The iMac revived Apple after a decade of sickly malaise. The name is so obviously iconic. So it’s shocking that Steve Jobs hated it and wanted to call it something so awful it would “curdle your blood”.
That’s according to the man who named it, Ken Segall, who talked to Leander at Cult of Mac. He worked at Apple’s agency TBWA\Chiat\Day and not only christened the iMac, but was the man behind Apple’s pitch-perfect “Think Different” campaign.
It’s ironic that Segall, who knew iMac was the perfect name and pitched it to Jobs over and over after being rejected again and again, thought that the computer itself was stupid: “We were guarded. We were being polite, but we were really thinking, ‘Jesus, do they know what they are doing?’ It was so radical.” It strikingly highlights the difference between people who create things and the people who sell them: Apple could see they had a brilliant product, but a terrible way to sell it. TBWA saw a terrible product, but had a brilliant way to brand it.
Unfortunately, Segall won’t actually reveal Jobs’ terrible name, fearing it would open the ninth gate of hell and bring forth the apocalypse choo-choo.
Steve never actually told Segall he’d accepted the name — he just started silk-screening it on prototypes to see how it looked. Check out the full interview over at Cult of Mac, it’s definitely worth the read. [Cult of Mac]