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Call for submissions…NIKE78

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What’s Nike78?

Nike78 is a live brief set by designer, Paul Jenkins. Paul is in his final year of studying Graphic Design & Advertising at LCC university in south London.

“Part art, part design, intermixed with a sort of social experiment, Paul Jenkins asked participants – creative talents, design studios, and related organizations, to come up with a concept that will challenge the functionalities of sneakers.”

Nike78 is a global design challenge involving 78 creatives from incredibly diverse backgrounds.

Graphic designers, illustrators, design agencies, typographers, fashion designers and model-makers will each receive a plain pair of Nikes and, using them, will get people talking about the role of trainers in sport.

This isn’t about redesigning a pair of trainers or drawing your tag over the toes. It’s about challenging the whole idea of trainers in the first place. Can you use them as a plant pot? Can you use them as the base for an art installation? Maybe as a pair of boxing gloves?

Traditionally, you’d use a pair of trainers to play sport. What else could you use them for? Come up with something surprising to make people think.

The Nike 78 brief

How would you use a pair of Nike trainers to get people thinking about the purpose of trainers within sport?

UKSA will be picking one winning submission and this submission will get the chance to be one of the 78 creative people working on Nike78.

To be in with a chance, we want creative, inspiring ideas outlining how you would challenge the function of a pair of Nike shoes.

You’ll also have your work included in a Nike78 exhibition in London in 2010, a published book and participate alongside some of the greats in the global creative industry!

The history

NIKE have been chosen as the inspiration for this project due to their rich history of creative ventures and the brand’s constant aim to push the boundaries of sport, something which NIKE78 will also seek to creatively challenge.

The list of current participants is growing and currently includes eBoyW+K London,Pentagram BerlinUK Street Art and Andy Miller.

Bill Bowerman and Phil Knight created Blue Ribbon Sports on January 25th 1964. Blue Ribbon Sports officially changed its name to NIKE Inc. on May 30th 1978. NIKE started off producing shoes for track running and athletic purposes and has always been known as the number one sports brand.

“If you have a body, you are an athlete.” – Bill Bowerman

The original NIKE athletic shoes have evolved into many new and exciting life forms including the Air Jordan, Air Force 1s and Air Presto. Over the years, NIKE have also created initiatives and projects including Reuse-A-Shoe, Run Across America and most recently NIKEiD.


  • Use them as plant pots to grow healthy food.
  • Fit an alarm clock in one which rings to remind you to play sport.
  • Fit a digital recorder into one of the shoes and create a piece of music based on the journey.
  • Fit a camera into one of the shoes and film a journey you make.
  • Cut out some of the shoe and make a pair of sandals.
  • Fit an electronic device which alerts you whenever you’re near someone else who likes the same sport you do.


  • What would happen if your shoes were given to a cyclist courier and GPS tracked online?
  • Could you make the footprints smaller, even if they’re size 12s?
  • You could do the challenge with friends as a ‘creative agency’ or group.
  • Think about the medium you’d use: film, photography, illustration, cartoon, graphic design, the cutting up of the trainers…

Deadline for submissions: 31st March. The winning submission will get the pair of Nike’s sent or delivered by hand to them (depending on location) and will then be part of the participants list on Nike78, work featured in the exhibition and book. Good luck! Please email all submissions to

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