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Apple Businesses

History of the Apple Logo 48

usermilk writes "There is a great article on the history of the Apple logo running at MacNYT.dk." The story's been translated into English, so no worries.
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History of the Apple Logo

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  • by sl956 ( 200477 ) on Friday August 16, 2002 @08:16AM (#4082004)
    A rainbow apple bitten into : the reference to Alan Turing seems obvious.
    (as you probably know it, Alan Turing committed suicide by eating an apple laced with cyanide).
    • by imperator_mundi ( 527413 ) on Friday August 16, 2002 @09:08AM (#4082276)
      Ït could also be a reference to Snowhite ; )
      • It could also be a reference to Snowhite ; )

        or the forbidden fruit.

        There are a number of ways to see this. I think that is part of why it was picked. To say, "obviously they meant Turing and that is the only thing they meant" is silly. The most direct symbolism that can be gleaned from the article is the reference to Newton, which made up the original logo.

        • no doubt. the apple is obviously a reference to William S. Burroughs' deadly game of William Tell with his wife. "Put the apple on your head, honey..."
    • And Alan Turing was gay, right? The rainbow apple. A reference to a guy who killed himself because he was gay.

      Sometime people just look for coincidences, and assume that they mean something.
      • And Alan Turing was gay, right? The rainbow apple. A reference to a guy who killed himself because he was gay.

        Turing killed himself to escape the vicious oppression heaped on him by British authorities of the time.

        It makes me very sad to think of the further contributions this great man could have made if his life hadn't been so short.

        -jcr

        • Turing killed himself to escape the vicious oppression heaped on him by British authorities of the time.

          Because he was gay. The government was forcing him into treatment programs and giving him all sorts of shitty therapy. I'm well aware of the history, but yes my wording was a bit shallow.

      • He was the "Forbidden fruit"-- the reason he killed himself was he was being prosecuted by britian for his homosexuality.

        This after he saved won the war for them. Or at least, he may not have won the war, but if he hadn't been there, they most certainly would have lost.

        The sad truth is human rights still aren't respected there or here.

        But this has nothing to do with the apple logo- turing didn't inspire it.

    • by Anonymous Coward
      Except the rainbow flag did not exist as a symbol for the gay community until 1978, a year after the Apple ][ shipped (obviously bearing the rainbow logo).

      If Apple was using colour as a nod to Turing's sexuality, they would have patterned it after the symbol of the day, a pink triangle.

      Most historical accounts say that the "rainbow" (notice it's not a true rainbow like the flag) was a request of Steve Jobs who wanted to highlight the Apple ]['s new colour capabilities.
    • A rainbow apple bitten into

      The bite was supposed to make it look less like a tomato, and it signified knowledge, as in Eden.

      Also the Apple I went for a list price of $666!

  • I was always led to believe that the bite of the apple was in homage to Alan Turing.(brief summary half way fown page) [dromo.com].
    • The only source for any of this is some baseless speculation by the "Digital Artist" Sadie Plant. Even if Turing's death dose came from that stupid apple (no actual evidence of that), it's hard to believe that anybody would name a new company on the basis of such a depressing story!

      And where does this "forgot to wash his hands after an experiment" come from? Turing was a mathematician!

      Well, maybe if I took as much Ecstasy as Ms. Plant does, this would make sense.

    • That is quite possibly the dumbest, most useless, most incorrect website I've ever seen. And it's ugly. Wow. The things people see fit to put in the Internet.
  • The DogCow (Score:5, Informative)

    by fulldecent ( 598482 ) on Friday August 16, 2002 @08:26AM (#4082047) Homepage
    On a related note, the full history of the dogcow can be seen in Apple's tech support [apple.com]
  • by elliotj ( 519297 ) <<slashdot> <at> <elliotjohnson.com>> on Friday August 16, 2002 @08:29AM (#4082066) Homepage
    "... Steve Jobs in April 1977 [4] asked Rob Janoff, art director of the advertising company Regis McKenna Advertising, to design a new logo. The advertising company Regis McKenna, wasn't picked by coincidence to design the new logo. This company had helped for example Compaq, America Online, Intel and other computer companies through their early years [5]."

    Really? So Apple selected Regis McKenna in April 1977 because of the work they had done for AOL and Compaq?

    That's strange because the AOL website [aoltimewarner.com] says it was founded in 1985.
    And the Compaq (now HP) site [hp.com] claims that Compaq was founded in the 1980s.

    I know Steve Jobs has a good eye for the future, but I suspect he didn't choose Regis McKenna based on the good work they would do in years to come.

    I know this is a cute piece, but the guy who did it just read a couple of Apple biographies and slapped it together with some graphics. It just bugs me when misinformation like this spreads across the Internet.
    • Keep in mind that the article was translated, so before you bash the author, I think you should find someone who speaks Danish and can verify the translation. The more likely explanation of that passage is that Apple picked the company, who would eventually help such companies as Compaq, etc.

      I'm not sure why you're bashing the article, as the research that he did seems pretty thorough, and not just slapped together. Many of the shots in it are taken specifically for the article, so this isn't the case of someone doing a Google Image search and putting the results in chronological order.

      Of most interest to me was the very original "old-school" India ink logo, with Newton pictured. It makes it very interesting to see that it wasn't until much later that they were able to make a product named after the person who inspired the name. I wonder if they had that same poem anywhere in the Newton documentation, would've been neat.
      • by Anonymous Coward
        That is right. The danish text says this:

        It wasn't a coincidence that the commerial agency, Regis McKenna, was picked to design the new logo. McKenna have, amongst others, helped design logos for Compaq, America Online, Intel and other computer companies during recent years.

