Jonathan Ive: Journey of a gifted designer

Jony-Ive,-le-génial-designer-d'AppleJonathan Ive, the head of Apple’s design since 1998, the bright star designer. A product of the school of English design, Jonathan Ive, Tim Cook and Steve Jobs of course, one of the key players of Apple’s revival. At this gifted Apple iMac G3 is colored sold in 1998, his Powerbook, iPhone, iPad to mention only the most significant success of the Apple brand. He also had some commercial setbacks such as the failure of the Newton is still that of TAM, the Twentieth Anniversary Macintosh. Failures that have prompted Steve Jobs to reconsider the industrial organization of Apple’s return. By transferring power to the design rather than its engineers, the iconic CEO has found a formula that would place the mark on the path of exceptional growth. An organization that many industry still trying to copy today. This biography of Jonathan Ive returned to what will undoubtedly remain the golden age of Apple.

The story of a quiet man

The Apple Newton second generation is signed Jonathan Ive

The Apple Newton second generation is signed Jonathan Ive (Photo: Nzeemin / Wikimedia Commons)

Not easy to write a biography of Jonathan Ive as the culture of secrecy prevails at Apple. In his latest book “Jony Ive: The Genius Behind Apple’s Greatest Products“, Laender Kahney, former editor of and now head of the site CultofMac, traces the career of this gifted designer.
English, who started his career at Tangerine in London was quickly spotted by Robert Brunner, head of Apple’s design. This has entrusted the agency design Juggernaut, an exploratory mobile device project. Advanced project which some believe that the real purpose is to attract the young designer in his nets because this is his third attempt to recruit Jony. English gives in and leaves for California in September 1992, he was 27 years old.


The iMac G3, here in its Blueberry declination, was launched in August 1998 (Photo: Thomas Kaiser / Wikimedia Commons)

Apple, in the 80s, is outsourcing its design, especially with Frog Design, has set up an internal team under the leadership of Robert Brunner, in the 90s, is a dreamteam design in San Francisco. He recruited Daniele De Luliis, Barley K Andre and finally Jonathan Ive. Brunner’s team will immediately encounter the Apple culture: designers involved only after the work of engineers, to somehow make an envelope for a product already designed. A model then shows its limits. Design cycles are too long, not enough innovative products, the manufacturer will end up on the brink. Jonathan Ive, commissioned to design the second generation of the Newton PDA will be distinguished by the quality of his work, but will fail to save the sinking this precursor of the iPad.

The return of Steve Jobs, a tipping point in the career of the designer

For the iMac G4, Jonathan Ive managed to impose his favorite color, white, Steve Jobs

For the iMac G4, Jonathan Ive managed to impose his favorite color, white, Steve Jobs (Photo: Benjamin Thompson)

It was not until 1997 and the return of Steve Jobs to get things moving. Apple co-founder, after searching out a design star to revive the brand, will finally find the future director of design in-house, will Jony Ive. The two men rethink the organization of the company, the design now dictating the law to engineers. An internal revolution that will make cringe in Apple’s design offices, but the designer can impose his style to the brand: the search for simplicity is constant and obsessive attention to detail is consistent with that of Steve Jobs. A real friendship grows between the two men, even if the designer must accept that his great boss assigns some of his ideas on the occasion …
This collaboration will create some of the most successful designs in the history of the brand and the industry in general: iMac G3, G4 iMac, iPod, iPod Shuffle, Powerbook, Macbook Air and of course the iPhone iPod.

Jony Ive takes under his wing the OS softwares

Jony Ive has imposed a

Jony Ive has imposed a “flat design” on iOS 7 (Photo: Apple)

The designer has not only designed the products that have made Apple change the size, but also how to produce computers. It will impose the billet aluminum to produce thinner laptops. New evidence of simplification which still drives the designer. As proof, the new user interface of iOS 7 Since 2012 this is indeed the star of Apple designer who took under his wing iOS, the operating mobile devices brand system. Proof, if more were needed that the success of tomorrow’s products will be in this fusion between hardware and software, an alchemy that many manufacturers are struggling to implement today.

As soon as he took charge of Apple operating systems, I’ve totally supersede the skeuomorphique design of iOS to the dustbin of history user interfaces immediately. His great defender, Scott Forstall, head of Apple app ousted Jonathan Ive will be able to clean the Apple mobile OS anachronisms that he has never been able to stand and impose the “Flat Design”, an HMI stripped and simplified to the extreme. A leitmotiv which he never deviated.
Jony Ive: The Genius Behind Apple’s Greatest Products“, Laender Kahney, a fascinating book, even if you’re not a fanboy of the brand!

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