The Evolution of the Apple Logo

This is part four of our five-part series on iconic brands and brilliant experiences and it wouldn’t be complete without Apple Inc. Like the other iconic brands we’ve included in this series – Tiffany’s, Coca-Cola, and IKEA – the Apple brand is so much more than its simple and unmistakable logo. The Apple brand promises and delivers a brilliant brand experience.

Image of Apple logo

Apple's elegantly simple logo represents a complete and continuous Apple experience. With its products, stores, and customer experience, the company aims for intuitive simplicity. When you walk into an Apple store, it is bright and well-lit. Employees are welcoming and helpful as you navigate the minimalist and logical product presentation. Apple’s online presence is similarly clean, crisp, well-organized, and easy to navigate.

How to grow an Apple Logo 

Let’s start with a look at how the Apple logo evolved into the simple and crisp logo of today–unquestionably one of the world’s most recognizable logos.

Image of original Apple Computer Co. logo

Apple’s original logo lasted about one year. It was a complicated woodcut of Sir Isaac Newton with an apple dangling over his head. The tagline read: "A mind forever voyaging through strange seas of thought...alone." Steve Jobs got rid of that logo in 1977 and Rob Janoff designed the famous rainbow apple. The bite mark supposedly echoed the tagline of the time: "Byte into an Apple."

The rainbow apple logo was used for 22 years until the launch of the new iMac® computers in 1998. Jobs didn’t think the colorful logo would suit the sleek new computer design. While the colors disappeared, the distinctive apple silhouette remained–simple black on a white background. In 2001, the Apple logo was polished with a metallic silver finish and an off-set background shadow (effectively starting the trend of adding shadow and reflection treatments in logo design). The apple lost its shadow in 2008 and has remained relatively the same simple silhouette since then.  

The Brilliant, Highly-Polished, Apple Brand Experience

Behind and beyond that logo, there is the Apple brand experience. From the way employees are selected and trained, to the way customers are greeted and treated; from the simple functionality of the App store and iTunes, to the revolutionary technology inside the products, the Apple brand experience is at once remarkably consistent and yet completely unique for each customer. What does that mean?

Our goal is to make the best products with the best experience … we believe that if we make a better product and a better experience, that there will always be a healthy market for that.
— Greg "Joz" Joswiak, Apple VP of iPhone, iPod, and iOS Product marketing

Apple focuses its brand story and brand messages on the customer connection and how Apple products make it possible for individuals to innovate and reach their own potential. In-store and online, there is little to stand in the way of customers connecting with Apple products in their own way, exploring what they want to do and discovering what they can do with Apple. The result is a brand that is very consciously woven into daily life, a brand that continues to deliver on its promise long after the sale is made.

The Apple brand promise is reaffirmed every day in the stories of how people make Apple’s products part of their lives and their work. Maybe the best way to explain this is to show it. The Apple’s Your Verse advertising campaign, launched in January of this year, tells the stories of customers and entices viewers to create their own verse. (Visit the Apple website to explore more Verses from the campaign.)

Brand Lessons Learned

Brand identity evolves. Logos can and should evolve with the business, products, and times. In the case of Apple Inc., the logo has become cleaner and simpler.

Brand experience doesn't end with the sale. Products, services, and sales interactions can succeed in connecting with customers to create a powerful, real-life, long-lasting brand experience.  

Apple and iMac are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.

Want more? Follow these links to read about the other brands featured in our series on Iconic Brands & Brilliant Experiences:
Part 1: Tiffany's
Part 2: Coca-Cola
Part 3: IKEA

Leave a comment and tell us what you think!

Be Brilliant!® | Be Brilliant!® Marketing is a branding and marketing agency based in Southwest Florida. Our work and experience has taken us around the globe, working for clients ranging from local entrepreneurs to global, Fortune 100 companies. If you’re on Facebook, be sure to Like our page. Follow us on Twitter @BeBrilliantMktg

® Registered Trademark of Brilliant Lens LLC