Have you ever heard of Carolyn Davidson? Probably not, but I am positive you know her work.
While a graphic design student in 1971, Carolyn designed the Nike swoosh, one of the most widely recognized brands in the world.
She was paid $35 for her work.*
I am sure there are many graphic designers out there who were paid much, much more for their work to design a logo, but the artwork is invisible to us. Agencies have received millions to develop brands, campaigns and logos that have a fleeting life cycle and never make an impact on our consciousness.
Which would you rather have: to be paid $35 but have your work be ubiquitous and lasting, or have riches without a legacy?
Sometimes we put so much effort into making the money that we forget about doing something for the sheer joy of it. Next time you’re tempted to sell out, think about Carolyn Davidson and let simplicity rule.
*Note: In 1983, Carolyn did receive a diamond ring with the swoosh and an undisclosed amount of Nike stock for her efforts.
Source: Wikipedia: Carolyn Davidson en.m.wikipedia.org