Sir Jonathan Ive, known to many as “Jony”, is Chief Design Officer for the multinational technology company Apple. He is responsible for designing hardware and interface for products such as the iMac, Apple Watch, iPod, iPhone, and iOS. His streamlined and compact creations have earned him numerous awards and made him one of the most influential people in the field as well as the world. To know more about the Apple design guru, here are the following facts:
1. He learned how to design from his father, Michael Ive.
- Michael was a gifted silversmith and professor at Middlesex Polytechnic. He was also responsible for setting the standards in design classes used in British schools.
- The elder Ive’s Christmas gift would be to help Jony design whatever he wanted in the college’s workshop during the holiday break.
2. He was a high achiever despite his dyslexia.
- Ive was qualified to enter Cambridge or Oxford, but pursued his design career by attending Newcastle Polytechnic, one of the world’s best schools for industrial design. He also holds honorary degrees from five other colleges and universities.
- Jony’s so-called soul mate in the business, Steve Jobs, was also dyslexic.
3. Despite his incredible success, his design philosophy is down to earth.
- Ive’s designs are not only sleek, compact, and trendy; they also consider comfort for the user by using round, soft, and organic forms. He follows furniture designer Josef Frank’s philosophy that “humans are soft and shapes should be, too.”
- He prefers to work behind the scenes and claims Apple’s goal is not to make profit, but to create well-loved products—the money simply follows.
4. Jony’s love for opulence and watches helped develop the Apple Watch.
- He is drawn to top-tier luxury designs and fashion. He admires Vertu’s jeweled mobile phones and owns a copy of “100 Superlative Rolex Watches”. He pushed for development of the smartwatch because it seemed “inevitable”.
- Ives greatly dislikes round-faced smartwatches because the shape is not efficient for displaying lists. Therefore the Apple Watch needed to be rectangular.
5. His career in Apple almost ended more than once.
- Before Steve Jobs’s return in 1997, Ive’s works received little attention and he considered leaving the company. His then-boss persuaded him to remain, with a salary increase and the position of Senior Vice President of Industrial Design.
- When Jobs took over, he had two designers in mind to reclaim the position, but changed his mind and elevated the design team when he saw Ive’s prototypes.
6. Ive was knighted for his services and creations.
- For his contributions to enterprise and design, he was first made a Commander of the British Empire in 2006, then elevated to a Knight Commander in 2012.
- Jony holds more than 5,000 design and utility patents from all over the world, 730 of which are from the United States alone.
Despite having an unpleasant start at Apple, Jonathan Ive rose to become one of its most indispensable and prominent members. His passion for great design and humility in spite of success are truly admirable.