“Earlier in December, conservative commentator Glenn Beck raised eyebrows when he managed to link Apple’s famous logo to, among other things, Nazis, homosexuality and Benedict Cumberbatch,” Robert Klara reports for Adweek. “Beck had been sent a review copy of the film The Imitation Game, which prompted him to disclose a secret that “nobody knows”—specifically, that Apple’s apple was actually a furtive nod to Enigma code breaker Alan Turing, a brilliant and closeted mathematician who, uncovered by Britain’s moral police in 1954, killed himself by biting into an apple he’d laced with cyanide.”
“The truth is that Apple’s famous apple is not a complex talisman freighted with hidden meaning, but a clear, uncomplicated design that’s been carefully tweaked over time, though never at the expense of its intuitive simplicity,” Klara reports. “Apple boasts one of the most recognizable logos of our time, so it’s no surprise that it’s been sliced and diced, examined and interpreted—usually in error. There’s the story about Turning (false); there’s the rumor that the logo’s rainbow color bands were a nod to gay liberation (false); and there’s the theory that the apple represents the sin of knowledge ravished by a carnal bite (never mind).”
“Apple’s apple was born when Jobs decided that the company’s original logo (a woodcut by co-founder Ronald Wayne depicting Sir Isaac Newton) was far too complex to be memorable,” Klara reports. “So he hired Palo Alto, Calif., designer Rob Janoff. The brief (if that’s even the term) was four words: ‘Don’t make it cute.'”
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