It’s hard to imagine Apple as a start up in 1976. At the time, IBM and Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) dominated the computer mainframe market. Apple didn’t even have a mechanical sounding name and home computers were considered ridiculous. Creating a logo for an industry that didn’t even exist yet, had to be uninspiring.
The first logo was created by Apple’s founder Ron Wayne, the Pete Best of the personal computer market. Wayne left the company two weeks after he was given a 10 percent stake in the company. The logo shows Isaac Newton sitting under an apple tree with text from Wordworth’s epic poem “The Prelude,” around the border.
The logo didn’t last. In 1977, a 28 year-old art director with Regis McKenna, Rob Janoff, created the now iconic Apple logo. In early drawings he thought it appeared to be too much like a cherry, so he drew the trademark bite and the rest is history.
The logo has been altered only slightly since 1976, getting rid of the rainbow color in 1998. Fortunately, the computer market has changed. Just a year after launching Apple, Digital Equipment Corporation’s CEO, Ken Olsen, famously said, “There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home.” His vision, or lack thereof, led to the company’s demise and Apple’s dominance.