Friday, September 16th, 2016

The story behind Apple logo and brand name

Narada Desk | September 16, 2016 10:32 pm Print
The original logo was very different, featuring Isaac Newton sitting under an apple tree accompanied by a quotation from Newton. This logo was designed by Ron Wayne, one of the co-founders of Apple along with Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak.

There are many stories and rumors around there about Apple company’s logo. Some are giving theories like inspired by Newton’s experiment, or by mythological event of Adam and Eve, and the like. As per one more interesting theory, it is a tribute to geek and homosexual guy Alan Turing, who laid the foundations for the modern computers and researched in the domain of AI.

According to the graphic designer who designed the logo, Rob Janoff, the bite was implemented so people would recognize that as an apple instead of berry.

The rainbow logo originated in 1976, soon after Apple was incorporated.

The original logo was very different, featuring Isaac Newton sitting under an apple tree accompanied by a quotation from Newton. This logo was designed by Ron Wayne, one of the co-founders of Apple along with Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak.

When asked Erik Spiekermann on what are the basic principle that he apply in every of his design. He quoted “Make it work.”

So in that way, Unfortunately the Apple log doesn’t have any hidden meaning or deep story behind it. Basically the designer designed it because it looked like an Apple even at a small size and an Apple without a bite taken out of it looked like a cherry when shrunk down.

A common rumor is that the design is an homage to Alan Turing, one of the pioneers of computing. Turing was gay but was forced to undergo medical treatments for this, and eventually committed suicide by eating a poisoned apple. Janoff has denied that this is true.

The rainbow logo was replaced in 1998 with the introduction of the first iMac. The iMac was a dramatic new design symbolic of Apple’s coming rebirth after many difficult years. Apple was at the time in the process of throwing out many old projects (Copland, OpenDoc, Newton, etc) while starting new ones (most notably at the time, Mac OS X). Updating the logo made sense at the time as it reflected a highly visible break with Apple’s troubled past, a constant reminder that the new Apple would be different from the old one. It’s not clear who designed it or what the brief was, but Janoff agrees that the rainbow design was dated by then and that an update was in order.

Since then Apple has used variations on the design that reflect the current design aesthetic of their products. The original monochrome Apple quickly gave way to an “aqua” theme similar to that used in Mac OS X for several years. More recently this has been replaced by the mirrored glass logo. Monochrome logos are still widely used, for example on current-model iMacs and on Apple retail stores.

Choosing Apple as a brand name also have some stories!

1. The name Apple was chosen because the company to beat in the technology industry at the time was ATARI, and Apple Computer came before Atari alphabetically and thus also in the phone book. Another reason was that Jobs had happy memories of working on an Oregon apple farm one summer.
2.  They wanted distance from the cold, complicated imagery created by other computer companies at the time – with names such as IBM, Digital Equipment and Cincom.
3.  It was a tribute to Apple Records, the music label of the Beatles.

For solid answers, it’s always a good idea to go to the founders.

In the just-published Steve Jobs biography, Jobs told Walter Isaacson he was “on one of my fruitarian diets” and had just come back from an apple farm, and thought the name sounded “fun, spirited and not intimidating.

Writing in his 2006 book iWoz: Computer Geek to Cult Icon, Apple’s co-founder Steve Wozniak explains it this way:

“It was a couple of weeks later when we came up with a name for
the partnership. I remember I was driving Steve Jobs back from the
airport along Highway 85. Steve was coming back from a visit to Oregon
to a place he called an “apple orchard.” It was actually some kind of
commune. Steve suggested a name – Apple Computer. The first comment out
of my mouth was, “What about Apple Records?” This was (and still is) the
Beatles-owned record label. We both tried to come up with
technical-sounding names that were better, but we couldn’t think of any
good ones. Apple was so much better, better than any other name we could
think of.”

His concerns turned out to be justified. Apple Computer, Inc. was sued by Apple Records over trademark violations in 1989.

In a 2006 interview with an MIT newspaper, Wozniak was asked again
about the rationale behind the Apple name. Wozniak confirmed that it was
Job’s creation, and that he came up with the name after spending a few
months working on an apple orchard. “After trying to think of better and more technical names, both Jobs and I realized that Apple was a good fit,” he told the newspaper.

A book titled Apple Confidential 2.0: The Definitive History of the World’s Most Colorful Company
says that both Wozniak and Jobs tried out alternate brand names such as
Executex and Matrix Electronics, but they didn’t like anything as much
as Apple Computer.