I Invented … the Apple Logo
A few years ago, Matt Rodbard wrote an article on the invention of the Apple Logo in Sync Magazine. The magazine died, the articles got buried, and Matt was kind enough to let me re-publish it here, so that you can enjoy it and it doesn’t get lost.
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In 1977, Rob Janoff was handed a lousy pro bono assignment … Working for steve jobs.
Name: Rob Janoff
Invention: The Apple Logo
“There were many people who said Apple would go bankrupt if they went ahead with the logo,” says Rob Janoff, the graphic designer credited with thinking up the world-famous emblem. Janoff, 57, first met Jobs while working at Palo Alto, Calif.-based public relations agency Regis McKenna. It was his task to help the sandal-wearing CEO-a good friend of Janoff’s boss-market a makeshift wooden box stuffed with wires, an early prototype of the Apple II. “For inspiration, the first thing I did was go to the supermarket, buy a bag of apples and slice them up. I just stared at the wedges for hours,” recalls Janoff. The fruit of his labor: a simple 2-D monochromatic apple, with a healthy bite taken from the right side. Jobs loved the conceit-only he suggested it be more colorful. Janoff’s boss disagreed, insisting the logo be made all black to save on printing costs. “But Jobs was resolute, arguing that color was the key to humanizing the company,” says Janoff. “So I just put colors where I thought they should be, not even thinking about a prism.” What thanks did Janoff, now the owner of his own Chicago-based graphic design firm, get for all his hard work? “Not even a holiday card.”
Read also: How ZLOK designed the TUAW logo.
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