Continuing our A-Z of Apple history
Jaguar When Apple started giving versions of its new Mac OS X operating system code-names linked to ferocious cats this was just some feline amusement for the developers and project team. The Public Beta of Mac OS X wasn’t a great start with its code name Kodiak referring to a bear, but version 10.0 (that’s version 1.0 in reality) was Cheetah, and 10.1 was Puma. Then Apple had the great idea of actually using the code name in the public branding. So Mac OS X 10.2 was called Jaguar – even the box and disc had a furry-looking X on the front.
Jaguar was not only a cute marketing exercise. It was the first really stable version of OS X that delivered a bunch of great new features, including a new Address Book and iChat as well as a much sleeker look and feel.
Weirdly, Steve Jobs pronounces Jaguar as Jagwire.
But what Apple giveth, Apple can also taketh away. While the fun and friendly furry X gave this OS update some personality Apple punched the smile off the Mac’s beloved Happy Mac icon and replaced it with a monolithic grey Apple logo (not even as friendly as the old colourful one (see below). Spoilsports.
Janoff Graphic designer Rob Janoff isn’t as well known as Steve Jobs or Jonathan Ive but the fruit of his labours certainly is – for Janoff designed the simple but perfect Apple logo.
In 1976, when Apple was founded, the corporate logo was a complex black & White drawing showing an apple falling off a tree onto an unsuspecting Issac Newton. There was a banner wrapping round and a half-covered up quotation. It was a right old mess.
Steve Jobs – who hates mess and loves simplicity – was far sighted enough to realise how crap this would look on the back of iPad and iPhones, so commissioned PR company Regis McKenna to design a new one. Janoff went to the supermarket and bought a basket of apples, sliced them up and studied them for hours. He added a bite to his apple image so that people wouldn’t mistake it for a tomato – because people don’t take bites out of tomatoes, right?
There have been suggestions that the bite was in honour of father-of-the-modern computer and Nazi code breaker Alan Turing who committed suicide by eating a poisoned apple following the ungrateful British government persecution of his homosexuality. Janoff denies his logo’s bite had anything to do with Turing, but it’s a nice story.
Jobs demanded the image be in colour to further humanise the computer company, and Janoff’s multi-coloured final version became an instant design classic. The PR bosses argued that it should just be black to save on printing costs but Jobs and Janoff won the day – although in 1998, when Apple made the whole computer more colourful with its original iMac, the rainbow-coloured logo was ditched for monochromatic themes, although the shape remained pretty much the same. From 2001-3 the Apple logo was watery Aqua-themed, and from then on it was Glass-themed. It somehow skipped the Brushed Metal look, except when it actually was made of brushed metal, of course.
Interview with Rob Janoff, about the creation of the Apple logo.
Evolution of the Apple logo
Jeans In the days before Apple most businessmen wore suits. Many still do wear suits, of course, but plenty don’t because Apple made it cool and acceptable to go to work in jeans. When he announced the Macintosh he was dressed in ostentatiously in double-breasted blazer and green bow tie, on the cover of the first issue of Macworld magazine he wore a grey suit and tie, but nowadays you hardly ever see him in anything but jeans and black turtleneck. This is the outfit he wore in the garage when he founded Apple Computer with Steve Wozniak, and it’s how he demonstrates that (a) Apple retains its unorthodox roots, (b) he isn’t a boring stuffed suit, and (c) he can wear what he damn well feels like because he owns the company and about half the world’s ready cash.
Steve once explained that having the exact same outfit every day meant that he didn’t have to worry about what to wear and could get straight to work dreaming up the next big thing without being distracted by yellow or grey socks, boating blazer or ski jacket.
The Steve jeans, if you must know, are mid-blue Levi 501s, buttoned but never belted, and worn above the hip but below the waist.
Why not dress Steve up as you want him in the Joy Of Tech’s Steve Jobs Dress Up Doll.
Jesus In 1966 John Lennon dared to suggest that The Beatles were more popular than Jesus. Forty five years later über Beatles fan Steve Jobs could possibly claim the same about Apple – although it probably wouldn’t be such a great PR move. There are serious articles by theologists about the religiosity of Apple, and in particular the iPhone, which is dubbed “The Jesus Phone” by many a web wag.
On the darker side, others have pointed out that the apple is the sign of the Original Sin and the Fall of Man, which Adam & Eve tasted before being turfed out of Paradise for following the advice of a snake. Adding fuel to this devilish story is the fact that the company’s first product, the Apple I, cost $666.
To be fair, Jobs and Wozniak started work on Apple in Steve’s house and garage on Crist Drive, Los Altos.
Jobs Steve. He founded the company, you know. RIP.