With an appetite for innovation and the creation and marketing of iconic devices such as the Mac computer and the iPhone, Apple has been a leader in our modern world of technology and communication. After 40 years of history and growth, Apple is one of the most popular and recognizable brands in the world. A lot of Apple’s popularity is attributed to its image. The Apple logo, along with the design of its products has resonated with the public consumer consciousness for years. The iconic apple with the bite taken out is a part of many lives. We’ll take an in-depth look at the Apple logo history and its evolution through four decades.
Apple Logo Design Elements
Apple’s current logo is a monochrome glass-theme image of an apple with a chunk missing out on the right. The monochrome logo replaced the rainbow colored logo in 1998, with its current glass theme becoming active in 2013.
Changes and Evolution
Apple’s first logo, designed in 1976 by co-founder Ronald Wayne, was a crest that featured an illustration of Sir Isaac Newton sitting under an apple tree, a visual representation of his discovery of gravity. Almost immediately replaced, the logo changed to the current apple silhouette in 1977 by a professional designer whose name is Rob Janoff. This new logo conveyed simplicity, which was one of co-founder Steve Jobs’ biggest values. The apple shape contains a bite so that it people would not mistake it for a cherry. As Apple products began to take off–with the Apple II computer introduced on April 16, 1977–the Apple silhouette that comprised the Apple logo became one of the most iconic symbols in the world.
As Apple’s logo changed to an apple silhouette, it took on a rainbow color. The rainbow color symbolizes Steve Jobs’ desire for everyone to think differently. The rainbow-colored apple was the company’s logo until 1998, when it took on a monochrome look. During the 21 years in which the rainbow-colored logo was active, the company grew to be a leading band in the tech world, all while experiencing its own ups and downs. They were setting the stage for Apple’s current iconic status.
Only Apple’s first logo, with its crest design, included text. Ronald Wayne drew this prototype by hand without an established font. The type was similar to Caslon and had some idiosyncratic details. Since replacing this logo, Apple has stuck to a brand mark logo.
Co-founder Steve Jobs’ visit to an apple farm during his fruitarian diet led to choosing the company name, Apple. The name conveyed a fun spirit and wasn’t intimidating. As mentioned in a CNN opinion piece, there have been a few myths and legends in regards to the inspiration behind Apple’s logo. According to designer Rob Janoff, he received no brief from Apple when he got the commission to design the logo. Jobs gave one simple direction: “Don’t make it cute.” At the time the logo seemed out-of-the-box with its color stripes, since most logos were single or 2-color designs. In the years since, companies have become more bold and innovative with their logos and branding, striving to stand out and make an effective statement. Former Apple executive Jean Louis Gassee is quoted as saying the logo is a symbol of lust and knowledge.
Co-founders Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak were Beatles fans, but Apple Inc. ended up having name and logo trademark issues with a company the legendary band created. Apple Corps Ltd., founded in 1967, was a multimedia company the Beatles set up. There was plenty of tension and a series of lawsuits between the two companies but issues were eventually settled in 2007.
One popular myth about the logo’s design attributes the inspiration to Alan Turing, a pioneering English computer scientist who was highly influential in theoretical computer science. Turing committed suicide in 1954 through cyanide poisoning and was found with a half-eaten apple beside his bed. When Steve Jobs commented on the validity of this legend, he reportedly said: “God, we wish it were [true]. It’s just a coincidence.” However, such theories bring a greater mystique to the Apple logo history.
With 40 years of history and innovation, Apple is a leading brand and cultural symbol in modern society. It is the world’s largest IT company by revenue. The Apple logo is a fascinating story in itself and can represent many things including knowledge, innovation, and the vision of iconic founder Steve Jobs. The Apple logo history includes changes in color but the same simplicity and value certainly remains a constant throughout.