A good logo sends a powerful message, embodies the brand and gets ingrained in minds. The best ones are everywhere, and are instantly recognizable in a glance. But each logo has a story behind it, and MR PORTER takes us behind some of the most well-known ones. Why is Lacoste symbolized by a crocodile, and Maison Kitsuné a fox? Is the bite in the apple for Apple’s omnipresent logo a cheeky nod to “byte?” While some are blunt, some are mysterious. Probably one of the most enigmatic logos belong to Maison Margiela, a list of ambiguous numbers that reveal little until you realize it’s a catalog to identify different lines. Click through to MR PORTER here and learn more behind the face of some of these brands.
Any brand that attracts as much cultish devotion as Apple is bound to find its logo the subject of much scrutiny – not to mention speculation. Is the “bite” in the apple an allusion to “byte”? Do the logo’s dimensions adhere to the “golden ratio”? (No and no.) One of the most commonly repeated myths concerns the wartime codebreaker Mr Alan Turing.
Though now recognised as the father of modern computing, Mr Turing’s life was one marked by misery. Arrested for homosexual acts in 1952 and facing imprisonment on charges of gross indecency, he accepted a course of chemical castration to “correct” his sexuality. It didn’t last long. He was found dead only two years later; on his bedside table was a half-eaten, cyanide-laced apple. It has been suggested in the years since that the logo Apple employed between 1977 and 1998 was designed in tribute to Mr Turing’s tragic tale: the bitten apple representing his Snow White-inspired suicide, the colours of the rainbow reflecting the freedom he was never granted as a gay man.
The truth, as in most cases, is far more prosaic. Apple’s co-founder, Mr Steve Wozniak, recalled that the name “Apple Computer” was chosen after Mr Steve Jobs returned from an apple farm in Portland, Oregon. And according to the logo’s designer, Mr Rob Janoff, the bite was added merely to make it look more like an apple and less like a cherry. Sorry, Alan.