Very few companies develop products that truly revolutionize how we accomplish our daily functions. One such example is Apple computers. Though we work on PC based machines we must commend apple for their product design and marketing genius. What makes a customer fall in love with a product? It is the design and interaction with the product. No one knows this better than Jonathan Ive. Johnathan is the 20 year Chief Design Officer at Apple computers and the man directly responsible for design of the iMac, iPod, iPhone, and the iPad. ive studied at Newcastle Polytechnic where he received and BS in industrial design. You could even say it was in his blood as his father was a professor at middle-sex Polytechnic and an accomplished silversmith craftsman.
Ive spent his childhood taking apart the family’s worldly goods and trying to put them back together again. “Complete intrigue with the physical world starts by destroying it” he says. Design and creativity frequently start at an early age with a simple facilitation of how things work. He carried this investigative personality and was able to connect directly with jobs with it. The close due was able to transform Apple from a near-bankrupt company into into the most valuable corporation on the planet, worth more than $665 billion.
whether it be Ives design for a low profile or Apple’s policy to limit external interviews of company executive Ives lives a very low profile life. Even though he is the highest paid designer he only has on house, though it is in the upscale district of San Francisco. He lives there with his wife and their twin sons. He adores simplicity in his life and it is reflected in his designs. The iPhone was light years ahead of the smart phone competition with its use of touch screens and UI, heck, Five-year-old kids use a iPad with as high level of fluency.
During school Ive was not pleased with current computing devices and wanted to increase the usability of the devises. He started working for Apple in 1991 and by 1992 he was an Apple employee. The first few years did not go well as Apple did not share his vision for design.When Steve Jobs, returned to turn around the firm in 1996, he noticed the raw talent Ive’s had and the two men embarked their maniacal journey to redesign what they saw as the bland, lazy world around them. They setup the design studio, a non apple like concrete building where only the 15 or so designers and top executives were allowed to go in. Sort of like their Skunk works division.
Ives Starts each project be defining what the product should be and goes from there. Once on the design route he pulls inspiration from the most unlikely place. For instance the iconic colorful iMac was idealized while Ives was talking with a jelly bean manufacture. This out of the box thinking made his first big hit in the company. His inspiration for the powerbooks? That was from a visit to northern Japan where he saw metal workers shaping thin sheet metal. Also, he has such a refined eye. He spent months working on the shape of the iMac metal stand. The challenge was that it was something barely noticeable but part of the system so it shall fit.
At Loray Design We salute you Johnathan Ives for inspiring our imaginations to not only engineer and design but to make something that customers can connect with.