Even people who aren’t Apple fans recognize the company’s distinctive, iconic logo; it ranks up there with the Nike swoosh or NBC peacock. But most probably aren’t familiar with the story behind the design. First created in 1977, the Apple logo was the handiwork of Rob Janoff, an art director at advertising and public relations firm Regis McKenna.
Anyway, when I explain the real reason why I did the bite it’s kind of a let down. But I’ll tell you. I designed it with a bite for scale, so people get that it was an apple not a cherry. Also it was kind of iconic about taking a bite out of an apple. Something that everyone can experience.
Janoff also talks about how Steve Jobs liked the design, how the Apple logo has evolved over the years, and the keys to good logo design.
For me, though, one of the things I think makes Apple’s logo so iconic is that it’s used sparingly. As I type this on my MacBook, an iPod and iPhone on the desk before me, the only Apple logo visible to my eyes is the small one in the top left-hand corner of my computer display. Apple doesn’t beat you over the head with its logo, but it does use it effectively, and that’s part of the reason it’s so imprinted upon our memory.
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Dan has been writing about all things Apple since 2006, when he first started contributing to the MacUser blog. He's a prolific podcaster and the author of the Galactic Cold War series, including his latest, The Nova Incident, coming in July 2022.