Project Three, Exercise 1.
As I sit, listening out for my iPhone to vibrate, I type this learning log on my MacBook with my digital sketchbook, aka iPad and iPencil, lying next to me. I glance at the apple logo on my tech and realise my reaction to ‘apple’ will firstly be the technology I use. The significance to me is the continuity of creativity and documentation across computer products with iCloud. Not only does it help with my creativity, but also my disabilities. I do not know where I’ll be from one hour to the next, and having the flexibility of platforms without losing quality means I don’t have to worry whether I’m sat at my desk, or bed-bound.
To the world in general Apple signifies innovation, hardworking and designed for the creative. The company has worked hard on their brand image, and the consistency across their products.
Following on with another video, here we have an apple making an appearance at the end of a Fixodent advert. Fixodent uses the apple to signify the quality of their product and freedom for the denture user to eat whatever they desire.
Then we have the ‘apple a day keeps the doctor at bay” proverb. Although there is some controversy behind where the saying originates from, it has made the apple synonymous with health. From councils using it to advertise a new lifestyle and fitness service, though to NHS pages on obesity, they all use the apple to symbolise health and fitness.
In the sixteenth century, before public school education, poor families would pay the teacher with fruit and vegetables, and as each school year started in September this would have been mostly apples in Europe (Wockenfuss, 2019).
What would have originally been a form of payment, became a way of getting into a teacher’s good books. This was further embedded in the modern psyche by Disney in 1940’s, with Pinocchio being given an apple by Geppetto, ‘for your teacher’. Today’s apples ‘for the teachers’ come in the form of a range of thank you products from greetings cards through to apple shaped gifts and treats. Now given at the end of the school year, it still shows that apples symbolise teacher’s worth or value, whether as payment, or thanks.
In art history there are several signifiers of an apple. In religious paintings it stands for temptation, sin and satan. Although there is no mention of an actual apple in the bible, ‘apple’ at the time meant any fruit that wasn’t a berry (Harper, 2019). However as language developed the apple remained as the Eve’s fruit. The apple proliferates through religious paintings as a reminder of the original sin (Hall, p9, 2007).
On the right is Adam and Eve (1526) by Lucas Cranach the Elder (1472-1553), The Courtauld Gallery, London .
In Still life paintings they allowed the signifier to experiment with different styles and new painting techniques. Considered the least valuable of paintings, still life paintings were used by painters, such as Cézanne, to explore new colours and techniques for their art (Harris & Zucker, accessed 2019).
“So outmoded was the iconography (symbolic forms and references) in still life that this rather hopeless subject was freed of virtually all convention”
Dr. Beth Harris and Dr. Steven Zucker
The range of meanings of an apple in visual communication has a long and varied history, some changes have happened due to changes in language and its meaning, whereas other signs are still embedded into our lives due to a continuity of use.