Inspiring the people that inspire athletes everywhere.
Defining the destiny of sport isn’t easy.
The products that Nike’s employees dream, design and develop define tomorrow for athletes all over the world, but tomorrow never stops so neither can they. To fuel this relentless ambition, they themselves must continuously improve – just like the athletes they serve.
CURV Studios – Nike’s internal community of practice.
Inspiration always comes from somewhere. For Isaac Newton, it was an apple. For Billie Eilish, it was Frank Sinatra and Peggy Lee. For athletes of all shapes, sizes and abilities across this planet, it’s Nike. This is a responsibility that Nike takes seriously.
To ensure it can continue to live up to such a monumental task, AKQA collaborated closely with Nike to create a new community of practice – a collection of like-minded people with a shared interest – and to define its purpose, driving the highest standards across Nike’s workforce, starting at its European Headquarters in Hilversum, the Netherlands.
Born from the swoosh itself, CURV Studios’ goal is to foster a culture of innovation, iteration, and collaboration across Nike’s global product and design community and cement Nike as a place where the best can be their best and create the extraordinary.
Embracing ambition and process.
CURV Studios’ design principles take inspiration from Nike’s employees, who push the boundaries of the structures around them in order to create something new and improved over and over again.
CURV Studios’ wordmark is informed by the four stages of the creative process – preparation, incubation, illumination and verification – with each letter constructed from a 4x4 grid that gives clarity at scale. This process of construction is true to Nike’s builder ethos and hints towards the many prototypes that get Nike closer to its finished products.
The studio’s unique swoosh also represents the four stages of the creative process and alludes to the product mindset of invention and iteration which is at the heart of Nike’s business. It rises with each stage as Nike’s people make progress in pursuit of their goals.
Its leading graphical device, the pipeline, embodies the product journey and the shared belief that progress rarely happens in a straight line but is the sum of every step taken to get there. The colours on which the ever-changing gradient was founded, as well as the shape itself, come directly from an artwork on Nike’s Hilversum campus - which represents child-like curiosity and momentum.
CURV Studios’ first mission is to shift mindsets.
If Nike wants to change the world, then its workforce, now and into the future, needs to believe that it can. Such ambition can only be achieved with an understanding that Nike’s best work is always ahead of it.
Through the tools, talks and training that CURV Studios will provide, that work will never be too far away and the best talent on the planet will always be queuing up for a chance to make it.