The Real Story Behind
Apple’s Logo

Apple’s logo and name, thanks to the company’s astronomic success, are now completely mythologised. There are seemingly endless theories as to how Apple was named, such as a tribute to Alan Turing which Jobs said he “[wished]” was the reason.

However, according to Steve Jobs in 1980, they had to come up with a name by 5PM that day, and it was chosen primarily because he “liked Apples a lot” (he almost exclusively ate fruits and vegetables) and wanted to be next to Atari in the phonebook.

The first logo was then developed in 1976 by Ronald G Wayne, Apple’s co-founder. It depicted the classic tale of Isaac Newton’s Apple drop, along with a hidden quote from Romantic poet William Wordsworth - “Newton, a mind forever voyaging through the strange seas of thought alone”.

Steve Jobs was never a fan of the logo, too intellectual and too complex to easily reproduce. In 1977, he asked Rob Janoff of PR and Advertising agency Regis McKenna to develop a new logo for the Apple 2. As Janoff recalled for CreativeBits, there was no brief other than “don’t make it cute”.

Basing his design from a cross-section of an Apple, Janoff developed a design in two weeks. However, he felt there was something missing, and sketched in a bite to give the apple scale against a cherry. Every other story, in Janoff’s words, are complete “urban legend” - even the likeness to a digital ‘Byte’ was coincidence.

Regardless of the real reason, the logo made it to the Apple 2, complete with a rainbow colour referencing the screen’s colour capability. The hues themselves were specific to Jobs - both he and janoff influenced by hippie Culture.

The logo has since become one of the most recognisable in the world and gone through aqua, chrome and monochrome re-designs, all maintinaing the iconic shape.