Sir Jonathan Ive, better known as Jony Ive, has officially resigned from his role as Chief Design Officer at Apple. As from last week, he declared that he will head another direction by establishing his own design company – LoveFrom – and will no longer an Apple employee. Ive has been working for the company for almost three decades and he is the man behind Apple’s most distinguishable product designs.
Ive’s first day at Apple was in 1992, as a member of the design division. Back then he worked mostly on the Apple Newton design. Five years later, he was ready to leave, but the late Steve Jobs promoted him to Apple’s Senior Vice President of Industrial Design. What Steve Jobs did back then marked the beginning of an era symbolizing Apple’s rise from the ashes.
Over the years, Ive has won an incredible number of awards and honors for his work. In the United Kingdom, he has been named a Royal Designer for Industry, an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, and a Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire. Furthermore, according to a BBC poll of cultural writers from 2004, Ive was ranked the most influential person in British culture.
Let’s get into the time machine
Unfortunately, we can’t do much about Ive’s resignation. What we can do is to reminisce and honor his creative legacy. Surely, Jony Ive will forever be an integral part of Apple’s history and success. But let’s look back at one of his early designs and narration for the Apple iMac video (2009):
Jony Ive is first of all appreciated for his contribution to Apple’s industrial design. He became internationally famous for narrating a big number of the company’s marketing materials. His pronunciation of “aluminium”, has turned into a meme, and there are tons of YouTube parody videos as well as old compilations of his narrations.
In this particular video above, what catches the viewer’s attention is Ive’s poetic description of the new Magic Mouse design. Most importantly, the mouse’s design remains unchanged.
Over the years, Ive’s design has slightly changed while remaining minimalistic, crisp and simple. What’s more, for his design of the Apple’s iPhone 5C (2013), he included more colors for the phone’s case:
The colorful design of the iPhone 5C, truly remains one of Apple’s most daring decisions for an Apple device. Furthermore, Ive doesn’t disappoint with his choice of words for the narration. For example, he uses the words, “beautifully, unapologetically plastic”, referring to the cheaper, more colorful, body of the phone. Unfortunately, the iPhone 5C doesn’t contain any aluminium or at least for the case. But it still remains one of the most eye-catching designs for an Apple device.
Last but not least, two of the most recent designs of Jony Ive are those for Mac Pro and Pro Display XDR (2019):
At the WWDC 2019, Apple announced the release of Mac Pro and Pro Display XDR. From the official video, it is quite visible that Ive didn’t cheat on his simplistic aluminum design. Maybe Ive felt nostalgic as well, as he chose to use and modify an old model of Mac Pro, jokingly named by Apple fans “the cheese grater”. Anyhow, the design still remains a state of the art.
What’s next for Apple?
Even though Ive is not going to be an Apple employee from the inside, the company will be his first official client for LoveFrom. Furthermore, the people taking over his position are VP Industrial Design Evans Hankey and VP Human Interface Design Alan Dye. Contrary to the times when Steve Jobs was in charge, they will report to the COO Jeff Williams and not directly to the CEO Tim Cook.
“The team will certainly thrive under the excellent leadership of Evans, Alan and Jeff, who have been among my closest collaborators. I have the utmost confidence in my designer colleagues at Apple, who remain my closest friends, and I look forward to working with them for many years to come.”
– Jonathan Ive
Jony Ive’s resignation still acts as a milestone for the company and Apple’s designs might not be the same without him. But if Ive believes in his descendants, then maybe we should, as well.