The one of Libé, it’s something. Every evening on social networks, it is the most commented press object. Sometimes applauded, like the one dedicated to heat dome in Canada or to Jean-Paul Belmondo. Sometimes widely criticized, like this week, after the death of Bernard Tapie. On the evening of October 6, 2011, the newspaper unveils its front page. No text, a black background and a diverted logo: the leaf of Apple’s apple changes place and becomes a tear, to mourn the disappearance of Steve Jobs, co-founder of the company responsible for your iPhone, iMac, iPod and iPleins of other things.
Ten years later, this one counts among the most emblematic images of Release. “The idea seems obvious today”, says Stéphanie Aubert, deputy editor-in-chief. However, having seen all day of October 6, 2011 tweets from Internet users associating an apple emoji and a tearful emoji, the journalist arrived in a meeting with a negative a priori on this story of crying fruit: “Maximum clairvoyance!”
“The end of an era”
Who had the idea of this one strong and sober at the same time? As often at Release, the matter is collective. After investigation, the responsibility seems shared between Martin Le Chevallier, deputy artistic director of Libé in 2011, and Paul Quinio, deputy editor. “Paul had the idea of the tear”, remembers Martin Le Chevallier, who came up with the idea of hijacking the Apple logo. “I came in a meeting with many tries, including this weeping apple. We did not yet have a headline, so I brought proposals without text ”, adds the one who is now a visual artist.
The front page without headline, that is to say without text? If some members of the management are initially skeptical, the strength of the visual prevails: “The death of Steve Jobs was already known, people weren’t going to find out with the front page Libé. With this visual, we described above all the end of an era, more than the information of the death of Jobs ”, explains Stéphanie Aubert. The initiative surprises even the printer of the newspaper: “They called because they thought there was a bug. In 1987, we had a problem with an edition dedicated to Madonna that came out of print without text. They thought it was starting again ”, continues the journalist.
The “one Apple”, as we say today, is a critical and popular success. On the morning of October 7, 2011, on France Inter, Yves Decaens opened his press review with Release. “We even had a price”, remembers Martin Le Chevallier, referring to an award given by the Club of artistic directors. But the real surprise came from Apple: “They called the editorial staff.” For a trial? No, for a tribute: “They asked us for permission to display the newspaper in Apple Stores!”
After a decade, this one continues to live on, regularly featured in graphic design and editing books. As for the posters published at the time by Release intended for employees, they continue to populate our editorial staff at the moment: a white apple cries Steve Jobs near the photo service, but also in the corridor that runs alongside the offices of CheckNews, on a shelf next to the large editorial conference table, and in the essential hallway that leads to the coffee machine. And, again, this morning, on our Instagram account.