Cupertino, CA – The original Apple Computer, Inc. company building sign, bearing the iconic rainbow logo, faced an unexpected outcome at the Bonhams auction, failing to secure a buyer despite its historical significance and ties to the early days of Apple.
The exterior office sign, crafted from stiff foam and adorned with six vinyl-applied colors, stood at approximately 46 x 49 x 1 ½ inches, with a separate stem piece. Showing signs of wear, including slight peeling at some color transitions, craquelure in certain areas, and general outdoor wear, the sign served as a visual landmark when removed from Apple’s Cupertino headquarters in 1999.
The rainbow logo, synonymous with Apple’s early identity, replaced the initial Isaac Newton illustration within a year of its introduction. Designed by graphic artist Rob Janoff, commissioned at Steve Jobs’ request, the logo aimed for simplicity—with a bitten apple to avoid confusion with a tomato—and the use of colors to “humanize” the company. This Rainbow Logo graced Apple’s image from 1977 until its transformation into the monochromatic version in 1998.
The specific sign offered at auction was removed from the side of building 3, visible to drivers heading north on highway 280, adding to its historical significance.
Despite the anticipation surrounding the auction, which took place online from October 30, 2023, to November 8, 2023, the iconic Apple sign failed to meet the minimum bid of $30,000 USD.
For those interested, the current Bonhams listing for the sign can be found here.
Bonhams, with a legacy dating back to its founding in London in 1793, is a renowned international auction house known for its connoisseurship and bespoke service. Hosting over 400 specialist sales annually in 60 categories, Bonhams holds flagship salerooms in London, New York, Los Angeles, and Hong Kong. Despite the setback with the Apple sign, Bonhams remains a key player in the auction industry, connecting buyers and sellers across a diverse range of collectibles and artifacts.