Apple CEO’s Tim Cook’s launch of the new iPad on the 7th of March tipped a change in logo design of one of the most identifiable logo designs in corporate history. The Apple logo design which has sported a monochromatic look since 1998 may soon look to return to the multi colored logo of old.
The first logo of Apple was more a crest than logo. Designed by one of the companies founders Ronald Wayne in 1976, the crest depicts Sir Isaac Newton sitting under a tree. An apple, of course, dangles from the branches above waiting for Newton to invent gravity so it can drop on his head.
Nice idea, but not much of a logo, so before the year was out Steve Jobs commissioned graphic designer Ron Janoff to start the logo design from scratch. The outcome was the iconic symbol of Apple the world sees today. Simple, an apple, a bite from the side with a clever piece of visual pun aimed at the computer world’s byte. It is also proposed by Janoff that the bite stopped the image being confused with a tomato.
Steve Jobs apparently thought the rainbow stripes would help humanize what was a tech company. Janoff started with green at the top because of the leaf and graded the rest of the rainbow from there. This coloration of the logo carried the company through the seventies, eighties and most of the nineties. Then, Jobs, shortly after his return to the company, axed the old color scheme for the monochrome logo we still see today.
Jobs had a sizable task on his hands with his return to Apple. How to turn a failing company, into a chic, smart organization presenting state of the art products. The old rainbow colors had served Apple well but modernizing the logo design was the perfect leverage to turn the tables. To put the fruity colors of the old design on top of the then new iMac just would not have worked in my view.
Perhaps Tim Cook sees a need for new company direction and purpose to reposition itself in “the post-PC world”. Cook states that in 2011 Apple sold 172 million personal, portable devices, 76 percent of their annual revenue. A great deal hanging on the apple in this tree and all due to a simple but brilliantly designed logo.
Graphic Design Newcastle
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