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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Rob is editorial, graphic design and publishing lead at Transport for London. He previously worked at Future Publishing over the course of several years, where he launched digital art magazine, ImagineFX; and edited graphic design magazine Computer Arts, as well as the Computer Arts Projects series, and was also editor of technology magazine, T3.