Apple says goodb-i to a design pioneer
SO it’s farewell to the man who made the iPhone and changed our lives.
Apple revealed this week that its Chief Design Officer, Jony Ive, was to leave the company after almost 30 years to create his own design company.
Apple says that company – to be called LoveFrom – will continue to work for Apple on various projects well into the future.
Ive joined Apple in 1992, but rose to prominence when co-founder Steve Jobs returned to the company when it was in dire straits in 1997.
Promoting Ive to the head of design was perhaps the most important decision Jobs made in rebuilding Apple’s fortunes – and there is no denying the influence he had as Apple rose to become not only the biggest company in the world, but the biggest influence on trends within the tech industry itself.
Some have suggested Ive moving on will be troublesome for Apple but he leaves a superb team behind... and some of the most iconic design work ever seen.
Here are five things that came out of Apple under Ivy’s watch that changed everything:
THE first computer Apple made after Jobs and Ive began their remarkable collaboration was the iMac, and it set the tone for the decades to come. It looked like no computer that came before it, with its translucent shell, and was almost as remarkable for what it didn’t have than what it did.
For a start there was no floppy drive – unheard of at the time.
Commentators suggested at release that the iMac dropped the floppy too soon and that would prove fatal for the machine. They were very wrong about that.
THERE were portable MP3 players before the iPod came along, but they were nothing like the next thing
Jobs and Ive came out with – the sleek white iPod.
It was a limited device at first – you needed a Mac to sync it to, and it held only 1,000 songs on a 5gb hard drive.
Released in late 2001, it was a perfect example, not only of Apple’s new direction, but also of its creative marketing skill. And it became a massive hit that revolutionised the entire music industry – the repercussions are still being felt today, almost 20 years later.
THE iPod was a game-changer for the music industry, but six years later, buoyed by the success of the little white music box, Apple released a device that would change the rest of the world.
It’s hard to remember what smartphones were like before the iPhone was revealed back in 2007.
Now they all look like Ive’s iPhone – a rectangular slab of metal with an all-screen face. Some even laughed at the iPhone, claiming, as they had with the iMac, that it was too expensive and lacked too many features. They are not laughing now.
A YEAR after the iPhone broke the mould, Ive returned his attention to computers.
The Macs that have come out of his design studio over the years have shared two features – they have continued to get thinner and simpler. Nowhere is this most evident than in the MacBook Air.
Like the iPhone before it, it set a standard that others would follow – there are many computers from manufacturers today that look like that original MacBook Air. Apple still sells a model that remains largely unchanged on the outside from the one that was shown off in 2008.
IN the years since the MacBook Air’s release, a number of devices from Apple have showcased Ive’s genius (the iPad and the Apple Watch to name but two).
But his biggest project was the design of Apple’s HQ, Apple Park.
The huge circular structure in Cupertino, just south of San Francisco, was conceived during the final years of Steve Jobs’ life – his last public appearance before his death in 2011 was before a planning committee meeting to present the idea for the building and gather support for its approval.
After Jobs’ death, Ive saw the project through to completion, perhaps as a way to honour his friend. One of the buildings at Apple Park, left, is named after Jobs in recognition of this.
Even if Ive contributes no more to Apple, his influence will long live on in the team and culture he helped to build, and in the building in which Apple now calls home.
Game changers: The iMac (above) and the iPod (right) Jony Ive, left, with Apple CEO Tim Cook Steve Jobs launches the iPhone and, below, MacBook Air