Rob Janoff

The Apple Logo Story

The Apple Logo Story

It all started with a fruit.

At the time of his initial meeting with Steve Jobs in early 1977, Apple Computer was still very much in its infancy, having been incorporated for less than a year. Apple’s offices were in a local strip mall, and consisted of just the three partners – Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Mike Markkula.

The initial identity development was to coincide with the introduction of the brand’s first personal computer, the Apple II. The entire design process with the upstart client only took about two weeks. After the agency’s initial meeting, Janoff went to work developing the Apple icon based on his examination of physical cross-sections of real apples. A single design illustration was then created of a “rainbow-striped” apple.

The design with its multi-colored stripes was promptly approved for production by Steve Jobs. Production artwork was then developed for print ads, signage hardware emblems and software labels on cassette tapes, all in preparation for the launch of the Apple II in April of 1977 at the West Coast Computer Fair. For the next 20 years, the now famous “rainbow version” logo adorned all Apple products from its computer products to the Newton PDA. The only concept ever presented to Apple was an immediate success!

Whether you need the best brand artist or an amazing logo design, contact Rob Janoff today by clicking here.

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  • Rob’s ability to visually define abstract concepts was the key factor in his being assigned the Apple project by his creative director.
  • Rob prepared only one concept for Steve Jobs to review – and it was immediately adopted as the production version.
  • The entire design process only took two weeks from initial meeting to final design presentation.
  • The reason for the rainbow stripes was three-fold:
    • To humanize and make the products more user-friendly
    • To emphasize Apple II’s unique ability to show images in color
    • Steve Jobs’ desire to make these computers more attractive to school children
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The original Apple logo was designed with a bite in it for scale. Imagine… without the bite, it could have looked like a cherry. Rob was interested in making it instantly identifiable as an apple. And what’s the first thing you want to do with a juicy, red apple? Take a bite, of course! The bite has come to have many different symbolic meanings for many different people.


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