Taking a Bite Out of the Apple: A Graphic Designer’s Tale (Hearing Others’ Voices) is a nonfiction memoir for young adults written by Rob Janoff. While he had gone to college to study industrial design, Janoff was more intrigued by the creative possibilities that graphic design seemed to offer. Indeed, his whole outlook on the world seemed to point him in that direction. He had had some success in designing logos for new tech companies when he went to work for the Regis McKenna Agency in Silicon Valley. That tech experience led his boss, Regis McKenna, to offer him a somewhat off-the-wall assignment. Janoff’s mind was far away as his boss discussed the assignment, but eventually the words “apple” and “computers” broke through his distraction. Janoff even knew of Steve Jobs, the iconic inventor who, with his partner, had turned a garage into the birthplace of the personal computer. But how to render Steve’s concepts into a logo? Janoff’s mind kept toying with the idea, his hand quickly sketching and erasing ideas as they paraded through his imagination. Then he hit on it.
Rob Janoff’s nonfiction memoir for young adults, Taking a Bite Out of the Apple: A Graphic Designer’s Tale, is a beautifully written and fascinating account by the designer of the world-famous Apple logo. Anyone who loves computers and has an interest in how the personal computer came to be will have as much fun reading this book as I did. But there’s more to this memoir than tech history. Janoff’s description of how he tackled the project, working feverishly with a bowl of apples as inspiration is a joy to read. Any creative person should find Janoff’s story inspiring, and his smooth conversational style makes following along as he works towards that one perfect image a grand and entertaining experience. Taking a Bite Out of the Apple: A Graphic Designer’s Tale is most highly recommended.