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How Apple ripened its branding and is at the forefront of all things design

By Aaron Massingham

June 12th, 2016

When Steve Jobs founded Apple in 1976, he needed a brand to define Apple and visually demonstrate the elegance of making ideas happen. What better way to deliver this message clearly than Ron Wayne’s depiction of Sir Isaac Newton sitting under an apple tree. We have the Apple, we have the amazing mind behind some of histories greatest discoveries, and we have the company name ‘Apple Computer Co’. By all accounts the logo rounds everything off into a nice little package.

apple

So why did they change it? The original logo does everything it intended to do, yet the logo has gone through several evolutions since its first design over 40 years ago. Let’s have a look at this in a bit more detail.

When Apple first started, their message needed to be clear clear – ‘we have great ideas, and we build great things – this is who we are’. Remember that this was during the early days when you couldn’t just Google something or ask your friend if they owned an Apple device. Back then, making a brand that stood out and stuck in your head was even more crucial.

It’s clear in comparison that there are very little similarities between the original logo and its later revisions. If not for ‘Apple Computer Co’ added onto the ribbon that wraps around the original version, you could almost mistake it for a vintage style cider label.

Here are a few possible reasons for Apple’s logo being refined and improved over the years.

Brand awareness

As Apple progressed from a small independent company to an internationally known household name, there became less need in Apple needing to include their name in their logo. This is common among the big players of today. The likes of Nike, Pepsi and Starbucks are just a handful, all of these companies have omitted their name from their modern logo because they have become a massive household name.

Modern day design styles

We’ve reached a point in design where less is more. You’ll notice that the most successful brands try to simplify their design in order to deliver a concise message as effectively as possible.

Apple’s website is a fantastic example of minimal design that has been executed beautifully. If anything, Apple has been a prominent driving force of inspiration for many designers around the world.

 

Future proofing

Simplifying a logo as much as possible allows brands to look towards the future. Remember the web 2.0 era? I do! When web 2.0 came along, there was a boom in glossy buttons, drop shadows, colour strokes and embossing; you name an effect in Photoshop and designers added it where they could. It quickly overwhelmed the digital design industry and got old fast. Eventually, people realised that just because you could do something, it doesn’t mean you should. Modern design was born.

Remember – the less you have, the longer your can keep it! Just look at the Skype logo, all of those dated web 2.0 effects have been removed to clean it up and simplify the branding.

skype

In conclusion

Your company might not be as big as Apple, but it doesn’t mean you can’t keep up when it comes to modern design. As a design agency, our job is to create professional branding using the most effective branding and styles. We’re always keeping an eye on the trends that work, and if you’d like us to evaluate your branding and help you to improve your visual message then get in touch and see what we can do for you.