Remember The $300 'Designed By Apple In California' Photo Book? It Was A 'Responsibility,' Says Jony Ive


Certainly no technology company has influenced the direction of design as much as Apple has. Ergonomic and aesthetic consideration given to devices a decade ago is starkly different than the current climate of design today, and while Apple is not a lone headliner in that path, it initially propelled forward-thinking design through its products over the years.

Regularly vaunted for its signature premium form, Apple has Jonathan Ive, its chief design officer, to thank. Every product the company unveils is a spectacle in and of itself, and deservedly so, since Apple specializes in fine-tuning the synergy of its hardware and its proprietary software. As a result, consumers end up with a pricier lineup of devices, of which design and function aspects are both difficult to discount.

Designed By Apple In California Was A Responsibility

To immortalize this facet of the company, Jony Ive and his team has worked on a new book called Designed by Apple in California, self-published by Apple, containing over 450 pages congested with photos of the company’s products shot by Andrew Zuckerman. In a recent interview with art and culture publication Dazed, Jony Ive confesses, among other things, that the book felt a requirement, instead of something his team felt compelled to do.

The project began eight years ago, spurred by a feeling of obligation to jot a detailed record: a definitive archive of Apple’s body of work in the design department.

“Honestly, it felt more of an obligation than something that we felt really compelled to do,” Ive said. “[A]s designers, we are far more interested in and consumed by the future; in what doesn’t exist yet.”

Working on the book implored them to sift through Apple’s past, and Ive, as a designer, is an antithesis of scrambling through finished totems of his own handiwork. But since he and his team had been in working for close to 25 years, the book felt as if it had to be done.

Jony Ive On Simplicity

Jony Ive prefers product to look undesigned, despite the arduous process of art and engineering that results into exactly this. A subtle, restrained and innovative design that doesn’t demand elegance, it idly waits to be regarded as so, unprovokingly. The introduction of the book has Ive sharing a design principle of simplicity, striving to create products that match this basic, almost obvious regard for “perceived inevitability.” This predilection favored both Ive and the late Steve Jobs, who sought for simplicity in creating things.

“One of our jobs is to try and bring some order to what is chaotic and complex,” Ive said.

Designed by Apple in California is out now. Small and large editions are available for $199 and $299, respectively.

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