From iTunes to Apple Music: History of the Apple Music logo and symbol

Apple Music Logo

For music streaming fans, few icons are more recognizable than the Apple Music logo. However, what most people don’t realize is that Apple Music logo history goes back further than you’d think. There have actually been a couple of changes to this iconic emblem over the years, as Apple has worked on making its visual identity cleaner, more modern, and consistent. 

On the surface, the Apple Music logo has a lot in common with the emblems of many other audio streaming companies.

The Apple Music symbol is simple, sleek, and sophisticated, designed to work well across a range of digital channels. It also encompasses core components of the wider Apple brand identity, such as the memorable Apple icon. 

Today, the Apple Music emblem works to strengthen the overall visual identity of the Apple company, while also conveying ideas of strength and innovation.

Let’s take a closer look at the origins and evolution of the Apple Music emblem.

When did the Apple Music logo change: An introduction

Before we begin exploring Apple Music logo history, let’s learn a little more about the service, and its origins. Developed originally in 2015, Apple Music is a streaming service produced by the Apple brand, which frequently updates to serve the needs of new audiences. 

More than just a tool for streaming music, Apple’s Music service allows users to stream various kinds of content to their devices on-demand, from playlists and albums, to podcasts, and videos.

The service also includes access to Apple branded radio stations, such as Apple Music 1, and Apple Music Hits, which stream to more than 200 countries worldwide. 

Over the years, Apple Music has evolved to become a “cultural platform” for its audience, providing access to a wide variety of entertainment options. Though the original iOS version of the application received mixed reviews, it has grown increasingly more intuitive.

Today, more than 78 million people worldwide use Apple music on a regular basis. 

Originally, Apple Music was created using Apple technology, combined with innovating streaming capabilities Apple unlocked with the purchase of “Beats Music”. As such, one of the first changes to occur to the Apple Music logo happened when Apple rebranded the logo of the old service. 

Apple Music logo history: The evolution of Apple Music

Before the launch of Apple Music, the Apple brand was already well-known in the audio landscape for revolutionizing the streaming experience. iTunes provided users with access to a variety of songs from different artists, available to access on-demand.

It wasn’t until Apple gained ownership of the Beats Music service that the Apple Music solution began to truly emerge.

Apple Music Logo

2014

Since the Apple Music streaming solution was only created after Apple acquired Beats Music, it’s worth taking a look at the logo that came before the introduction of the new service.

The Beats Music logo was a colorful emblem, which combined the well-known branding of the Beats brand with a wordmark, depicted in vibrant shades of pink. 

The Beats Music logo consisted of two distinct parts. The graphical component on the left was a version of the well-known Beats Electronic symbol, featuring a pink and purple circle, with the letter “b” in lowercase in the middle. 

At the center of the “b” is a small arrow, intended to look like the “play” button on most audio systems. The shape of the design also reminds users of a person wearing a set of over-ears headphones.

While the official Beats logo used block red and white as its color palette, the Beats Music emblem switched this to a gradient pink, red and purple mixture. 

The second component of the logo, “Beats Music” was written in a simple sans-serif font, with the word “Beats” in lowercase letters, and “Music” in all uppercase, with a bolder font choice.

Apple Music Logo

2015

When Apple purchased Beats Music in 2015, they eradicated virtually all of the visual elements of the previous emblem, to showcase their own minimalistic identity instead.

The memorable Apple icon, featuring a silhouette version of an Apple with a bite taken out of the right-hand side appeared to the left of the logo. The word “Music” was still present, written in uppercase letters. 

Since the Apple emblem alone was enough to identify Apple at this point, there was no need to include the name of the company in the wordmark.

The letters for “Music” coincide with the exact height of the Apple icon, with the top points reaching the same level where the leaf component begins. This delivered a well-balanced aesthetic

Apple Music Logo

2019

In 2019, the Apple Music logo was updated again, with a few basic changes. The Apple Music logo from 2015 remained in use by the service in some instances. However, the new version of the emblem was intended to highlight the strength and consistency of the brand. 

In this new logo, the Apple emblem appears a little smaller, thanks to the positioning and size of the letters for the inscription alongside it. The size of the “M” was increased, to match almost the exact size and height of the Apple icon.

The rest of the letters in the word were switched to a lowercase font, creating a more friendly, and modern appearance. 

Apple Music Logo

Notably, Apple also offers a range of symbol options for those utilizing the Apple Music icon for smaller screens, like smartphones. The symbol typically just features a musical note, in a transparent color on a block background.

There are both black and white versions of this logo, as well as a white music note on a pink background, drawing attention back to the original Beats identity. 

The Apple Music symbol: Fonts and colors

At a glance, the Apple Music symbol may seem relatively simplistic. Looking back through Apple Music logo history, we can see the brand has only made very basic changes to the emblem after purchasing Beats and redesigning the visual identity.

While the Beats logo was colorful and bright, the Apple Music logo matches the modern and minimalistic aesthetic of the Apple brand. 

Today, the Apple Music logo is a highly versatile symbol, ideal for drawing attention to Apple’s memorable visual identity.

Additionally, the icon version of the logo highlights the Apple brand, while also drawing attention back to the Beats image from years past. You can find some great examples of the Apple Music logo here:

The Apple Music logo colors match the minimalist visual identity of the larger Apple brand. Primarily, the company uses a combination of black and white in its emblem.

This classic and versatile color palette exists throughout the entire Apple visual identity, eliciting ideas of strength, sophistication, and progressiveness. 

Notably, however, there are versions of the Apple Music icon which may appear in different colors. Depending on where it’s found, the Apple Music logo color palette may also include shades of pink and purple, similar to the old Beats logo. 

What font does the Apple Music logo use?

In the official Apple Music logo, the font choice is one of the most compelling parts of the emblem’s visual identity. Both versions of the Apple Music logo font, chosen in 2015 and 2019, are a simple, sans-serif typeface, intended to balance well with the company’s modern appearance. 

The inscription for the logo we know today is similar in style to the Sequel Sans Display Medium font. It also shares some characteristics with the Nimbus Sans Novus D SemiBold typeface. 

The simple but effective logo for Apple Music

Though there haven’t been many significant changes to the emblem throughout Apple Music logo history, we can see how the design of the symbol perfectly represents the modern identity of the Apple organization.

The simplistic, but refined logo conveys ideas of progressiveness, strength, and innovation, perfect for the larger Apple brand. 

Both the Apple Music symbol, and the icon used on smartphones and other devices, set Apple apart as a leader in its field, showcasing authority and consistency. 

Apple Music logo FAQ:

The Apple Music logo is owned by Apple, but you can find some instructions on how to use the emblem safely, according to the Apple brand guidelines, on the company’s website. 

How do I get the Apple Music icon?

There are various downloadable versions of the Apple Music icon available online, both in vector and PNG format. However, it’s important to ensure you’re following the brand guidelines laid out by Apple before using this copyrighted image. 

What is the new symbol on Apple Music?

The best-known symbol for the Apple Music logo is the simple music note, which can be depicted in a range of color palettes. 

Fabrik: A branding agency for our times.

Stephen Peate
Creative director
Stephen Peate
Creative director
As Fabrik’s creative director, Stephen oversees complex branding programmes. He advises our clients on their tone of voice, creates logos and visual identities and crafts names for companies, products and services. Writing for Brand Fabrik Stephen reflects his love for logo design and visual identity.

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