The Story of the Upside Down, Right Side Up Apple Logo

A former Apple engineer has offered up the inside story of how the Apple logos on our Mac laptops went from being upside down when they were open and in use, as seen in the image below, to right side up, as they are today. It’s long been known that the late Steve Jobs eventually put through the change, but Mr. Moreno’s story shows us how that process actually worked.

Sex in the City Upside Down Apple Logo

Sex in the City Screenshot, with an Upside Down Apple Logo

You can bet that the Apple Design Group had good reasons for both placements. User experience has always been a high priority for the company and especially for Steve Jobs when he was at the helm. Originally, the logo was placed so it was right side up when the lid was closed to help users figure out which end to open it from. 

According to Mr. Moreno, Steve Jobs placed a very high priority on this issue—with the logo upside down when the lid was open, users were given a higher design priority than bystanders. Of course, the result was that a lot of other people were seeing that logo upside down, and this was particularly true of most of the PowerBooks that were being frequently featured on TV shows and in movies.

Some company employees began questioning the whole thing, posting the question to Apple’s internal communications system called “Can We Talk?” That eventually led to Steve Jobs seeing things differently and making the change. It turned out that users were quickly able to adapt to opening the laptop lid from the “wrong side,” thereby allowing the logo to be right side up during the entire time it was in use.