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The Real Celebrities-Jonathan Ive & Dieter Ram

Updated on January 21, 2010
Ive's Designs
Ive's Designs

I am not sure if many of you have heard about him. His work has changed the world, and that is not an over statement. How about Steve Jobs, I am sure you know him. The “Apple guy” who comes in black turtle necks and blue jeans and demos cool gadgets. Well Jonathan Ive is as important as Steve Jobs for Apple. He is the Senior Vice President of Industrial Design at Apple Inc. He was the guy behind several Apple hits:

The Bondi Blue iMac
Aluminum body Macintosh
iPod Generations
iPhone Generations
Apple TV
Mac Book Air

Great interview with Ive

As much as Steve Jobs was responsible for resurrecting Apple from the late 90’s lows, Jonathan Ive has been a key part of the success. He gained his current job title upon the return of Steve Jobs in 1997, and since then has headed the Industrial Design team responsible for most of the company's significant hardware products.

Jonathan Ive was born in Chingford, Essex. He was raised by his teacher father and studied Industrial Design at Northumbria University (Newcastle Polytechnic at the time). He attended Chingford Foundation School. He moved to the United States in 1992 to pursue his career at Apple Inc.

Here is something else you might have not known. Jonathan Ive was greatly inspired by another industrial designer called Dieter Ram, a legend in industrial design field. Dieter Ram’s had designed several products for Braun in the 60’s and 70’s.

Have you seen this Dieter Ram design some where? Image: Gizmodo
Have you seen this Dieter Ram design some where? Image: Gizmodo
Have you seen this Dieter Ram design some where? Image: Gizmodo
Have you seen this Dieter Ram design some where? Image: Gizmodo

Take a look at the photos above do you see any similarities with any of the new Apple products? I bet you do.

Old Braun & New Apple Products - Image: Gizmodo
Old Braun & New Apple Products - Image: Gizmodo

Dieter Rams on post-war design

Dieter Ram & Jonathan Ive. Image from Gizmodo
Dieter Ram & Jonathan Ive. Image from Gizmodo

Some might call it rip off I’ll reserve my comments, but it is the principles of design that Dieter Ram said decades ago that apply today and may be even in the design of future products. Dieter Ram’s principles were “Simplicity” and “Honesty of Design”.

He had condensed it into 10 principles that remain the commandments to designers around the world.

Good design is innovative.
Good design makes a product useful.
Good design is aesthetic.
Good design helps us to understand a product.
Good design is unobtrusive.
Good design is honest.
Good design is durable.
Good design is consequent to the last detail.
Good design is concerned with the environment.
Good design is as little design as possible.
Back to purity, back to simplicity.

The time that Ram was there with Braun, they were leading the pack. They sold some very innovative products and were doing exceptionally well. Ram brought about a unique culture in Braun in which designers, technicians and industrialists worked hand in hand to produce extraordinary products that were highly popular during the 60’s and 70’s.

Here are two people who are the epitome of their company and responsible for introducing beautifully designed products that have touched our lives or changes an entire industry.

Jonathan Ive and Dieter Ram are the real celebrities.


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