Apple Logo Stands The Test Of Time For 30 Years

There are some visual images that make us feel good, whether it's a natural phenomenon like a rainbow, a man-made wonder like the Pyramids of Egypt or an emotionally impactful work of art like Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel. To that list one might add logos - a graphic illustration that best exemplifies a product and is sensually pleasing to the eye. And there probably is no other design that has captured our modern-day imagination for as long as the Apple logo.

Ivan RaszlIvan RaszlLast year, when creative director Ivan Raszl interviewed Rob Janoff, the Rob Janoff - 1977Rob Janoff - 1977designer of the Apple logo, he described the artwork as "one of the most famous logos in the world...admired for its simplicity and many meanings... it's timeless beauty."  and that it has gone 30 years and kept pretty much in tact.  

Regarding its origins, in questioning Janoff as to what inspired him to design the logo, all of the obvious theories were disputed. The first rainbow version of the logo had little to do with the 'hippie' generation or 'gay pride' as some folks have proposed over the years.

Apple's first logo designed by Ron WayneApple's first logo designed by Ron WayneOthers thought the bite out of the apple metaphorically related to the measurement of memory on a computer that related 'bytes.' Again Janoff refutes that line of thinking. In fact, Janoff's introduction to the company and the assignment to create the logo was predicated on a logo originally designed by Ron Wayne who was a brief partner of Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak and who had created a pen and ink drawing of Sir Isaac Newton sitting under an Apple tree. However, this illustration was not iconic to make the cut, and Wayne left the company for personal reasons.

When Janoff did present his work to Jobs et al, he showed them several variations - some solid color versions, the striped-color variation and a metallic version - all with the same shape.

According to Janoff, the color-striped version was to highlight that Apple II was the first personal computer that could reproduce images on a computer monitor in color. It represented the color bars on the screen. And the rationale behind the bite was to differentiate the apple from a cherry, which according to Janoff it could have been mistaken for.

Rob Janoff - 2009Rob Janoff - 2009So what does someone do after producing something so iconic so early in life? Janoff like many of us is being affected by the economy. While he would like to retire at this period of his life, he says he can't and while he muses that on some level after creating the Apple logo his career was all "downhill," he continues to work in the field of advertising and is satisfied with what he has contributed then and now.

From my own perspective, hats off to Janoff for sharing his spark of genius with all of us. His work has gone on to inspire other designers even up to the present day. There are many examples of how many of us have picked up the ball and continued to work the 'apple' logo. If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, I think while no other company would ever try to copy this logo for their own purposes, many  designers have been inspired to adapt it  to products, art and sometimes just for a laugh.

Just this year, some 30 years later, the Apple logo was cleverly put to use for this laptop skin created by Adria Fruitos. A fairy tale character with a penchant for apples, and a high-tech laptop made for a pleasing contrast in this conceptual design. Fruitos' artwork cleverly puts the poisoned apple into Snow White’s hands, zapping her into the 21st Century.

Another laptop skin inspired by the Apple logo includes a serpent taking a strategically placed bite out of the forbidden fruit.

And here is my 'photoshopped' homage to Ron Wayne's original design of Sir Isaac Newton.

Sir Isaac Newtown & Apple LogoSir Isaac Newtown & Apple Logo
Thanks to Janoff for designing a logo that I am sure will live on for at least another 30 years, if not into the 22nd Century.

And while the logo can't be considered the butt of any joke, someone, at some point in time took some liberties.

Feb 8, 2010
by Anonymous

logos and interesting websites

Love this history of such an iconic logo!
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