Steve Jobs’s obsession with style is proverbial, and outstanding design has been an Apple hallmark for years, both on- and off-screen. (OK, there are a few exceptions…). During the early eighties, Hartmut Esslinger’s frog design studio had the biggest impact on Apple’s hardware designs.
Now, his son Marc has published an article on a German website, reminiscing about what it was like when Steve Jobs discussed design and product strategy with Hartmut Esslinger late into the night, playing the Beatles’s “Revolution”
album from the “White Album” at full blast, while 11-year-old Marc was trying to find some sleep under his Apple-themed bed sheets.
Two interesting quotes from the article:
Apple thinks “thirst” not “glass of water;” an electronic device as a cultural and human statement not just a piece of plastic and technology.
[nowadays] every marketing director [of other frog design customers] would eventually step into the room with an iPod in hand and say: “Build me an iPod, we want to become the Apple of our industry.”
To complement his article, Marc has thrown in some design study photos, some of them previously unpublished. It is stunning how many of these designs still feel “fresh” today despite their age of some twenty years. Even if you don’t understand German, it is well worth visiting the article page for the photo gallery alone. Scroll to the gallery at the bottom of the article and click on any of the images for a larger version.