Apple Logo Paper Trudy Swearingen Visual Literacy in Business Ray Schafer August 15, 2010 The Apple icon is probably one of the most recognizable logos I can recall. From the rainbow colored version designed by Rob Janoff and implemented in 1976, to the slick silver monochromatic version used today, it clearly conveys the Apple brand without so much as a word spoken about it. With simplicity of design, lack of mentioning the company name in print, its underlying message of “fresh” and an edge of anarchy, Apple clearly achieved what few companies have in history. They made us all think of them when we see a silver bitten apple.
I was probably first introduced to Apple in the mid eighties by my techie nerd boyfriend at the time, who absolutely loved computers. It was a toss-up between going with Apple computers or going with the Amiga. Amiga won because it talked. The original Apple emblem included a drawing of Isaac Newton under the proverbial apple tree. The Isaac Newton logo was eliminated about 1 year after the company began, because the logo was considered too complicated, old fashioned, and too difficult to see the details without being so large it was impractical (The Apple Museum, Apple Facts).
The logo, being simple and basic in design, also conveys a fresh approach to home computer use. Meaning that, the user could expect to have a much easier time setting up and running the computer. With Apple, the commands are icon based instead of command driven which can get very complicated for the average user like me. In the movie, Forrest Gump, we watched Forrest receive his check from Apple due to his typically accidental investment in the start up of the company. I remember seeing the rainbow Apple logo and knowing immediately what company they were inferring, without them ever having to expound on it.
It is so affixed on our subconscious that they do not even add the name of the company on the logo. I believe the creators intended for us to correlate the bitten apple to the book of Genesis from the Bible where Adam ate from the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil (Advertising & Society Review’s article “The Interpretation of Advertisements” by William M. O’Barr Paragraph 12). They may further want us to extrapolate that there was some inherent “good” in the Apple products vs IBM or others.
Perhaps as the author Berger, in Seeing is Believing: An Introduction to Visual Communication 2008, Chapter 1, Page 4, discusses Sigmund Freud’s theory, the designers of the Apple logo wanted to engage the id of the consumer which may compel them subconsciously to want to partake in that illicit knowledge as well. In Advertising ; Society Review’s article “The Interpretation of Advertisements” by William M. O’Barr Paragraph 14, the author relates the connection between Apple to its consumer base of “hipsters” vs boring businessmen.
This could be displayed in the reverse color structure of the rainbow logo which is said to have symbolized a bit of anarchy or rebellion against the establishment. I believe that is the direct link the company has always wanted to establish, and has arguably accomplished better than any other company to date. In short, the Apple logo while changing from time to time, remains indelibly imprinted on my mind and I am sure, on the minds of most Americans, as one of the most recognizable product identifications ever.
References Berger, A. (2008). Seeing is Believing: An Introduction to Visual Communication. New York: McGraw Hill O’Barr, W. (2010). The Interpretation of Advertisements. Advertising ; Society Review Advertising Educational Foundation 7:3 Retrieved August 15, 2010 from http://www. aef. com/search_out? query=Interpretation+of+Advertisements | Foljanty, L. Apple Museum. Retrieved August 16, 2010 from http://www. theapplemuseum. com/index. php? id=44