The evolution of the Apple logo

Published: November 28, 2013

The man behind the apple. PHOTO: AFP

The history of Apple logo is very unique. When Steve Jobs coined the name of his company, he was in talks with Steve Wozniak about the name.

When Jobs uttered the name ‘Apple’, Wozniak laughed and said,

‘It’s a computer company, not a fruit store.’

The Newton Crest logo (1976)

In 1976, Ronald Wayne, who is the third co-founder of the Apple Company, designed its first logo. It showed Sir Isaac Newton, sitting beneath the very tree from which an apple had fallen to his head and he revolutionised the laws of gravity.

If you look carefully, the phrase on the outside border reads,

‘Newton… A mind forever voyaging through strange seas of thought… alone’

The Rainbow logo (1976-1998)

After the Newton Crest, Jobs decided to explore something new, something different, for the logo. Hence, he hired Rob Janoff as the designer to come up with something modern. Little did he know that the logo he planned to design would become the most iconic logo in corporate history.

For years, there have been rumours that Apple’s iconic logo, a stylised apple which is bitten on one side, was inspired by the death of Alan Turing, the groundbreaking mathematician and computer scientist, who committed suicide by eating a cyanide-laced apple in 1954.

Rob Janoff laughed these rumours away by saying,

“What a wonderful urban legend.”

According to him, the bite on the Apple logo was to really let people know that it was an apple and not a cherry. The bite also played along with the computer buffs at that time because it had a similar sound off to the word ‘byte’, a unit of digital information in computing and telecommunication.

Source: Wikipedia

The story behind the ‘rainbow coloured’ Apple logo was that Jobs wanted everyone to ‘think different(ly)’,

“He wanted the green on the top because there was a leaf there”, explained Janoff.

The story behind the logo. PHOTO: Publicity

Jean-Louis Gassee, who was a former Apple executive and founder of Be Operating System (BeOS), says that,

“One of the deep mysteries to me is our logo, the symbol of lust and knowledge, bitten into, all crossed with the colours of the rainbow in the wrong order. You couldn’t dream of a more appropriate logo: lust, knowledge, hope and anarchy.”

This logo was active for 22 years, from 1976 to 1998, after which it was shut down because during the 80s, Apple had become like the ship which was about to go under and sink into the sea’s inky abyss. The rainbow logo was proving to be too expensive, and so it had to be shut down.

The Monochrome logo (1998 – Present)

One of the main reasons for coming up with the monochrome logo was that the new Mac computers were being manufactured with metal casing instead of the plastic one and the sight of a rainbow logo on a metal computer did not fit well. These new logos were then embossed on the original Mac and the Mac Power Book G3 as well. This logo has been active since 1998 till present day.

Source: Wikipedia

Eventually, this logo had its repercussions. In 1967, The Beatles started a new multimedia company named Apple Corps Ltd. When Jobs began his company, in 1976, his choice of the same title and logo created conflict between the two companies.

This resulted in a series of lawsuits and tension between the two companies. The issues ended with a huge settling offer which Apple Inc. had to pay to Apple Corps Ltd in 2007.

So why keep ‘Apple’ as a name?

In a press conference in 1981, Jobs was asked why he named the company ‘Apple’.

To this he replied simply,

“I like apples and love to eat them. But the main idea behind the apple was to bring simplicity to the people, in the most sophisticated way and that was it, nothing else.”

His vision for the next generation computer was so far ahead that it was mind boggling for everyone. No one could think that far into the future, but he did, and hence his most quoted saying is also the most fitting one for his own life.

Steve Jobs (1955-2011). Photo: Publicity

So, while we worship some of the technological advances gifted to us by Apple, we never really knew how it came to be what it is today. Just the journey transitional journey of the logo shows how Apple has kept evolving- to date. If this journey of bending over backwards to maintain customer satisfaction continues, we will be very happy clients indeed.
Jahanzeb Tahir Aziz

Jahanzeb Tahir Aziz

A writer, poet , athlete and music composer. He tweets as @jt76007 (twitter.com/jt76007)

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Patriotic Pakistani

    Being a user of Apple Inc. products, I would like to thank the author for the informative blog.Recommend

  • Jt

    You are welcomeRecommend

  • Ohnanawhatsmyname?

    “Steve Jobs chose the name Apple for his company because he admired the Beatles’ Apple Records. This later led to a legal battle between Apple Corp, owned by Beatles band members Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and John Lennon’s widow Yoko Ono. The dispute was settled later in February 2007.”
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/apple/8574277/Steve-Jobs-ten-things-you-didnt-know-about-the-Apple-founder.htmlRecommend

  • Acorn Guts

    Sorry but this article is factually incorrect.

    The ‘monochrome logo’ wass replaced with metallic look logo in 2007 and more recently Apple have consistently gone with the ‘spray painted’ colourful look logo for all their conferences .. although the about screen on mac and the boot logo on apple mobile devices still ship with the metallic look logo.

    Also the ‘Think different’ quote you’ve attributed to Steve Jobs is not his .. in fact this was from the marketing agency who did the famous think different ad for Apple.Recommend

  • khan of quetta

    hah apple being ripping of costumers from day 1 look at the mac book air it got a processor from 2009 and a price of a modern ultra book i phone is a tin locked down fragile DUMB phoneRecommend

  • khan of quetta

    the only thing keeping apple afloat is the weirdo fanbois andoid = democracy apple = dictatership(you are not holding it right or this is not a good size)Recommend

  • khan of quetta

    so the apple coolaid has made it to et they know how to make the media a foolRecommend

  • khan of quetta

    apples company no 1 in nsa goodie bagsRecommend

  • omer

    SweetRecommend

  • Qaiser Habib

    Birth of Apple co.

    At 20, Steve Jobs and a friend (Steve Wozniak) started a company in
    a garage on April 1, 1976. Later that year, the duo debuted the Apple I at the
    Homebrew Computer Club in Palo Alto, California. A local store offered to buy
    50 machines and to finance the production, the duo had to sell their most
    expensive possesions. Jobs sold his Volkswagen van while Wozniak sold his
    Hewlett-Packard scientific calculator.

    Jobs named their company – Apple in memory of a happy summer
    he had spent as an orchard worker in Oregon.Recommend

  • Asad Almagir

    Great InfoRecommend

  • Bilal Akhtar

    Bilal AkhtarRecommend

  • Sana Malik

    Great read. Thanks For the InfoRecommend

  • Maria Riaz

    in 1987 . Steve Jobs did a confrence about how apple got its name. .And the author has got it 100% correct.Recommend

  • Awais akbar

    Haters are going to hate. Great infoRecommend

  • Abid Riaz

    ExcellentRecommend

  • Khadija Asad

    Quality info at one place. Great jobRecommend

  • Komal Raza

    Unique historyRecommend

  • Ali Mansoor

    ah .. the crazy ones. great infoRecommend

  • Tariq Khan

    we see genius.Recommend

  • Khaksar

    someone got inspired from 9gag. Say who?Recommend

  • gp65

    Don’t use iPhone or iPad if you don’t care for apple products. Why the hate?Recommend

  • http://www.yahoo.com/ AMINA AMEIN

    Waiting for the day when Apple will be as cheap as Apples!!!! That will be the real change!!!!!!!!!! =DRecommend