Retro Tech Logos

Talk about humble beginnings!  Apple’s logo and image have come a long way…

According to Steve Jobs, Apple was so named because Jobs was coming back from an apple farm, and he was on a fruitarian diet. He thought the name was “fun, spirited and not intimidating”.

Apple’s first logo, designed by Ron Wayne, depicts Sir Isaac Newton sitting under an apple tree. It was almost immediately replaced by Rob Janoff’s “rainbow Apple”, the now-familiar rainbow-colored silhouette of an apple with a bite taken out of it. Janoff presented Jobs with several different monochromatic themes for the “bitten” logo, and Jobs immediately took a liking to it. While Jobs liked the logo, he insisted it be in color to humanize the company. The logo was designed with a bite so that it would not be confused with a cherry.The colored stripes were conceived to make the logo more accessible, and to represent the fact the Apple II could generate graphics in color.[ This logo is often erroneously referred to as a tribute to Alan Turing, with the bite mark a reference to his method of suicide. Both Janoff and Apple deny any homage to Turing in the design of the logo.

In 1998, with the roll-out of the new iMac, Apple discontinued the rainbow theme and began to use monochromatic themes, nearly identical in shape to its previous rainbow incarnation, on various products, packaging and advertising. An Aqua-themed version of the monochrome logo was used from 2001–2003, and a Glass-themed version has been used since 2003.

Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak were Beatles fans, but Apple Inc. had trademark issues with Apple Corps Ltd., a multimedia company started by the Beatles in 1967, involving their name and logo. This resulted in a series of lawsuits and tension between the two companies. These issues ended with settling of their most recent lawsuit in 2007.

Click here to see a whole series of Retro Tech Logos..

Goodwill Haunting


In a previous post, I wrote about the graphic designer, Joseph Selame.  Mr. Selame was the designer of the Goodwill logo.  I came across this awesome Halloween themed design which takes the Goodwill logo and transforms it into spooky faces.  The tag line is a play on the movie title “goodwill hunting.”.

Starbucks logo: timeline of future redesigns

It happens all the time—logos get makeovers.  Sometimes for the better and unfortunately sometimes not.  In this Adweek article, one designer illustrates the evolution of the Starbucks logo as it began and where it might go In the future.  Based on the modifications made to date, the designer shows the logo being simplified to a green circle by 2041.

An unfamiliar name behind a recognizable logo.

Many great inventions, designs, innovations come about, but we don’t always know who the person is behind it.  Often, many great artists do not become widely known until they pass.  As a graphic designer, I enjoy learning about designers behind well known brand logos.  I found this article in the New York Times about Joseph Selame to be interesting.  I appreciate his minimalist aesthetic.

The New York Times: Business Day
Published: April 20, 2011
Mr. Selame had a minimalist sensibility and defied convention to make a bank warm and approachable.