        So clearly, the original author didnt mean that Jobs is a Psychic :)

        BoeManE
        • have helped = perfect
          had helped = pluperfect

          Somehow, it's not surprising that verb tenses could get confused like this in translation. Lighten up a little.

          "...Me fail English? That's unpossible..."

          :-)

      • I wonder if they had that same poem anywhere in the Newton documentation, would've been neat.

        Same line (or passage) from the poem, you mean. The entire Prelude is longer than the Newton Documention tout court; it's probably about half the size of the entire LDP.

  • by qurob ( 543434 ) on Friday August 16, 2002 @09:17AM (#4082324) Homepage

    I really enjoy reading the history of the big computer companies. The battles in the 80's, rags to riches and back to rags stories of Borland, WordPerfect...Early days of Apple, Microsoft...

    Any other good computer history sites?
  • Decals (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Petronius ( 515525 )
    Too bad there isn't a picture of the early Apple decals that came in the box with each computer. I remember wanting to buy an Apple ][ so badly to be able to have the decal on the back of our car!
    the glory days...
    • You still get the modern white ones with a new Mac.
    • Do what I did... buy a used older mac from a stupid user (I got a Performa 475 for five bucks!) and get the decal they never bothered to use. (grin)
    • Re:Decals (Score:3, Interesting)

      by mttlg ( 174815 )
      You mean the sticky kind that said "Apple Computer inc." at the bottom and came in different sizes? I've got a stack of those around here somewhere, I could put some pictures of them up if you want. The more recent multi-colored non-sticky kind were available for free for a while from a promotional material order form on Apple's web site, but my second shipment never made it...
  • IBM Logo (Score:5, Informative)

    by vitaflo ( 20507 ) on Friday August 16, 2002 @12:22PM (#4083604) Homepage
    "the stripes in the apple logo plays on the comparison with IBM, that also uses a striped logo"

    What's interesting is why the IBM logo uses stripes. It used to be solid, but was changed because it looked to "dominant". IBM being very dominant back then, believed that adding the negative space lightened up the logo and made them look less threatening (if you see it next to the old solid logo this is very much the case).

    What's more interesting is that Paul Rand, who designed the IBM logo (along w/ the logo's for UPS, ABC, Westinghouse, etc, and who is regarded as perhaps the greatest graphic designer of all time) was commissioned later by Steve Jobs himself to create the logo for NeXT Computers. Rand was paid an astonishing $100,000 for this logo (the most ever for a logo at that time I believe), and in his presentation of his idea he simply handed Jobs a 52 page booklet and did not say a word. Jobs fell in love with the new logo immediately.
  • by Apotsy ( 84148 ) on Friday August 16, 2002 @12:54PM (#4083940)
    The long-time standard Apple font, Apple Garamond [macparc.ch] (which is really just Adobe Garamond Light squeezed to 80% of its normal width) seems to be getting phased out, too.

    Just look at the text used in all the eMac [apple.com] marketing materials. Instead of being in the usual Apple Garamond, it is in a font that resembles Adobe Myriad. That's quite a departure from the classic look Apple has always used.

    • Maybe they're going to adopt a second font.

      - Apple Garamond for copy and other places you'd use a serif font
      - Myriad for product materials and accent text where a sans serif font is more appropriate.

      It's not unusual for companies to adopt multiple corporate fonts for different purposes. However, if Apple's getting rid of Garamond completely, then I'd be a little disappointed; Garamond has always given their stuff a classy look. Myriad looks modern and trendy, which makes sense when putting together the materials for their products.

      What's interesting is that some of their product pages have been updated to include Myriad and some haven't. The newer or recently updated products like the eMac [apple.com], iPod [apple.com], and Power Mac [apple.com] have the new font, while the iBook [apple.com] and PowerBook [apple.com] have the old. Comparing the two, I think the newer product pages using Myriad look a little fresher.
    • I think it would be inconsistent of them to use Myriad, since they use Lucida Grande for the display font in Mac OS X. Although I did notice that the font that they're using for the tabs on the web site looks a bit more angular than Lucida, much more like Futura to me, although I'm not familiar with Myriad, so that my be it.
  • I saw a video of woz saying that the name Apple was chosen because it came before Atari in the phone book.

    He either worked there or had a rivalry with them over something, whatever the case the name came about with that in mind.
    • I saw a video of woz saying that the name Apple was chosen because it came before Atari in the phone book.

      He either worked there or had a rivalry with them over something, whatever the case the name came about with that in mind.

      Jobs worked for Atari. He was one of the first 50 employees. In fact Jobs worked on the game Pong. Later he was commissioned to create the game breakout, but was in over his head, so he called Woz in to help.

      Woz designed a circuit so brilliant that no one at Atari could figure it out, so it had to be redesigned before it shipped.

      After the game was delivered, Jobs called Woz and said there was a problem getting paid, but he finally wrote Woz a check for $350, saying that if Woz could design the circuit was fewer than 50 chips (and Woz got it down to 42), Jobs would get paid $700 and split it with Woz.

      Later on Woz found out they paid Jobs $5,000!

      Woz was working for HP and didn't want to leave his job to sell the Apple I, so since Jobs worked for Atari they showed it to Al Alcorn at Atari. Atari thought it was great, but was busy selling home Pong games.

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