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A Visual History of the Apple Logo

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The evolution of the Apple logo has been an interesting one. The company was founded in 1976, and incorporated in 1977. 30 Years later, the iconic logo for this company is only slightly modified from one of it’s earliest versions. Let’s take a look at how the logo for Apple has changed from 1976 to 2007…

The Original

apple-logo_original.jpgThis original logo was designed by Ron Wayne, who started Apple with Jobs and Woz in 1976. In 1977 White sold his portion of Apple back to Jobs and Woz when they incorporated. The image is a pen and ink illustration of Sir Issac Newton leaning against an apple tree with a portion of a William Wordsworth poem running around the border: “Newton…A mind forever voyaging through strange seas of thought…alone” (Prelude, Book III, Residence at Cambridge)

Steve Jobs decided to scrap this image because he felt that Wayne’s logo was too cerebral and not easily reproduced at small sizes.

The Rainbow Logo

apple_logo_640×480.jpgIn 1977, with Wayne gone from the company, Jobs turned to the Regis McKenna Advertising Agency to produce a new, more iconic logo. After several attempts and variatons (and a ton of money spent), the result was the most iconic of all Apple logos. The Rainbow Apple logo.

This logo will forever be one that pops into my mind when I think of Apple…and I don’t think I’m alone on that. This iconic logo helped make Apple a world wide brand, and continues to be used by fans on Apple products to this day.  This logo was “retired” in 1999.

The Logo. Reinvented.

applelogo2000.jpgThe Modern look for the Apple logo has had a variety of color variations in recent years.

The “official” design is chrome looking, but we have seen the logo in a variety of colors on Apple’s official site, and within OS X itself.  The current logo in Tiger is blue.

It has appeared on the site as red, blue, and gray.

The Apple logo has become one of the most iconic and recgonizable logos in the world, so it is doubtful that it will ever change too drastically from it’s current look, but it’s interesting to see how it has changed over the years, and I’m curious to see how it will evolve in time.

Apple has also maintained a solid typography over the years. Check out the The Typography of Apple: Typeface Design from 1984 to today infographic.

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Kokou Adzo

Kokou Adzo is a stalwart in the tech journalism community, has been chronicling the ever-evolving world of Apple products and innovations for over a decade. As a Senior Author at Apple Gazette, Kokou combines a deep passion for technology with an innate ability to translate complex tech jargon into relatable insights for everyday users.

10 thoughts on “A Visual History of the Apple Logo

  1. Nice and quick update on the logo. Wish I could see the logos rejected as not up to the Jobs standard. Also, one wonders where Ron Wayne is today?


  2. Wow that original logo is a nightmare! Is it a for a bottle of vinegar? Very 70’s. The artistry of it is great but it’s just not a “logo”. Could you imagine McDonald’s with a logo like that on everything?

    A couple of errors in the article though? You talk about a man named Wayne, then you mention the name White. I think it’s supposed to be Wayne?

    And please be aware that ITS and IT’S are two different words. ITS is a possessive pronoun like HIS and HERS (none of these have apostrophes), IT’S is a contraction of two words: IT and IS (also IT and WAS). So whenever you type IT’S, it’s the same as typing IT IS. Same is true of YOUR (possessive) and YOU’RE (you are).

  3. They interviewed Ron Wayne recently. He wouldn’t say that he regretted selling his shares (I believe it was $800). Now he just plays the slot machines in Vegas, collects coins and stamps and Social Security.

    1. Ask my sister, Suzanne. She designed the logo in art class in 1975 at Wilde Lake High School in Columbia, Maryland. The art teacher introduced a guest to the class who was starting a computer company called Apple. The students were given an assignment to design a logo for the company. She drew an apple with rainbow stripes and a bite taken out of it. She turned in her idea and never heard anything else about it. A couple of years later, she was walking through a store and saw her logo on the side of a big box. I guess the advertising company just “polished up” her idea. I think it would have been nice to thank her and let her know that her idea had been chosen. It would have been nice for the company to have given her credit for the design all these years.

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