Skip to main content

When Apple Did Color Because It Was Delicious, Exciting, And Human

Add caption
You know what they say about trends: wait five years and they’ll swing back around again. With confirmation that a a gold iPhone 5s will indeed break onto the scene in September to throw a crimp into Apple’s monochromatic streak (madness! Gold rush jokes!), let’s take a look back at all those times that the company did color and did it well.
While Apple is known for a clean, pared-down aesthetic that hits the human brain’s zen center in a way that just feels intrinsically right, the company’s design history is actually quite colorful. These designs weren’t always pretty, but they were whackadoo and fun in a way that befit the exploration of that brave new world called The Internet.
Between 1976 and 1998, the Apple logo itself was a rainbow striped affair before it was discarded a year after Steve Jobs’ return in favor of today’s modern look. In 2008, Gizmodo reported that Apple was perceived as the top gay-friendly tech company in a survey of 757 gay and lesbian participants, so make of that what you will.
The multi-color logo was an update from the original logo, a decidedly antique-looking ink illustration of Isaac Newton with an apple dangling above his head. The Newton logo was a throwback — a nod to history and to hand craft — which was an interesting choice for a tech company. Although less handmade, the bitten apple logo’s rainbow gave it humanity. Because rainbows just make you feel something.
Speaking of human, let’s talk about the first generation iMac released in 1998. Utterly huggable and Jolly Rancher-hued, the computer was a solution to computers that were slow, had no networking capability, and were, as Jobs put it, “uuuuug-ly.” iMacs were about getting people on the Internet. That was exciting, and the translucent teal body was cool and futuristic to match.
“It looks like it’s from another planet, and a good planet,” Jobs said in his introduction. “A planet with better designers.”

With flavors like “lime,” “tangerine,” “grape,” and “strawberry,” the iMac was meant to make you salivate just like a pack of Gushers would. Evoking every delicious snack ever was pretty genius, to be honest. That’s not to say that things didn’t get weird with the blurry color trips that were the “Blue Dalmatian” and “Flower Power” iMacs. But weird can still be awesome.
Or it can just be awkward. See 1992′s JLPGA PowerBook 170, 500 of which were released in honor of Japan’s JLPGA golf tournament. Maybe the thought of the curvy Bondi Blue iMac is clouding my vision, but the PowerBook’s primary colors and boxy shape just look… basic. Good thing they were limited edition.
Back on the pretty side of the spectrum are the colorful chrome iPod nanos and shuffles and touches and minis. The gold iPhone 5s seems to be an evolution of this design, which gave the colors a particular luminosity.

Monochrome is professional. It’s cool. But as the iPod proved, balls-to-the-wall color combined with clean product design is a match made in heaven. It’s like the rainbow Apple logo: simple in outline, punchy in spirit. You can’t ignore it.

Popular posts from this blog

how to share all group facebook one click and very easy

Facebook Starts Letting Teens Post Publicly

Like a cautious parent,Facebook is giving teen users new freedom despite risks. For the first time, users under 18 can post publicly. The logic is that other sites don’t restrict kids, teens are getting more web savvy, and young celebrities want a voice. This could let minors publicly share things they’ll regret, so they must manually opt in to public sharing and confirm they understand the risks. Somewhat disingenuously, Facebook frames its blog post about the change as being about adding more protection for teens. It starts off saying that now when people age 13 to 17 sign up, their posts to the News Feed are defaulted to “friends only” instead of “friends of friends (fof)” as they were before. That is important because many people don’t change their default settings, and if you have thousands of friends with thousands of friends, the fof setting would share your posts to more than a million people. But considering there are 1.15 billion people on Facebook already, and its growth has…

Instagram surges past 700M users, fueled by algorithmic feed

Instagram has gone through a whirlwind of changes the past few months. Between bookmarks, likable comments, live video, tags, zoom, drafts, Stories and of course the controversial algorithmic feed – no one can argue that the Facebook-owned photo sharing app hasn’t been innovating at a rapid pace. But the real question is what effect are these product enhancements having on the bottom line – which in the case of Instagram is measured in user growth. And the answers seems to be that it’s working. The app just announced that they have grown to over 600 million monthly active users. This is almost 10% of the world population – and 100 million more than the company had 6 months ago when they announced a milestone of 500M monthly actives. As a comparison, it took about 9 months to get from 400M to 500M monthly actives – so their growth is still accelerating, even with such a large user base.
While the growth over the past 6 months was still broad-based, the company noted that they were doing p…