Johny Ive: The World’s Most Famous Designer And Reluctant Knight
LEANDER Kahney is talking about the world’s most famous designer, Essex-boy and graduate of Newcastle Polytechnic done very good, Johny Ive. British writer Kahney has profiled the Apple legend in Jony Ive: The Genius Behind Apple’s Greatest Products. Here are a few extracts:
Phil Gray, who was his first boss after he graduated from design school, met him at the Olympics in London. “When I asked Sir Jony what was it like being a knight of the realm, he replied, ‘You know what? Out in San Francisco it means absolutely nothing. But back in Britain it is a burden.’”
At 25, he was headhunted by Apple.
“I remember very clearly Steve announcing that our goal is not just to make money but to make great products,” Ive later recalled. “The decisions you make based on that philosophy are fundamentally different from the ones we had been making at Apple… We were on the same wavelength. I suddenly understood why I loved the company.”
In the design studio:
Ive has the only private office. The front wall and door are made of glass, with stainless steel fittings, just like the ones in Apple’s shops. Except for a small shelf system, the office is bare with plain white walls, featuring no pictures of his family or design awards; just a desk, chair and lamp.
Ive is Apple’s soul:
Just before he died on October 5, 2011, Jobs revealed the degree to which he had empowered Ive inside the company. “He has more operational power than anyone else at Apple except me,” Jobs said. “There’s no one who can tell him what to do, or to butt out. That’s the way I set it up.”
“Our goal isn’t to make money. Our goal absolutely at Apple is not to make money. This may sound a little flippant, but it’s the truth. Our goal and what gets us excited is to try to make great products. We trust that if we are successful, people will like them, and if we are operationally competent, we will make revenue, but we are very clear about our goal.”
Well, I bought an Ive original. Then I bought another. And another…
Lead Photo: In this file photo taken March 19, 1999, Jonathan Ive, left, Apple’s vice president of design, and Jon Rubinstein, Apple’s senior vice president of engineering, pose behind five iMac personal computers, at Apple headquarters in Cupertino, Calif. Apple CEO Steve Jobs may be the company’s most recognizable personality, but much of its cachet comes from its clean, friendly-looking designs, the product of its head designer, Jonathan Ive.