Creative Bits recently sat down with Rob Janoff...The original designer of Apple's logo. Below is a snippet. Click here to read the full interview
.CB: When did you design the original Apple logo with the colorful stripes?RJ: Early 1977. The agency got the account (Apple) sometime January. The logo was introduced with the new product Apple II in April of that year.CB: Were you working for an agency at the time?RJ: Yes, I was working for an advertising
and public relations agency called Regis McKenna and I was an art director.CB: Have you met Steve Jobs?RJ: Sure. The first time must have been that first year. It was before he was getting his company started. So it was just Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Mike Markkula. His was the elder guy who corralled these young entrepreneurs. And I think it's because Mike Markkula is how the account wound up at our agency. He was friends with my boss Regis McKenna.CB: Did you get a brief from them?RJ: Really there was no brief. But the really funny thing was the only direction we got from Steve Jobs is: "don't make it cute". There were briefs on subsequent jobs. First there was the logo, then there was an introductory ad and a sales brochure
for the upcoming introduction. But it was pretty lose at that time. There was a previous logo to my logo. It was a logo done by Ron Wayne who was a very brief partner of the two Steves early on. He later took a buy-out, because he was a little concerned about the financial obligations he might have. He had a young family and the other guys didn't. Ron did a pen and ink drawing of Sir Isaac Newton sitting under an Apple tree with a poem all around the border. And, I think when Steve Jobs started to get serious about the Apple II and getting a prototype for the design of the shell he realized that logo would not do. So he needed a new logo.
CB: How many versions did you do for the presentation?RJ: We presented two versions of the logo. One with and one without the bite. Just in case he thought the bite was too cute. Fortunately he went with the one that gave it the most personality with the bite. Frankly it was a no brainer and you would miss the mark if you don't show some kind of an apple. When I presented I showed him several variations. Striped version, solid color version, metallic version. All those with the same shape.CB: So even then you knew you needed a solid color version and a metallic version?RJ: Yes, you kind of had to. When you're doing printing of either one or two color you need to have some way to go and I realized that the stripes would not always get it. The stripes really didn't work as a greyscale halftone. ...for full interview, click here.