Designer of Apple Logo Explains The Design: Rob Janoff Interview

Friday, August 14, 2009
By OP Editor

Rob Janoff Interview explains the story behind the design of the iconic multi color / rainbow Apple Computers Inc. Logo, and his take on why Apple is Apple.

Apple Computers Inc. original multi color logo

Apple Computers Inc. original multi color logo

Many Apple aficionados and informal observers alike have always wondered about the design for the original iconic Apple rainbow logo for Apple Computers Inc. — How was it created? Why the colors? Why is there a bite?

There are many theories but most people don’t know the definitive answer.

In the excellent interview with Creative Bits, Rob Janoff explains the following and more.

1. Why Apple as a company name?

2. Does Apple represent the seductive forbidden fruit that people lust to have a bite? Does Apple represent Isaac Newton’s Apple, a symbol of knowledge that results in flash of genius? Is it a word play of computer reference, bite / bytes of knowledge?

3. How about the multi color design of the Apple logo? Is it a homage to the famous supposed father of computer science who is not straight? Are the colors a reference to the hippie culture?

4. How about thinking outside the box? At that time most logos were single color or 2 colors, and some senior account executive at the design firm thinks Apple will go bankrupt from stationary printing cost before starting the business.

The question is, can you handle the truth?

Scroll down for select excerpts or go to the full interview with Rob Janoff on Apple Logo, the full interview is a bit long at around 2700 words, but really enlightening if you take a few minutes for it.

Plus, Rob Janoff confirms that he’s a Mac user. (Of course). Rob Janoff is currently giving presentations on the development of the Apple logo and the lore that has spread about this international recognized icon.

Rob Janoff Designer of original Apple Computers Inc. Logo

Rob Janoff Designer of original Apple Computers Inc. Logo

A1. “Most of the personal computer products that were coming out at the time had very techno names. TRS-80 and things like that, so that’s why the name Apple was so golden because it was basic and not technical and to go with that the colors were very important.”

A2. “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.”

A3. “Partially [the hippie culture] was a really big influence … but the real solid reason for the stripes was that the Apple II was the first home or personal computer that could reproduce images on the monitor in color. So it represents color bars on the screen.”

A4. “Steve was always outside the box, at the time most logos were single color or 2 color logos. Steve liked that the logo stands out.”

Interview with Rob Janoff, designer of the Apple logo [Creative Bits]
Rob Janoff [Official Site], which hosts a radio interview with Rob about the Apple logo.


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Tags: Apple, Art, Design, History, Mac, Think Different

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