QR Code contains TinyURL of this article.Retro Apple OS X Menu Bar Icon

Over the years I have used a variety of hacks to replace the Apple icon in the OS X menu-bar with the “rainbow” icon of old (because I’m the nostalgic type). Doing so used to be as simple as replacing a graphic on the system. However, with the arrival of “Leopard”, Apple changed from using bit-mapped to vector images1 for the menu-bar and it suddenly became more complicated to change.

Well I missed that little icon. I missed the dash of colour and playfulness it brought to the menu-bar. Every now and then I would launch an extended Google search to see if an OS X wizard had published a hack that would get me my vivacious icon back.

Then I found it.

Flavours is an OS X “skinning” application that, amongst the myriad styles it can bring to your Mac, has the wondrous capability of replacing the corporate grey Apple icon with any other. Naturally, I choose the rainbow Apple.2

The OS X Mavericks menu-bar with the Apple rainbow icon
The rainbow Apple icon on OS X Mavericks.

Welcome back old friend.

Updated: 26th October, 2014.

Flavours is not compatible with OS X Yosemite… but they’re working on it.

Updated: 4th October, 2015.

Well, they’re not working on it any more. The text below is re-produced from http://flavours.interacto.net/

“Apple introduced a new security policy on OS X El Capitan, preventing every process (even privileged ones) from modifying system files, either on filesystem or dynamically at runtime. Unfortunately, with these security restrictions in place, this is the end of line for Flavours.”

“For years, we have put our love and passion on Mac theming. We initially released ‘UNO - The Unified GUI’ for 10.4 back in 2006. Flavours development started shortly after 10.5 was released, in 2008. With lots of dedication and personal sacrifice, we took about 5 years to release Flavours Classic (1.x) which supports 10.7, 10.8 and 10.9. On OS X Yosemite (10.10), Apple introduced fundamental UI changes, visible and under the surface, which forced us to restart and redesign Flavours (2) from ground-up. During all this time, we have invested lots of time, resources, love and money on Flavours development; our return was terribly poor, but at least we were paid with love and engagement from the community. Now, with OS El Capitan (10.11) (sic) announced for Fall 2015, we decided to halt all further development on Flavours, and release Flavours 2 Lite bundled with a hand picked fine selection of 128 themes for OS X Yosemite.”

“Thank you for all your support and understanding.”

“We hope you enjoy Flavours 2 Lite, which is, probably, the last breath of theming on OS X.”

  1. I believe this change was necessary to support the semi-transparent menu-bar that Apple also introduced with Leopard. ↩︎

  2. Using the Flavours theme “Old Fashion” configured so as to only change the menu-bar and icon. ↩︎