Aug 14

Some curious Apple lapses

What’s wrong with this picture?

Those who love Apple are oftentimes its most finicky critics.

My theory is that these people expect perfection, so they feel compelled to point out the imperfections — large or small.

Oh, wow. I guess I’m now officially in that group.

Recently, I’ve noticed two lapses that seem out of character for Apple. Each is mystifying in its own way.

The Crazy Ones

Yesterday, the Cult of Mac reported a very cool Mac Easter Egg hidden in the Pages Resources folder. It’s a text document that contains two things: the words to The Crazy Ones commercial and Steve Jobs’ Stanford Commencement Speech.

There were actually three versions of The Crazy Ones text produced. The 60-second TV commercial is most well known. The script was also condensed for a 30-second spot and expanded for a full-page newspaper ad.

The text included in Apple’s hidden document is obviously meant to be the 60-second TV version, which it is — almost.

Curiously, one line has been omitted. Following “They’re not fond of rules” should be the sentence “And they have no respect for the status quo.”

One would think the Easter Egg supervisor would be a little more careful with this important bit of Apple history.

Have Some Pride

A while back, Apple published the Pride video to celebrate the company’s participation in the San Francisco Pride Parade.

The video is heartwarming and uplifting. If you’re an Apple history buff, it’s also a bit perplexing.

About 30 seconds in, we see specially designed Apple T-shirts being packed into boxes for distribution to employees. Then we see a closeup of the box, clearly labeled “Apple, Inc.” (See screen shot up top.)

Too bad that’s not the name of the company.

In fact, that’s never been the name of the company. In 1997, it was christened as Apple Computer, Inc. In 2007, Steve Jobs changed it to Apple Inc. No comma.

If these boxes were created especially for this video, that means someone actually got the official name of the company wrong. Even worse, nobody caught the error.

Then, just to spice things up, that miscreant also used the wrong font. Garamond disappeared 13 years ago.


That’s not the only crime against fonts committed in this video. It opens with the following screen, featuring text over an image.

Thin white type over a light image? Unless this was designed to be some kind of eye test, it is in gross violation of Apple readability standards.

Given the company’s history of high-quality production, the issues in this video are tough to explain.

Such oversights don’t exactly bode well for the idea of Apple producing its own ads and videos as it builds its in-house marketing group.

If the devil is indeed in the details, hopefully an exorcist is on that “to-be-hired” list.


  • Starman_Andromeda

    Wonderful column! Good detective work. Maybe the Garamond font was the work of an old-timer. It’s still one of the best fonts of all time.

    Or, truly bad, it was the work of a summer intern who just grabbed some old photo to use–and got rid of the “Computer” part but didn’t drop the comma!

  • drona

    Flickr has page called camera finder / Apple
    See the image of iphone 5s see how different it is with the rest.


  • Rob

    To be fair, I believe the easter egg was first reported by OS X Daily (or at least during this round): http://osxdaily.com/2014/08/20/famous-steve-jobs-speech-hidden-mac-easter-egg/

    Regarding the white type over a light image, there have been a few other cases of Apple doing so recently. I agree – it’s terrible for readability.

  • Andy Gray

    Apple Inc. is indeed the official corporate name.

  • Harshan

    White text is a Jony Ive-ism, and even where it isn’t his fault, it’s a very, very, very bad idea.

    Everyone will eventually get cataracts. You can’t get cataract surgery right away, you have to wait until they are “ripe.” Meanwhile, white text is blurry and unreadable, especially when it is on a black background. iTunes and Apple TV use white on black to EXCESS. The same font size with any other color scheme is fine. On the Mac you can temporarily invert the colors ,to make it black on white. Apple TV is not adjustable, so most of it I can’t read.

    Don’t bother to put in Feedback. I’ve done that for two years. They don’t read the feedback and they obviously don’t care, or they would have changed it by now after consulting with an ophthalmologist. You just have to wait until you are old enough for the surgery.

  • superman

    – ,

  • “I guess I’m now officially in that group.”

    LOL Welcome! Here’s your sign… :)

  • Yup. Cult of Mac is notorious for “borrowing” liberally from other web sites. :(

  • Aaron

    Another thing that really bothers me everytime I see the “Better” ad, even though it’s very minor and very few people will notice it, is, that the shot in the Apple Store features iOS 6 graphics and iPhone 5 banners: http://youtu.be/EdeVaT-zZt4?t=31s

  • Namelesscoward

    Cook is not a product guy, nor a man of the details. Hes more concerned, like any woman, with their social imago and the latest hipster fad. Clearly thats where he has put his efforts to use lately. Need I name a few?

    However so slight these missteps, they are revealing Cook isnt concerned with Steve obsession on details. Every jounrney starts with a first step.
    Again I see him putting to much focus else where time and time again.

    The man best should take more interest in art and culture, develop an eye and feel for things. Away form superficial pr stuff.

  • ksegall

    Yes and no. Steve was definitely concerned with details, but he couldn’t be aware of everything in an organization as big as Apple. He trusted key people to do their jobs.

    In this case, I don’t fault Cook for not seeing the errors. The team that produced this video (writer, art director, producer) bears responsibility. To me, that’s the more disturbing thing. Of all the people on earth, those inside Apple should be most aware of Apple’s own visual brand assets.

    I actually can’t imagine how these particular mistakes could happen.

  • Brezelboy

    1. you have too much time.
    2. would not have happened with MAL

  • ksegall

    1. See #2.
    2. Agreed. Which is why I thought it was worth noting.

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  • Ivan

    Helen, fire them!

  • what sexist nonsense.

    further, the notion that the nation’s top supply chain master is not a man of details is idiotic at best.

  • Not to pile on, but perhaps even worse than the comma is the use of the (r) registered trademark sign next to the Apple logo. Most companies love adding this crap to their logo, I suspect mainly because they don’t know how to say no to their lawyers. Apple has always been different, and I can’t recall them ever marring their logo like this…

  • Derek Ledbetter

    Once, in a response to HTC’s complaint to the International Trade Commission, Apple wrote, “Apple denies that its correct name is Apple, Inc. The correct name of Respondent is Apple Inc.”

  • Jm

    Sadly, text readability and fading fore/background currently the “trend” is MOST infuriating to the mature loyalists (so far) belonging to Apple!! Having to move within 2″ of our screens to actually read or detect tiny nearly invisible graphics is maddening!! It’s NOT elegant, it’s infuriating!! We are totally aware of the numbskull who thought this ‘innovative’ and ‘progressive, but personally, I find it disrespectful and assinine (pardon my french)!! Many agree. Comments??