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The Shift-Option-K Apple Logo Glyph Is Not Cross-Platform

On the Mac, you can put an Apple logo in any text field by typing Shift-Option-K. This might date back all the way to System 1.0 in 1984. Some people use this to spell the name of products like Apple TV and Apple Watch. It’s super-common with Apple Watch, in fact, almost certainly because Apple uses the logo mark (that is to say, the Apple logo glyph followed by “WATCH” in all caps or, even fancier, small cap Unicode glyphs).

This is a bad idea for a few reasons. First, it is not a standard Unicode character and almost certainly never will be — because it is Apple’s copyrighted intellectual property. You could argue that it’s the single most valuable IP asset the company owns. This means the glyph does not render on platforms other than Apple’s own. It just shows up as a “missing glyph” box or a space.

Second, the name of the product is “Apple Watch”. Even Apple spells it out like that in prose.

Third, as Nevan King points out, it could be misinterpreted as the Klingon Mummification Glyph. You wouldn’t want that to happen.

Tuesday, 24 March 2015