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History of the Apple Logo

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The 37 year long history of Apple as a brand is as much a history of the Apple logo itself. From a highly promising brand, to one that lost ground, and then went onto achieve a global iconic status is as much a story of the ludicrously simple yet persuasive logo which had to wage its own battles against numerous importers and won trademark disputes even with its darling Beatles.In 1976, Ronald Wayne the third founder of Apple designed the first Apple logo.

The logo which read the lines from Wordsworth, “Newton… A Mind Forever Voyaging through Strange Seas of Thought…Alone” has Isaac Newton sitting under a tree with an Apple dangling above his head. But this one didn’t last longer than a year when Steve Jobs commissioned Rob Janoff, a graphic designer to create a design which eventually became the most unforgettable images of our times. The ‘missing bite in the rainbow apple’ was implemented to play on the word ‘byte’ and in the words of Janoff himself, made so to distinguish the apple from a cherry tomato.

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The multi-coloured rainbow stripes on all in the wrong order had no rhyme but managed to grab eyeballs and it is rumoured that jobs wanted to use a colourful logo to humanize the company. Yet the “Rainbow Apple” lasted 22 years only to be axed by Jobs when he returned in 1997 at a time when the company itself was bleeding cash.

The post-1998 trend saw Apple transforming itself into a cutting edge market competitor. The overall shape of the logo didn’t change but the colorful stripes were done away with to give way to a more sizeable and stylized monochromatic logo on all its products in all kind of places from iMac, iBooks and its stores. The solid look with the missing rainbow signified a rupture with the brand’s past and a move towards serious business. Apple’s shiny metallic look symbolized the changes in American culture and today its uses a sterile white look to communicate the excellence of the brand.

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