Visual Analysis of Apple


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Group presentation for my visual communications class, UF College of Journalism and Communications, Summer 2009.

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Visual Analysis of Apple

  1. 1. A Visual Analysis of Apple® Presented by Adrian Erlenbach, Kaylee Hyman, Jami Baker and Erin HughesWednesday, May 9, 2012
  2. 2. About Apple® • Established in 1976 by Steve Jobs at the beginning of the “personal computer revolution.” • Goal was to create an “inexpensive and simple to use computer.” • The company’s iconic logo, an apple with a bite taken out of it, is now one of the world’s most recognizable corporate symbols. (Source:, May 9, 2012
  3. 3. Apple’s Mission “Apple is committed to bringing the best personal computing experience to students, educators, creative professionals and consumers around the world through its innovative hardware, software and Internet offerings.” (Source:, May 9, 2012
  4. 4. Why an Apple? • While Apple has never officially commented on the inspiration for its logo, the public has many theories: • Steve Job used to work on an Apple Farm. • Apples are Steve Jobs’ favorite fruit. • Named after Beatles Album titled Apple. • Biblical symbolism: Adam and Eve, creationism,etc. • They just couldn’t think of anything better. • According to the original designer, the “bite” in Apple’s logo simply was added to make it look more an Apple. Also a play on words (bite/byte... get it?). (Source:, May 9, 2012
  5. 5. 30 years of Apples 1976 “The Newton Crest”: Apple’s original logo, Designed by graphic designer Ronald Wayne.Wednesday, May 9, 2012
  6. 6. 30 years of Apples 1976-1998 “The Rainbow”: The first actual ‘apple’. Created by designer Rob Janoff.Wednesday, May 9, 2012
  7. 7. 30 years of Apples 1998-present “The Monochrome Logo”: Symbolized a corporate identity overhaul for Apple. Has been modified slightly over the years.Wednesday, May 9, 2012
  8. 8. Brand Recognition The Apple logo is now one of the most recognizable corporate brands on the planet.Wednesday, May 9, 2012
  9. 9. Brand Recognition The Apple logo is now one of the most recognizable corporate brands on the planet.Wednesday, May 9, 2012
  10. 10. Brand Recognition The Apple logo is now one of the most recognizable corporate brands on the planet.Wednesday, May 9, 2012
  11. 11. Brand Recognition The Apple logo is now one of the most recognizable corporate brands on the planet.Wednesday, May 9, 2012
  12. 12. Visual Cues Example 1: Apple Commercials.Wednesday, May 9, 2012
  13. 13. Visual Cues Example 1: Apple Commercials. • White Space-Plain white background adds simplicity. • Balance-The men are the same height, and PC always stands on the left, Mac on right. • Contrast-Mac is young, laid-back, and casually dressed. PC is older, usually dressed up, and always socially awkward. • Repetition and Consistency-”I’m a Mac, I’m a PC” always the opening line. Music is always the same. Ads always end with a picture of an Apple computer. • Apple runs versions of this commercial all over the world. (Japan).Wednesday, May 9, 2012
  14. 14. Visual Cues Example 2: Apple Print Ad Source: www.macdailynews.comWednesday, May 9, 2012
  15. 15. Visual Cues Example 2: Apple Print Ad • White Space-Plain white background adds simplicity. • Balance-2-page magazine ad, with one computer on each page, adding symmetry, fitting for “power couple” slogan. • Contrast-Side-by-side black and white MacBooks add stark but attractive contrast. • Proximity & Alignment-Attractive photos dominate the ad, with very little left-aligned text spanning both pages. • Typeface-Adobe Myriad, Apple’s standard sans-serif font adds to ad’s simple, modern lookWednesday, May 9, 2012
  16. 16. Visual Cues Example 2: Apple Product PackagingWednesday, May 9, 2012
  17. 17. Visual Cues Example 2: Apple Product Packaging • “A packaging experience.” • White (and Black) Space-Nothing on outside of box other than product name and photo. Very limited text in instruction materials. • Organization and proximity-Three-step “quick-start” instructions are easy to follow and add to the user-friendly appeal • Harmony-Sleek, minimalist packaging adds to the user“experience”Wednesday, May 9, 2012
  18. 18. Visual Critique • Modern, simplistic visual identity Positive reflects organization’s mission to create well-designed products that are easy to Impressions use. • Powerful, consistent design strategy creates a clear brand personality. • Memorable messages and repetition creates brand recognition and resonance. • One of the most successful, innovative corporate identities in the world.Wednesday, May 9, 2012
  19. 19. Visual Critique Extreme level repetition & consistency makes it hard for Apple to tailor message Negative to diverse publics. For example: Impressions • Young and trendy feeling of the brand makes it less appealing to more-serious business users. • Sleek, modern ads make Apple products seem expensive, alienating lower-income publics • Microsoft Ad: “I’m not cool enough to be a Mac person” • As a result of Apple’s “high and mighty” approach to communication, Mac users can be perceived as stuck-up, cultish, etc.Wednesday, May 9, 2012
  20. 20. Visual Critique “Mac-People” vs. “PC-People”Wednesday, May 9, 2012
  21. 21. Our Proposal: Since Apple’s mission is to serve all types of publics (college students, designers, office workers, gamers, etc.), Apple should take steps to differentiate its design approach with respect to some of its products and features, to seem more approachable to the publics it has alienated in the past. Basically, for some of its products and publics, Apple should to try to look and seem a little less “Apple.”Wednesday, May 9, 2012
  22. 22. Idea #1 Apple could: Design more down-to-earth ads to promote its most affordable products (iPod Shuffle, refurbished products, etc.) to lower-income publics like college students, or other individuals from less-privileged backgrounds. • Target these groups through less-expensive seeming ads (College newspapers vs. GQ Magazine; Spanish-language radio stations vs. the Superbowl) • Ads can still maintain many the minimalist design approach, just without seeming so “stuck-up.”Wednesday, May 9, 2012
  23. 23. Idea #2 Apple could also: Design more informational, in-depth ads to address the concerns of “gamer” types. • Apple’s compatibility problems have been fixed for years, but some high- tech publics still consider Apple products to be less powerful than PC and overrated. • Apple could address such concerns with more print-heavy, technically oriented ads that tackle specific misconceptions in “nerdier” language • Make visual elements less “artsy” in appearance • Run ads in specialized high-tech channels like gaming magazines, or adapt message to an exhibit at a gaming convention.Wednesday, May 9, 2012
  24. 24. Inspiration Image of “Diversity” Symbolizes that anyone can be a a “Mac-Person,” whether they are rich, poor, cool, nerdy, artsy, serious, etc.Wednesday, May 9, 2012
  25. 25. Inspiration The classic white t-shirt Simple, elegant, comfortable and approachable.Wednesday, May 9, 2012
  26. 26. Inspiration Key Public Relevant: Ramen Noodles The symbol of low- income survivalWednesday, May 9, 2012
  27. 27. Inspiration Technical Manual No-frills, information- based design.Wednesday, May 9, 2012
  28. 28. Any Questions?Wednesday, May 9, 2012