According to MacRumors, they just might. A source of theirs at Apple has indicated that the company may be preparing to bring the old six-color rainbow logo, which was retired in 1999, back in some form. However, the rest is up to our imaginations, as the source in question didn’t indicate exactly where or how the logo may be used.
The obvious assumption is that Apple will start putting the logo on products again. However, while the draw of nostalgia is obvious, the old logo doesn’t exactly fit the design and colors of many of the company’s current device lineup. We all know that Apple is super particular when it comes to design and how things look. In fact, the logo was changed from the rainbow to something simpler and cleaner for that very reason.
Considering the obvious tie to the past, I agree with Joe Rossingnal of MacRumors that the Mac is the most likely product to see a rainbow logo revival. He also mentions the potential of a special edition iPhone or iPad, which also makes a lot of sense. We know from years of (PRODUCT) RED tie-ins that Apple has no problem cranking out one-off devices in unique colors.
I also wouldn’t be surprised to see Apple use this logo on cases and Watch bands. This is a low risk way to allow fans of the old design to use it when they see fit, rather than buying a device with an attention-gabbing logo that is permanently attached. This would also give Apple a way to design around the rainbow color scheme in a way that makes sense. Speaking for myself, I have absolutely no desire to buy a device with a rainbow logo, but I would definitely purchase a case or band with one to add a little variety.
While this rumor needs to be taken with a grain of salt, there is certainly enough smoke around to think there is some fire here. Apple did renew their trademark on the old logo earlier this year. They still sell shirts, hats and other mech with the old logo, as well. More recently, Jony Ive used the rainbow colors for a stage set up for a Lady Gaga concert at Apple Park to celebrate the official opening of the facility. Ive also used the colors in some areas of the building, such as some stairs and walkways. These recent uses of the old color scheme certainly shows that Apple has some interest in reviving this branding.
The real question is, does Apple have enough interest in a trip down memory lane to put this older logo on new hardware, or is this just a passing phase that comes and goes with the beginnings of Apple Park? Who knows? Then there is also the matter of only Ive’s departure to consider. While he may continue to be involved in the design of some Apple products going forward, he is no longer calling the shots. Will that make a difference?
We don’t have enough track record of the new regime operating on their own to know how they will approach things going forward. In fact, whether or not the old logo is used, and if so, where and how it is used, will be an interesting early litmus test of how they are going to mange things without him. While most of the existing product designs are probably locked in for a few years, this may be a fresh, new way for them to express their own style. While I don’t really care either way whether Apple uses their old logo on products going forward, I am looking forward to seeing how things unfold with it as a potential window into the future.