(Not) in loving memory of Alan

Alan Turing, the father of computer science and AI, died by cyanide poisoning. When his housekeeper found his body, an half-eaten apple lay next to him. Some speculated that he used the apple to ingest the fatal dose of cyanide because friends reported that Turing’s favorite fairytale was Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

And that’s what inspired Rob Janoff to design the bitten apple logo for Steve Jobs in 1977. Or that’s what many people believe (and a bunch of other stories).

“The most enlightening part of the project” says Janoff, “came about ten years later when I started reading the stories about why I designed the logo the way I did. The stories are way more interesting than my rationale.”

In fact, Rob drew the silhouette of an apple, then decided to take a bite off of it to make sure it wouldn't be mistaken for a cherry, a tomato or any other round fruit.

A good design decision, or just any good decision, doesn't really need to come wrapped into many convoluted layers of meaning. It seems to me that we only get concerned with meaning when we’re insecure about our decisions in the first place and need something to dress them up in an attempt to compensate.