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Poster, The Supreme Court

This is a Poster. It was overseen (as art director) by Denny Strickland and made for (as the client) Nike. It is dated 1977–79 and we acquired it in 1981. Its medium is offset lithograph on paper. It is a part of the Drawings, Prints, and Graphic Design department.

Nike was founded in 1964 as Blue Ribbon Sports, an importer of Japanese running shoes, but by the early 1970s, it began to manufacture its own goods, expanding its line. By 1978, the company was officially called Nike, and a major image-making campaign was underway. This poster features the twenty-two members of Nike’s Pro Club, a group of Nike-endorsed NBA players, wearing long, black judges' robes. The players' white Nike shoes with the Swoosh trademark are barely visible: by the late 1970s, corporate identity rather than particular product promotion was at the heart of Nike advertising. The Nike Pro Club members received an annual retainer, royalties, and an annual paid vacation, among other perks for wearing and endorsing Nike products, and were chosen as representative of an elite, enviable group, further suggested by the poster’s label “The Supreme Court.” From around 1976 to 1979, art director Denny Strickland and copy writer John Brown of John Brown & Partners were responsible for Nike posters that helped lead the company to national prominence.

It is credited Gift of Various Donors.

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Its dimensions are

56 x 91.1 cm (22 1/16 x 35 7/8 in.)

It is inscribed

Printed in white ink, lower left: LITHO IN U. S. A.

Cite this object as

Poster, The Supreme Court; Art Director: Denny Strickland (American); Client: Nike (United States); USA; offset lithograph on paper; 56 x 91.1 cm (22 1/16 x 35 7/8 in.); Gift of Various Donors; 1981-29-77

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<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url= |title=Poster, The Supreme Court |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=20 March 2023 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>