Why does the Apple logo have a bite? Meaning behind the design explained, and why it’s not about Alan Turing

Apple is one of the world’s widest-reaching companies, and as such, its logo is among the most recognisable of any global brand.

Given its name, Apple really couldn’t have picked anything else to slap on its laptops, phones and tablets.

Yet people still have questions about the branding. Most notably, why does the Apple have a bite taken out of it.

There are plenty of theories, including one linked to the British mathematician Alan Turing, who played a crucial role in cracking intercepted coded messages that enabled the Allies to defeat Nazi forces in a number of key battles.

However, like so many of the best theories, it is completely false.

Here’s the real story behind the Apple logo.

Why does the Apple logo have a bite out of it?

There are plenty of theories. Some believe it is a reference to the computing term byte, some see it as a nod to the biblical story in which Eve took a bite from the forbidden fruit, others have proposed that it references Sir Isaac Newton and the apple that fell and helped him discover gravity while sat under a tree.

The reality is, unfortunately, less exciting.

During an interview with Creative Bits, the designer of the logo, Rob Janoff, explained: “They are really interesting, but I’m afraid it didn’t have a thing to do with it.

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“From a designer’s point of view, one of the big phenomena is having the experience of designing a logo for whatever reasons you design it, and years later you find out supposedly why you did certain things. And, they are all BS. It’s a wonderful urban legend. Somebody starts it and then people go, ‘Oh yeah, that must be it’.

“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 has 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.”

Why was the Apple logo multicoloured?

When it was first designed in 1977, the Apple logo boasted six horizontal, multicoloured stripes. These have since been replaced by a cleaner look, but people have wondered whether the initial design might be linked to LGBT+ pride.

In reality, founder Steve Jobs simply liked that the colours made the logo stand out. But a theory about the bite and stripes relating to Alan Turing has sprung up and grown in popularity.

Turing, one of the great pioneers of computer science, was gay. He was prosecuted in 1952 for gross indecency for homosexual acts and killed himself in 1954. 

Mr Janoff explains: “I heard one of the legends being that the coloured logo was an homage to him. People think I did the coloured stripes because of the gay flag. And, that was something really thought for a long time.”

However Mr Janoff said the theory did not hold a shred of truth.

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