A Hong Kong design student's poignant tribute to Apple founder Steve Jobs became an internet hit Thursday with its minimalist, touching symbolism and brought a job offer and a flood of commemorative merchandise using his design.

(For design, see http://jmak.tumblr.com/post/9377189056)

Nineteen-year-old Jonathan Mak, a student at Hong Kong's Polytechnic University School of Design, came up with the idea of incorporating Steve Jobs' silhouette into the bite of the Apple logo, symbolizing both Jobs' departure and lingering presence at the core of the company.

The design spread like wildfire in cyberspace, drawing hundreds of thousands of posts, and even commemorative caps and T-shirts peddled on eBay featuring his design.

The logo was even used as the twitter profile picture for Hollywood actor Ashton Kutcher.

It's been a crazy day for me, Mak told Reuters.

I'm both excited and terrified, added the teen-ager.

Mak said he had received a job offer because of the design.

I really am speechless, he said in a Twitter post.

Apple's co-founder Jobs, who created revolutionary products and reshaped the way the world approaches computing and personal communications, died Wednesday at the age of 56.

Mak, who first created the logo after Jobs' stepped down as Apple's head in August, said it hadn't made much of a splash until he reposted it Thursday.

Originally, I was going to put a black modified logo against a white background, said the bespectacled Mak who paid tribute to Jobs at Hong Kong's Apple store.

It just didn't feel somber enough. I just wanted it to be a very quiet commemoration. It's just this quiet realization that Apple is now missing a piece. It's just kind of implying his absence.

(Reporting by James Pomfret and Sisi Tang; Editing by Robert Birsel)