Prior to the first Macintosh, Apple used a typeface called Motter Tektura alongside the Apple logo. Motter Tektura was designed in Austria by Othmar Motter of Vorarlberger Graphik in 1975 and distributed by Letraset. At the time, the typeface was considered new and modern. One modification to the typeface was that the dot over the i was removed. The lowercase "s" was also modified for the label on the Disk II 5.25-inch floppy disk drive.
According to the logo designer, Ryan Smith, the typeface was selected for its playful qualities and techno look, in line with Apple's mission statement of making high technology accessible to anyone. Janoff designed the logo in 1976 while working with Palo Alto marketer Regis McKenna. The apple's "bite" was originally designed to fit snugly with the Motter Tektura "a."
In the early 1980s, the logo was simplified by removing computer ınc. from the logo. Motter Tektura was also used for the Apple II logo. This typeface has sometimes been mislabeled as Cupertino, a similar bitmap font, probably created to mimic Motter Tektura.
In cases when the Apple logo was accompanied by text, it was always set in Apple Garamond. Aside from the company name, most of Apple's advertising and marketing slogans such as "Think different." used the font as well.
This typeface was virtually synonymous with Apple for almost two decades and formed a large part of Apple's excellent brand recognition. It was not only used in conjunction with the logo, but also in manuals, ads and to label products with model names. Even today the association continues; falsified images of rumored new Apple products and spoof advertisements often use it despite the fact that it is no longer current.
Apple has kept the true Apple Garamond font to themselves, but briefly sold ITC Garamond Narrow—Apple Garamond without the custom hinting—as part of the "Apple Font Pack" in the 1990s. A version of the font was also included, hidden away under a different name, in some versions of Mac OS X prior to 10.3, since it was used by the Setup Assistant installation program. See List of fonts in Mac OS X for more information on how the font can be extracted.
Many typographers consider ITC Garamond in general, and Apple Garamond in particular, to be poorly designed typefaces. ITC Garamond is frequently called a "pastiche" or a "Garamond in name only" that has little to do with the 16th century typefaces that supposedly inspired it. Another common view is that the algorithmic scaling distorted the typeface. Apple changed the name of their licensed version of the typeface when they had the format of the fonts converted to TrueType for their internal use.
In 2002, Apple gradually started using a variant of the Adobe Myriad font family in its marketing and packaging. As new revisions of its products were released, the text changed from the serif Apple Garamond to the sans-serif Myriad Apple. The family's bolds are used for headlines, and other weights are also used accordingly. The Myriad font family was designed by Robert Slimbach and Carol Twombly for Adobe. Adobe's most recent version of Myriad is Myriad Pro, which has some additional enhancements and character set extensions, but is not significantly changed in design. Myriad Apple, a modification produced by Galápagos Design Group, incorporates minor spacing and weight differences from the standard varieties, and includes Apple-specific characters such as the company logo. In 2006, Myriad Apple was superseded by Myriad Set, which contains extra ligatures and other minor changes. While Myriad Set is for most titles and eye-catching slogans, some text is set in Helvetica Neue.
Although originally promoted as Myriad, the 5th generation iPod and iPod nano feature a bitmap font known as Podium Sans which is missing Myriad's trademark features such as the splayed 'M' and distinctive 'y'. The most recent iPods (and the iPhone) use Helvetica as their UI font.
Prior to adopting the bitten Apple as its logo, Apple used a complex logo featuring Isaac Newton sitting below an apple tree. The words APPLE COMPUTER CO. were drawn on a ribbon banner ornamenting the picture frame. The frame itself held a quotation from Wordsworth: "Newton...A Mind Forever Voyaging Through Strange Seas of Thought...Alone." The logo was hand drawn and thus did not use an established font. However, the type is similar to Caslon with some idiosyncratic details, such as an R deviating from the general style.
In the marketing of the Newton PDA, Apple chose to use Gill Sans instead of the regular Apple Garamond. Gill Sans Regular was used in the logo, for the model name on the computer, the keyboard and in advertisement materials, though it was not used as a screen font (except for as part of the Newton logo). Gill Sans was originally designed by Eric Gill around 1927–29 for the Monotype Corporation.
Apple's keyboards have long been labeled with Univers Condensed Oblique, a design choice by Apple's industrial design partner, Frog Design. This began in 1984 with the Apple IIc, the tilt of whose front-panel buttons matched the inclination of the lettering.
Univers was eventually replaced on Apple's keyboards by VAG Rounded, which was used on all iBook models, 2003 and later PowerBooks, MacBooks, MacBook Pros and Apple Keyboards since August 2007. VAG stands for Volkswagenwerk Aktiengesellschaft, and the font was developed by Sedley Place Ltd. for German car manufacturer Volkswagen and was used in much of their marketing materials. Volkswagen's modification of a classical typeface is similar to Apple's modification of Garamond to create a corporate typeface that is both universal and proprietary.
In 1993, Apple's Human Interface Group designed the typeface Espy Sans specifically for on-screen use. It was first used for the Newton OS GUI and later integrated into Apple's ill-fated eWorld online service. The Newton used the font Apple Casual to display text entered using the Rosetta handwriting recognition engine in the Newton. The same font found its way into the Rosetta-derived writing recognition system in Mac OS X—Inkwell. The TrueType font can be made available to any application by copying the font file, which is embedded in a system component, to any font folder. (See List of fonts in Mac OS X for more information.) The Newton logo featured the Gill Sans typeface, which was also used for the Newton keyboard.
Lucida Grande is the standard font used in Mac OS X user interface elements such a menus, dialog boxes and other widgets.
When released in 2001, Apple's iPod music player reused the bitmap Chicago font from the original Macintosh GUI. Later versions of the iPod drew from the larger character repertoire of the TrueType Chicago, adding a number of characters not present in the bitmap Chicago, such as Greek and Cyrillic. Even though the screen supports grayscale, the characters were not anti-aliased.
The iPod mini uses the typeface originally designed for the Newton, Espy Sans. In the fourth-generation color iPod (formerly iPod Photo), Podium Sans has displaced Chicago as the user interface font, in part due to the higher resolution of the new color screen.