NIKE. Better is Temporary
A thick and heavy book about the sports equipment manufacturer Nike designed by last year’s winner of the Jan Tschichold Award is an exemplary subject for a discussion about the possibilities and limitations that working in commercial industries hold for a design team well-established in the cultural sector. The seven chapters, covering areas from research and development to design and advertising, present Nike’s activities with the help of numerous historical and contemporary examples. Recurring design elements help to add structure: one title font and one text font; tables of contents for each chapter; relatively large, single-column essays without pictures; and series of illustrations of shoes in a variable grid layout with two-column commentaries at the bottom of the page. The shoes are presented in a very matter-of-fact way, something fans will appreciate. Single pages to the left of the tables of contents display nothing but abstract areas of colour, recalling previous works by the designers. Their aesthetic – and their Color Library toolkit – occasionally show through. The short concluding chapter on Nike’s colour palette for 2021 reveals an elective affinity between clients and designers when it comes to the deployment of colour.