It looks like we might be witnessing the end of an era. Apple is apparently taking down the iconic atom symbol signs from behind the Genius Bars of many of their Apple Stores, removing one of the most whimsical and fun branding elements from their retail presence.
ifo Apple Store reports that over the past month, workers have been removing the “atom” symbols that have hung in Apple Stores since 2001, and increasingly replacing it with wall graphics. The latest store to lose the symbol is the Corte Madera store in North California.
It’s a shame. As ifo Apple Store points out, the Genius Bar logo has been a part of the Apple Store brand since the beginning:
The symbol was based on the chemistry depiction of an atom, meant to signify “genius.” It has gone through several revisions over the years to match the various interior designs. The version that accompanied Steve Job’s introduction of the first store was three-dimensional, framed by photos of notable people of history. Later the photos were replaced by video screens displaying product and reservation information. When the stainless steel interior design debuted, the atom logo initially remained as a 3D object. Later it was laser-cut into the steel and was back-lit. The video screens were retained.
It’s possible that this is a move by Apple’s new retail chief, Angela Ahrendts, to make her mark on Apple’s worldwide retail locations. To me, though, it’s a shame to lose this defining element: the Genius Bar logo went a long way for making the Apple Store look more friendly and less austere.
Source: ifo Apple Store