The logo of Apple Inc. is among the best-known and best-designed in the world. It has lasted thirty-four years, and we have little reason to think it’ll be replaced any time soon.
It wasn’t designed by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Paul Rand, or Jonathan Ive. It was designed by an advertising man called Rob Janoff. You’ve likely never seen any other work by Mr. Janoff.
Don’t miss this interview with him, where he comes across as an extremely smart, reasonable, and level-headed guy. I’ll quote my favorite part - favorite because it cuts through a lot of overwrought interpretation and deep-meaning obsession you often see in design, technology, and general media analysis.
I’m probably the least religious person, so Adam and Eve didn’t have anything to do with it. The bite of knowledge sounds fabulous, but that’s not it. And, there is a whole lot of other lure about it. Turing, the famous supposed father of computer science who committed suicide in the early 50’s, was British and was accused of being homosexual, which he was. He was facing a jail sentence so he committed suicide to avoid all that. So, I heard one of the legends being that the colored logo was an homage to him. People think I did the colored stripes because of the gay flag. And, that was something really thought for a long time. The other really cool part was that apparently he killed himself with a cyanide laced apple. And, then I found out Alan Turing’s favorite childhood story was Snow White where she falls asleep forever for eating a poisoned apple to be woken up by the handsome prince. Anyway, when I explain the real reason why I did the bite it’s kind of a let down. But I’ll tell you. I designed it with a bite for scale, so people get that it was an apple not a cherry. Also it was kind of iconic about taking a bite out of an apple. Something that everyone can experience. It goes across cultures. If anybody ever had an apple he probably bitten into it and that’s what you get. It was after I designed it, that my creative director told me: “Well you know, there is a computer term called byte”. And I was like: “You’re kidding!”