Product placement! When those computers were used in TV shows and movies, an open computer showed the logo upside down. When Steve Jobs came back to Apple in 1997, the logo was flipped so it looked better on film. BTW, before the switch, Apple would put stickers of the logo “upside down” over the “correct” logo when providing laptops for product placement.
Speaking of the very recognizable Apple logo ... here is a quick look at its evolution:
The first logo, designed by Steve Jobs and Ronald Wayne (who worked with Jobs at Atari and sold his shares in Apple for about $2,000 just weeks after helping found it -- those shares would be worth about $35-billion today), featured Isaac Newton sitting under a tree with the inscription: “Newton … A Mind Forever Voyaging Through Strange Seas of Thought … Alone.”
Next, Steve Jobs hired Rob Janoff to simplify the logo and his ‘Rainbow Apple’ stuck around for over 20 years. There have been many rumors regarding the design of this logo (e.g., the byte/bite pun in the Apple slogan: “Byte into an Apple), but Janoff said in an interview that he designed the logo as such to “prevent the apple from looking like a cherry tomato.” Janoff also said that there was no particular reason behind the placement of the colors on the logo other than he wanted to have green at the top “because that’s where the leaf was.”
In 1998 with the introduction of the new iMac, the logo was changed from rainbow to monochromatic to suggest that the brand was getting more serious – but by keeping the logo’s well-known shape the company maintained a connection with its innovative past.
Since then, the solid logo has been modified to a glass treatment and then to the one used today: a liquid mercury version.
This unofficial repurposing of the logo into a tribute to Steve Jobs was designed by Jonathan Mak, a 19 year-old graphic design student in Hong Kong after Jobs announced his resignation in late August of 2011. It did not receive much attention at the time, but it became a viral hit a few months later following Jobs' death on October 5.
NOTE: this post was inspired by the amount of positive feedback I got on the post about the famous Nike slogan -- you can read it here: http://goo.gl/bF5tw