Monday, June 1, 2009
It is one of the biggest consumer electronics and Software Company, best known for products like Macintosh, iPod and iphone. Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne had together setup Apple in 1976, to sell their hand-built computer Apple I. They had offered their product to HP first but were declined by them. I think HP would still be regretting this today.
The road to success wasn’t easy for Apple, and Wayne liquidated his share in the company for a mere $ 800. After the launch of Apple II in 1977, things started to look up for Apple and we all know what heights the company has reached since then.
Apple II was successful mainly because it had colored graphics. Great and simple design, has always been the USP (Unique Selling Proposition) for Apple, and their logo is no exception. When Apple was started, the logo was a complicated picture of Isaac Newton sitting under a tree. This had been designed by Jobs and Wayne, with the inscription: “Newton … A Mind Forever Voyaging Through Strange Seas of Thought … Alone.” Frankly, I don’t think it was just a coincidence that Apple had slow sales during this period. However, Steve Jobs hired Rob Janoff to simplify the logo, which turned out to be a great idea. Rob created the ‘Rainbow Apple’ which was the logo for company till 1998. There are many rumors as to why Rob had chosen to create such a logo. One of them says that the Apple was a tribute to Newton (discovery of gravity from an Apple), and since the USP for Apple at that time was colored graphics, it had the rainbow colors. Another explanation exists that the bitten apple pays homage to the Mathematician Alan Turing, who committed suicide by eating an apple he had laced with cyanide. Turing is regarded as the father of computers. The rainbow colors of the logo are rumored to be a reference to the rainbow flag, as homage to Turing’s homosexuality. Janoff, however, said in an interview that though he was mindful of the “byte/bite” pun (Apple’s slogan back then: “Byte into an Apple”), he designed the logo as such to “prevent the apple from looking like a cherry tomato.”
When Apple launched the new iMac in 1998, they changed their logo to a monochromatic apple logo, almost identical to the rainbow logo. Now, the Apple logo comes with nice gradient chrome silver design. It is one of the most recognized brand symbols in the world today, and the shape is what identifies the company more than the color.
The company had always wanted a global perspective, and the logos reflected the same as early as 1934. A specialized advertising designer had created the logo which included typeface never seen before in Europe or North America. The first camera launched by the company in 1934, was named as Kwanon, after the Buddhist goddess of mercy. The logo included the wordings and a picture of the goddess with 1000 arms and flames. As the years went by, like all other logos we have seen above, the company strived to make the logo as simple and memorable as possible. The logo had only been trademarked in 1935, and after that a lot of designing work went into making the logo more balanced. After 1956, the logo hasn’t been changed, but the designing effort is clearly visible in their simple but classic logo.
As you would observe from the logos above that IBM was earlier known as The International Time Recording Company (ITR), whose major products were mechanical time recorders, invented and patented by Willard L. Bundy in 1888. So in the earlier periods the logo of the company had ITR inscribed on it. Later in 1911, ITR was merged with the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company, which is why you will see that both ITR and CTR are there in the 1911 logo.
In 1924, the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company adapted the name International Business Machines Corporation. The ornate, rococo letters that formed the “CTR” logo were replaced by the words “Business Machines” in more contemporary sans-sarif type, and in a form intended to suggest a globe, girdled by the word “International.”In 1947, IBM decided to drop the globe from its logo, which was by then quite familiar amongst the people. The logo was not the only change in 1947; it was accompanied by a change in business from the punched-card tabulating business to computers. The typeface of this logo was called Beton Bold.
In 1956, before Thomas J. Watson, Sr died he appointed Tom Watson, Jr. as the CEO. Tom Watson, Jr. decided to project the beginning of a new era in the company, for that he changed the company’s logo as well as the actions. Paul Rand designed the new logo which represented that the changes in the company would be subtle and will not disrupt the continuity. Also, the new logo looked more solid, grounded and balanced.
Another change in the logo was designed by Paul Rand which had stripes instead of the solid font. It depicted ‘speed and dynamism’. Since, then the logo has more or less remained the same, and the design has been recognized and replicated all over the world.
Volkswagen means ‘People’s car’ in German. The history of the company is tied with Adolf Hitler.Before the rise of Hitler, the German economy was in a very bad shape; as a result people couldn’t afford to buy cars. In 1933, Hitler raised the idea of an inexpensive car in the Auto show.
In 1934, Ferdinand Porsche met with Hitler to design the car. Hitler gave him all the specifications of the car and Porsche promised to deliver the design. In 1937, the Gesellschaft zur Vorbereitung des Deutschen Volkswagens mbH was created (it became simply Volkswagenwerk GmbH a year later). In 1938, Hitler opened a state funded Volkswagen factory in Walburg. It was suppose to produce commercial cars, but it was used to churn out military cars. It was only later found that Hitler had intended to use the Porsche car as a military vehicle only, which could carry 3 men and a machine gun.
After the WWII, Britishers took over the company. They renamed the car as Beetle. Surprisingly all the car makers like Fiat and Ford declined to take ‘free control’ of the Volkswagen factory. So, it was returned to the German government, and went on to become one of the world’s bestselling cars ever.
The first logo was designed by Franz Xavier Reimspiess, a Porsche employee during an office logo design competition. The main part of the logo hasn’t changed much, but understandably after the WWII, they got rid of the design around the circle which seems to be inspired from the Nazi flag. I love the colors that were added in 2000, to the logo which was built after WWII, it depicts a positive change in the company and the ability to adapt to the new millennium.
BMW or Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (Bavarian Motor Works) was originally founded as an aircraft company. The aircrafts manufactured were painted with the colors of the Bavarian flag, which is the color of BMW logo. Another explanation is that when the pilot used to sit in the plane he would see alternating segments of white and blue due to rotation the plane propeller (blue being the sky). The major business of BMW was to supply planes to the German army during World War I. But after the war they were forced to change their business. It made railway brakes, before making motorized bicycle, motorcycles and cars.
The logo itself hasn’t changed a lot during the years, but now has a more stylish look due to the different gradients. The unchanged logo has made it easier for people to remember and has given the company more recognition.