Alex Soojung-Kim Pang, Ph.D.

I study people, technology, and the worlds they make

Turing and the Apple logo?

Is it true that the old rainbow Apple logo was a nod to Alan Turing? I’ve never heard this, and it sounds a little unlikely to me– if memory serves, Regis McKenna helped them come up with the logo, and Valley PR companies aren’t famous for their Straussian obliqueness and coded language– but apparently Sadie Plant reports it in her book.

[via Hannes Gassert]


  1. Extremely unlikely it sounds indeed, but I like it much better than the mere “Steve Jobs is told to have been working on an apple farm in the summer of 1975 or 1976” ( and that they wanted the rainbow to illstrate the “impressive color possibilities” of the Apple II.. Common, it’s obvious! 😉

  2. Michael Dennis

    June 11, 2004 at 6:15 pm

    So, the apple is a symbol of suicide? Turing spiced an apple with poison to end his life. Why would you want to echo that in your corporate symbol?

  3. I don’t think it’s clear whether it was suicide or murder.. and then remember: the very popular logo of christianity is an instrument of torture and execution.
    So that’s rather a pro than a contra 😉

  4. It DOES strike me as increasingly unlikely. I might have to actually find Owen Linzmeyer’s “Apple Confidential,” the Ur-source of all Apple history trivia, to see what I can see.

  5. What a great website this is

  6. oops for some reason it cut off my text so here goes again!

    What a great Apple Mac website this is

  7. some fool told me he did it.

  8. Well with all the conspiricey theorists out there if Apple didn’t chose their logo as a not to old Turing then they’ve missed a brilliant advertising chance.

  9. I’m gay and it has always been a point of pride to me that the father of modern computers is gay. At least when someone starts trolling online, I know he doesn’t realize that the guy who’s probably responsible for him to be even trolling online is gay. LOL. Same with the black civil rights movement, which is now simply credited to MLK when the nonviolent strategy was in part the plan of Bayard Rustin. He’s also now almost completely forgotten among the black community. Historical revisionism. A fear to associate him with the movement because of his homosexuality (which was the reason MLK got rid of him in the first place at the advise of others).

    It’s sad. Anyway, yeah, the rainbow and the apple does evoke GLBT imagery, haha, but sadly I don’t think it IS actually based on Turing’s suicide (or assassination, whatever).

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