There’s long been a number of urban legends about how Apple came up with its iconic logo.
There’s the idea that the bite symbolizes knowledge, or that the overall image is a tribute to mathematician Alan Turing, who committed suicide by taking a bite of an apple laced with cyanide.
But here’s the real story.
The latter legend was incorporated into a Daily Mail article about Turing that I was reading.
[…] just two weeks before his 42nd birthday, the softly-spoken genius killed himself by taking a bite out of an apple that he had dipped in cyanide.
Some believe his bizarre death is commemorated to this day in the logo used by Apple on its electronic goods—so significant was his contribution to the genesis of the computer.
I was really surprised by the line and asked my colleagues here whether they’d ever heard of this.
I got an answer right away, and it came from Craig Grannell the designer of this website.
He interviewed the logo’s designer Rob Janoff a couple of years ago, and this is what Janoff told Grannell:
I bought a bunch of apples, put them in a bowl and drew them for a week or so to simplify the shape. The bite is about scale and the common experience of biting into an apple. It was a happy accident that ‘byte’ is a computer term, and there’s no truth to ‘biting from the fruit of knowledge’ symbolism myths!
The full interview with Janoff is now up on Grannell’s blog.
I like the idea of the bitten apple symbolizing the personal computer providing individuals with access to knowledge.
I’d love to know what you thought inspired the logo, or what you assumed it symbolized.
Please share in the comments section!