In 1977, Rob Janoff, an American graphic designer and art director, was tasked by Steve Jobs to create the iconic Apple Computer’s logo. “Create an apple with a bit out of it”, they requested. The coloured stripes in the logo were to indicate that Apple machines had coloured screens, which was printed with it’s own specially mixed colours – a considerable extra expense which Jobs approved because he felt the more vivid colours improved people’s emotional response.
Production artwork was then developed for print ads, signage hardware emblems and software labels on cassette tapes, all in preparation for the launch of the Apple II in April of 1977 at the West Coast Computer Fair. For the next 20 years, the now famous “rainbow version” logo adorned all Apple products from its computer products to the Newton PDA. The only concept ever presented to Apple was an immediate success!
If you ever used one of the billions of Windows computers in the world, played Xbox, talked on Skype, posted your LinkedIn, or played Minecraft, you’ve seen this iconic logo. Design in 1975, by a designer by the name of Simon Daniels, sat down with William Gates and his friend Paul Allen and started conceptualizing this logo.
In 2012 Microsoft shifted back to a more straightforward font logo and added in an iconic window feature. The bright colour combination of the square panes is the first time Microsoft shifted away from the B&W look.
The symbol of the squares represents all of Microsoft’s diverse products. It offers a very direct callback to the Windows logo—which makes sense because that is Microsoft’s biggest revenue source and a big part of its history.
After 45 years of logo history, it looks like the newest Microsoft logo will be around for a while.