512 reader Marc Robinson mailed me me a bunch of Apple marketing materials from the late 90s and early 00s. There was a ton of good stuff in his package, but there was one that I thought I should share first: a CD containing artwork and guidelines on how to use the then-new Mac logo.
A lot of companies publish style guides on how their logos should and shouldn’t be used.1
In the late 90s, Apple made a push for developers to standardize how they showed the Mac logo.
Here’s how the artwork was introduced:
Apple Macintosh computers are legendary for bringing technology to a human level. Elegance of design, innovation, and ease of use make Macintosh computers and the Mac OS operating system the platform of choice for people who think and work creatively. The graphic symbol in the Mac OS Logo—the “Happy Mac” computer screen with a super-imposed human profile—provides a strong visual image of this principle. This symbol represents a dialog between user and technology that is unique to Macintosh and the Mac OS.
The Mac OS Logo has become an essential element in identifying the Macintosh operating system. It has also been a signal to customers that hardware and software products are compatible with Macintosh computers. Correct and consistent use of the Mac OS Logo has always been important in building recognition of and demand for the Mac OS and Macintosh-compatible products.
To make this identification even easier, we’ve simplified things.
We’ve created the new Mac Logo, using the familiar “blue face” image and the word “Mac,” that will clearly indicate compatibility with all Macintosh products. Now hardware and software that’s compatible with Macintosh will use the same language our customers have always used: “Mac.” The Mac Logo will replace the Mac OS Logo on all communications moving forward. These guidelines will help you to apply the new logo in your communications.
This is the art I remember clearly on software boxes in my local Apple Store and even on Mac software in places like Best Buy. It made it easy to spot, which was the whole point, I guess.
I’ve zipped up the contents of the CD (a whopping 1.2 MB worth) here for download.