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EYAWTK - Amiga Symbols

Every good product or service has its unique symbol that people come to recognise at a glance. In some cases the symbol is timeless, such as the Coca-Cola symbol, while others tend to date and make the product seem a little aged. Commodore weren't taking any chances and kept changing the symbol with every new release of the Amiga, just in case anybody thought nothing had changed. However, many of us still believe the tick was the best and it is still widely used to denote the Amiga, including the AmigaOS startup screens.

Hi-Toro created the first logo during 1983, and drew from the fashionable electrical designs of the early 1980's. The word "AMIGA" is made from a continuous red line, like a flow of electricity.  The subtitle, "dedicated to the science of fun" also represents a market ploy through the use of an oxymoron to make it thought provoking and different.
Late one night at the Winter CES in January 1984 where the Amiga technology was first demonstrated, the bouncing Boing ball demo was coded to show just what the new machine could do. The original Amiga team adopted it as their unofficial trademark. It is also rumoured that many of the early production machines had the Boing Ball logo.
The original A1000 and all of the supporting documentation was adorned with a multi-coloured tick that quickly became the symbol of the Amiga and long-timer Amiga owners still recognise it as the current symbol. However, a few people made stick-on plastic boing ball logos that covered the tick on the original A1000. AAAlogo1.jpg (4289 bytes)
In addition to the checker mark shown above, early documentation came emblazoned with a stylised 'A'. This was a 3D variant of the standard Amiga logo font. Its multimedia abilities were highlighted in this design through its placement under a stage spotlight. The design was dropped soon after the release of the A1000 with a greater emphasis on the tick.
It is uncertain when the first colour splash appeared. The first recognisable image was on the early A500 manual where it cast a rainbow effect over the word "A500". The colours looked like brush strokes on a canvas. It was very distinct and immediately recognisable, echoing back to Andy Warhols' presence at the launch of the A1000 and the Amiga concept of painting "canvases" on the screen 
AAAlogo2.jpg (11232 bytes) When the OS 1.3 A500 and A2000 were launched in 1987, the multi-coloured tick was gone from the front of the machine and the documentation had changed from the brush stoke effect to a strange rainbow style symbol using only 5 of the previous colours.
Obviously the cost of printing manuals with multi-coloured rainbows became a bit expensive because it wasn't long before the rainbow had become monochrome and was usually in blue or black. AAAlogo3.jpg (9587 bytes)
AAAlogo4.jpg (15049 bytes) Surprisingly the A3000 didn't have any rainbows or anything, but the OS manual came in a new-look three-ring binder. However with the release of the ECS versions of the A500+ and A2000 the colour had returned in the forms of dots.
When the A1200 and A4000 arrived the rainbow had returned (sort of) with the colours in a new order and looking more like splashes of paint than a rainbow, but they came with a dark blue square background. AAAlogo5.jpg (7115 bytes)
The Beehive logo was presented at the first Amiga Technologies GmbH press conference. It was part of the design for several Amiga 4000 tower cases that were displayed. Many called it the "Christmas tree" and for a time it was to be the official Amiga logo. A few months later an individual named Karl Jeacle saw an advert for Dianetics and commented on Usenet that their logo looked similar, and it was dropped.
After Escom went into liquidation the Amiga was bought by Gateway who also wanted to add their own original slant on the Amiga, creating a recognisable image that could be used. After examining important images of the Amigas past they settled on the use of the Boing Ball, from the first Amiga demo. This became the official logo, finally banishing the Amiga checkmark. The Amiga wordmark was incorporated into the design, symbolising a mothballing of all the previous ideas that created the Amiga and a relaunch.
Amiga Inc. continued to use the Boing ball in various forms, but one that stood out was the "Death Star" which depicted a Boing Ball under construction for the Developer Network, that subsequently has become a symbol for the AmigaOne developer machine.


Copyright 2005 Amiga Auckland Inc. All rights reserved.
Revised: September 04, 2005.