British designer Jony Ive is no longer listed as a member of Apple’s leadership team, in what could be a watershed moment for the tech company.
Apple’s list of executive profiles on its website now has a notable absence: Jony Ive, who led Apple’s design team since 1996, is no longer in the picture, having left to found his own design company, LoveFrom.
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Famous for creating thin, aesthetic devices − and for narrating their presentation with a gentle English accent − he was a name just as synonymous with the brand as Tim Cook or Steve Jobs. So what are the next steps in design for the company from Cupertino?
There are many iconic Apple designs for which Ive and his team are responsible. The Apple Watch for instance, with its rounded square shape and its single crown, is a departure from the traditional circular watches we all were used to, and you can identify it immediately when you see it on someone’s wrist.
The recent designs of iPhones have inspired multiple homages, with the notch becoming mainstream after its adoption by Apple.
There have been misses as well as hits though, such as the Mac Pro 2019‘s cheesegrater design − but it’s nonetheless encouraging to see a major firm challenging staid consensus with bold new ideas.
So what’s going to be the next word in design from Apple? We’d certainly like to see the Mac Pro’s design corrected, and we think it’s time for a change with the iPhone design too, as the notch has become a bit passé.
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But for better or for worse, it’s likely that things will continue without too much change, as Ive’s design company will continue to work with Apple.
What’s perhaps a more interesting question is this: what other new products, away from tech, could Ive lend his distinctive vision to now that he, presumably, has more freedom? We’ll just have to wait and see.