Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak using a Powerbook with the "upside-down" logo.

Story highlights

Ex-Apple employee explains why notebook logo used to be "upside-down"

Joe Moreno says Apple staffers at the time were confused

He says Steve Jobs wanted it to face the user when opening a laptop

CNN  — 

Those new to the cult of Mac may not realize it, but there once was a time when that iconic logo that shines from the top of Apple notebooks used to be positioned, well, upside down. Anyone gazing at the back of an open PowerBook or iBook saw Apple’s logo balancing on its stem, almost as if in the middle of a pirouette.

And now we know exactly why Apple opted for its original logo positioning: Joe Moreno, a former senior web app engineer and marketer at Apple, took to his blog Sunday to disclose the story behind Apple’s original design.

Moreno said that Apple staff confused by the design decision used the company’s anonymous internal question system Can We Talk? to ask “Why is the Apple logo upside down on laptops when the lid is open?”

Apparently, the Apple Design Group had discussed the issue of the Apple logo on the lid extensively. If the logo faces the user when he or she opens the laptop, then it’s upside down when the lid is up. And if the logo is right side up when the laptop is open, then it’s upside down to the user when he or she is looking to open it.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs wanted to provide the best experience for the user, and so the Apple logo was initially placed to be upside down to onlookers.

But the decision was reversed within a few years. “Opening a laptop from the wrong end is a self-correcting problem that only lasts for a few seconds. However, viewing the upside logo is a problem that lasts indefinitely,” Moreno wrote.

Smart move — especially considering how often Apple notebooks appear in Hollywood productions.