Analysis Of The Apple Logo Cultural Studies Essay

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Conduct an analysis of the organization's logo from the following perspectives:

Design

Color

Message

Context and use

Source: http://www.blogcdn.com/www.switched.com/media/2008/02/apple-logo-128.png

The Apple Logo, designed by Rob Janoff is very much in vogue and needs no glorious introduction whatsoever. The logo is virtually everywhere; on our iPhones, the beloved iPod, MACS, iPad and even subtle product placements in our favorite movies or shows. Not only is Apple technologically forward, but its logo is also the epitome of innovation. The design is simple, minimal and easily readable which makes it uncomplicated; categorically, it succeeds in grabbing the audiences' attention. The logo hones a visually appealing apple with a considerable chunk of its right side bitten off. It is platonic on face value, yet mysterious and seductive on the inside. The bite is what adds character to the logo and makes it all the more alluring. Since the last 30 years the conceptualization and design, of the logo remains largely unchanged except variations in its color and just a few alterations per say. The Apple logo is easily the most recognized corporate symbol in the world, chances are there won't be drastic changes any time soon. Jean Louis Gassée, executive at Apple Computer from 1981 to 1990 divulges more on the subject, "One of the deep mysteries to me is our logo, the symbol of lust and knowledge, bitten into, all crossed with the colors of the rainbow in the wrong order. You couldn't dream of a more appropriate logo: lust, knowledge, hope, and anarchy." (Quote: Linzmayer, Owen W 2004, 'Apple confidential 2.0: the definitive history of the world's most colorful company', 2nd Edition, no. 1, pp. 12)

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The first Apple Logo in 1976.

Source: edibleapple.com

The original Apple logo was designed by Jobs and Wayne in 1976, showing Isaac Newton sitting under an apple tree. It was inspired by the following quotation, "Newton... A Mind Forever Voyaging Through Strange Seas of Thought... Alone." The organization's name was also incorporated into the original logo. Later it was redesigned in 1977 and if one may say so, immortalized by Janoff with the newer version that we are familiar with today. We have seen numerous variations of the logo in the last years namely the 'rainbow apple', the 'aqua' colored range and the contemporary metallic-chrome version. There have been a myriad of interpretations and myths as far as the color scheme of the logo is concerned. The rainbow colored apple has been rumored to represent a hippie influence in tandem with the fact that Apple has always branded itself as a 'cool' and 'hip' company that caters to the young and savvy. Designer Rob Janoff explains that 'the real solid reason for the colored stripes was that the Apple II was the first home or personal computer that could reproduce images on the monitor in color. So it represents color bars on the screen.' (Raszl, 2009, 'Interview with Rob Janoff- designer of the Apple logo, Creative Bits, http://creativebits.org/interview/interview_rob_janoff_designer_apple_logo) Other urban legends also conclude that the Apple logo is essentially seen as homage to Alan Turning, the forefather of modern computing, who committed suicide using a cyanide-laced apple. Alan Turning was a homosexual and the rainbow colored stripes was seen as a tribute to gay pride. Some even view the bitten apple as a biblical reference to when Eve bit into the forbidden apple or perhaps even the proverbial 'bite of knowledge.' However, these widely distributed apprehensions are sheer myths and have been romanticized because of the logo's appeal. Rob Janoff sets the record straight, "When I explain the real reason why I did the bite it's kind of a letdown. But I'll tell you. I designed it with a bite for scale, so people get that it was an apple not a cherry. Also it was kind of iconic about taking a bite out of an apple. Something that everyone can experience. It goes across cultures. If anybody ever had an apple he probably bitten into it and that's what you get. It was after I designed it, that my creative director told me: "Well you know, there is a computer term called byte". And I was like: "You're kidding!" So, it was like perfect, but it was coincidental that it was also a computer term." (Raszl, 2009, 'Interview with Rob Janoff- designer of the Apple logo, Creative Bits)

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Rob Janoff - Founder of the Bitten Apple. (Source:www.creativebits.org)

A noticeable feature about the logo in terms of proportion and texture is its solid shape and a clearly differentiated outline which exudes power. In short, the apple means business and demands to be taken seriously! Close attention has been paid to detail and there is no textual clutter. It's easy on the eye and does not give way to any visual 'dirt' or jargon so to speak. It is interesting to note that the Apple Company does not use its name in its logo and this unconventional approach actually works for them. A logo sans the brand name is much bolder and continues to have a strong presence in a plethora of other rival companies. Furthermore, the apple on a plain white background adds an element of distinctiveness and the contrast speaks volume in terms of shape-recognition. The graphics have witnessed a few changes here and there by making the logo more symmetrical and yet never losing its essence. There are no visible fonts in the official Apple logo and there seems no particular need for one either because of its mass popularity. Apple boasts massive brand awareness without even using the company name in its logo and has dominated the international market with the aid of this cutting-edge design alone. Recently, Apple has opted for white and raw-aluminum color schemes. The revamped glass-themed logo that first appeared on the Mac OS X Panther in 2003 and later on the iPhone, iPod Touch, iPod Nano, Video iPod etc is revolutionary and refreshing. It has no rainbow colors in its new design, is elegant and poised in stature. These tweaks have managed to sustain Apple's position as a frontrunner and keeping up-to-date with the consumer's tastes and preferences.

Apple Computers' brand image transcends cultures and continents. The Apple is considered an elite yet attainable product. We all wanted to get our hands on the iPhone when it first came out irrespective of our geographical constraints and earlier the iPod was on everyone's wish-list. That's the beauty of Apple. Their marketing strategy and creative approach is almost impeccable. The Apple logo is not just a corporate identity anymore; but it has also hinged its way well into global popular culture. Why else would it be considered fashionable to wear the bitten apple on their daily apparel by loyal customers and going to extreme lengths by endorsing the logo by having it tattooed on their bodies? The Apple logo appears on all Apple products including computers, laptops, iPods, Macintosh, QuickTime etc. Apple products have unexpectedly popped up innumerable times on media channels as an ideal trick for product placements. The edible apple has been a regular on popular shows like Sex and the City, Heroes, The Office, Entourage, CSI NY, House, 24 and The O.C to name a few. Apple has however repeatedly denied any claims that they pay for product placements which could only mean that Apple gives away its products for usage to certain production houses. Similar patterns of supporting shiny MacBooks and iPods can be viewed on the big screen including new releases like Wall-E, Toy Story 3, Wall Street 2, Kick Ass and Book of Eli. Hence, Hollywood's growing relationship with Apple is headed towards a lifetime romance and is one the reasons why the logo is so popular and inadvertently the products deemed as chic.

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Examples of Product Placements.

The intimacy between Apple and its logo is legendary. Despite its humble beginnings, Apple has materialized as quite the sensation ever since its inception. Avant garde campaigns like 'Think Different' and out of the box creativity have made the infamous gnawed apple timeless for all times to come. Apple understands its consumers' needs and the universally recognizable logo is the perfect testament to what the company has achieved over the years after its initial years as a failing company to being the big gun it is today. No company vouches such hearty endorsements and positive responses by consumers like Apple does. The chucked fruit is here to stay and then some!

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