The history behind five popular tech brand logos

We live in a world where brand logos are constantly shoved in our faces. But have you ever thought about the meanings behind them? Why is it called Bluetooth? Or why did Apple choose Newton to be on its first logo? These companies are among numerous brands that have unique logos with hidden meanings.

Seeing how fast users recognize a brand logo indicates how well it's doing. That's why many companies try various tactics to stand out from the crowd.

For some, that means working on well-thought-out symbols and names for their trademark, while some brands stick to instinctual decisions they make right then and there.

There are some intriguing stories behind how a particular brand logo was created. We took five companies with distinctive logos and looked for their meanings, discovering the changes they underwent over the years.

Apple logo inspired by Newton

Myths have surrounded the meaning behind the Apple logo. From it referencing Alan Turing, a British mathematician, to referring to Apple's old catchphrase "Byte into an Apple."

However, the logo doesn't actually have a symbolic meaning, according to American graphic designer Rob Janoff, who designed for Apple.

The Apple logo that we know today was very different at the beginning. Its co-founders, Steve Jobs and Ronald Wayne, designed the first logo. It showed Sir Isaac Newton sitting under a tree with a banner that said "Apple Computers Co."

The logo was inspired by a legend, according to which Newton was sitting under a tree when an apple hit him, causing him to realize how gravity works. One of the possible explanations for such a choice of logo is that great ideas hit unexpectedly.

Apple logo evolution
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The well-known bitten apple logo was invented in 1977. The symbol included the rainbow colors, representing Apple's first computer with a color display.

While the logo remained the same, the company decided to ditch the multiple colors and stay with black in 1998, the year when the iMac was launched.

The company went through a few more changes, including having the apple in metallic and glass colors, and then it went back to being monochromatic dark grey.

Android logo inspired by bathroom door signs

The logo for the Android operating system was created in 2007 by graphic designer Irina Blok. It was created in two colors: green and black. The main goal was to create a logo that would be easily recognizable and should have a robot.

Blok was first immersed in sci-fi and space movies to look for inspiration but ended up taking it from signs of a man and woman put on bathroom doors. This is how a robot with a tin can-shaped torso and antennas on his head became Android's logo.

Android logo evolution
Image by Cybernews

The same logo was re-designed in 2014. The logo became thinner and taller, with white details becoming bolder. The logo was kept green.

More drastic changes were made in 2019 when the logo became just a robot's head with eyes and two antennas. The design also included a lowercase "Android" name.

The 2023 re-design of the Android logo is more animated with a multicolored robot head. The changes also included the brand name switched to the top.

Bluetooth sign inspired by a dead tooth

Bluetooth is known as a technology standard widely used to exchange data between two short-distanced devices.

Bluetooth was actually "a temporary code name" before the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (Bluetooth SIG) came up with something better.

Bluetooth refers to King Harald "Bluetooth" Gormsson, or Harald Bluetooth, who was known for uniting Denmark and Norway back in 958. He got his nickname because of his dead tooth, which looked dark blue and grey.

Bluetooth logo meaning
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So when the chiefs of Intel, Ericsson, and Nokia sat down to standardize the short-range wireless technology, they needed a name for it. This is when Jim Kardach from Intel suggested Bluetooth. In his mind, King Harald united Scandinavia, and the new technology would unite various devices through this service.

The Bluetooth logo is the initials of Harald Bluetooth – a bind-rune combining Hagall (hail) ᚼ and Bjarkan (birch) ᛒ. The white initials are presented in a rich azure background. The logo hasn't undergone any significant changes from 1999 up until today.

PlayStation logo inspired by player connection

PlayStation is a video gaming brand under Sony Interactive Entertainment. It was created by the company’s then CEO, Ken Kutaragi.

The logo of the gaming console PlayStation was designed by Manabu Sakamoto in 1994. The first logo was multicolored and depicted the letters P and S intertwining to "symbolize unity and convergence in gaming."

The weaved letters also indicate the console's ability to connect players together over a game.

PlayStation logo evolution
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Throughout the years (from 2000 until 2020), with each new release of PlayStation, its logo slightly changed. The second PlayStation edition required modifying the logo. It became sleeker and more modern, with letters no longer intertwined.

Since the second gaming console's release, the logo has undergone slight modifications. The latest, PlayStation 5, was launched in 2020 with a minimalistic logo. Same as the PlayStation 4, its logo consists of the originally intertwined letters and a "PS5" next to it.

Xbox logo inspired by new technologies

The world first saw the launch of the Xbox gaming console in 2001. The product was created by Microsoft Gaming, a division of Microsoft.

The idea behind the Xbox logo is that it represents a new type of technology that’s ready to impact the world.

Xbox was created out of a desire to compete with PlayStation. Microsoft’s team, called “Direct X,” began working on the new console and designing the system. The name Xbox wasn’t the initial name that the company was going to use. Instead, it was first called “Direct X Box,” internally referred to as Xbox. However, none of the suggested names stuck, so it was decided to simply call the console Xbox.

Xbox logo evolution
Image by Cybernews

The very first logo of Xbox came out in 1999 with a wordmark written in lime green. When it comes to color choice, the story is quite simple here – when the designer who worked on the logo had to quickly create a logo sketch, the only available marker was green, so they stuck to it.

The logo was redesigned several times throughout the years, with an outstanding symbol appearing next to a watermark in 2005 that we still see today. It’s reminiscent of a globe with an X plastered on it, symbolizing the world where Xbox is reachable to everyone.

From 2009 to 2019, the logo had no major changes except slight graphic alterations.

In 2019, the logo color palette was changed from green and white to black and white. The detailing of the logo has also changed, with the circle going above the wordmark "Xbox." The new logo became bolder and more modern. This logo has been used to this day.

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