the introduction of that era’s digital prints, made possible with the invention of copy machines, Nike designers were still manipulating graphics and prints by hand. As a result, the patterns of the early ’90s showcase an organic, hand-drawn quality despite the move towards technological techniques. The uniqueness of the designs were further underscored by the limited runs that often capped at approximately 100 per season. Even with today’s rapid development of textile advancements, the iconic brand continues to push boundaries and to redefine all expectations. You can head over to read the full article on Nike News.

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