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The 10 best logos of all time

05. Apple

Best logos: apple logo

Rob Janoff, Regis McKenna, 1977

Apple's initial logo was a drawing of Isaac Newton by Ron Wayne in 1976. Steve Jobs knew it would never work as a brand and commissioned a new mark the following year. Since then, the apple's shape has remained the same, aside from some geometric tweaks for the 1998 refresh, and the move from coloured stripes to a solid silhouette. Rob Janoff's logo has remained an important element in Apple's global success story since its inception. 

In pictures – how the Apple logo developed:

We spoke to graphic designer Rob Janoff, (opens in new tab) the man handed the job of designing a logo for a company called Apple Computer...

What was your original brief and what did Apple want the logo to convey?

"I didn't have much of a brief, when I think about it. It was a few words from Steve Jobs, which were, 'Don't make it cute.' I think he was referring mostly to the typography." 

"Don't make it cute"

Steve Jobs

How did you come up with the idea of an apple with a bite taken out of it?

"When you take a bite out of an apple, it stays sort of bite-shaped, it doesn't collapse as a peach would. It was to make it look more like an apple, and to give it scale – because people's mouths are a certain size and an apple is a certain size, and the bite would be a size relater."

How many versions did you present?

"I've never done this before or ever again, but I was just so sure about this design that there was just one version. However we did have a back pocket one, which was the apple without the bite in it, in case they thought it was a bit too cute. That never got shown."

For more about the Apple logo, including how much it cost to digitise, check out our interview with Janoff.

Next page: Best logos ever - Woolmark

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Garrick Webster is a freelance copywriter and branding specialist. He’s worked with major renewable energy companies such as Ecotricity and the Green Britain Group, and has helped develop award-winning branding and packaging for several distilleries in the UK, the US and Australia. He’s a former editor of Computer Arts magazine and has been writing about design, creativity and technology since 1995.