I Miss The Lighted Apple Logo

Delete the magic, replace it with metal

Alex Rowe
4 min readMay 3, 2019


Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

Every time I see an older MacBook with the bright white lighted Apple logo…I get envious.

I imagine that was exactly the point of the logo light in the first place.

In an era where Apple has killed MagSafe, the Startup Sound, Skeuomorphic design, and the iPhone’s headphone jack, among other things…I realize that it’s weird to focus on the silly little white light that used to be on the back of their laptops. A light that you can’t even see while you’re using the computer.

But it was fun and cool. Sometimes that’s enough.

The MacBook Air was the last holdout, and now that it’s been 12-inch-MacBooked, the light is effectively dead.

I do a lot of writing in coffee shops, and over the last four years I’ve watched the screen landscape transform. It used to be a field of soft glowing white Apple logos, which stood in stark contrast to the occasional black PC monolith.

Now, one by one, the lights are vanishing as the laptops are upgraded, replaced by cold metallic mirrors of aluminum.

I never had the pleasure of personally owning a MacBook with the lighted Apple logo. My first MacBook was a 2016 12-inch model, which I still use from time to time in spite of Apple’s increasing attempts to squeeze it out of its own product line.

The aluminum Apple logo is fine. It has a nice premium smooth feel to it, with materials that would be at home on a yacht, or an airplane, or a stereo system, or whatever.

But those glowing white lights felt like they were from the future. Not the awkward 90's-but-with-smartphones-and-broadband future we’re actually living in, but the sleek future that science fiction continually promised me as a kid.

There’s something magical about the way those logos glow, and how perfectly bright and natural they look even in a sunlit room.

It’s a brilliantly simple design too, though its brilliance also means you can never turn the light off without turning off the machine. Perhaps Apple was so confident in its cool glowing they just figured that no one would ever want to turn it off?



Alex Rowe

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