Recently Released Biography of Jony Ive Provides Some Insight about the Design Genius
Although he has known for his role in creating a long line of iconic products at Apple, Jony Ive is a shy public figure whose most visible contributions to Apple’s high-profile product launches typically come in the participation in brief videos highlighting the design of the company’s latest devices. His reserved nature hasn’t stopped editor and publisher Leander Kahney from taking on the task of covering Ive’s life in a new biography entitled Jony Ive: The Genius Behind Apple’s Greatest Products, which was recently released.
The biography draws on interviews with a number of former classmates, teachers, co-workers and other acquaintances of Ive, while also making extensive references to previously-published quotes from Ive and others stretching back over the past several decades. The book begins with coverage of Ive’s upbringing and schooling, including an overview of his father’s role in making design technology an integral part of the UK school curriculum and discussion of how Jony was already being regarded as an excellent design student by the age of 16/17.
The book offers good background knowledge extending from Ive’s days studying design at Newcastle Polytechnic on a rare sponsorship from leading London design firm Roberts Weaver Group (RWG) to his time working at RWG after graduation and eventually joining with friends at the young design firm Tangerine Design. The author sprinkled in discussion fo some of his projects and quotes from those he worked with as well. From there, the book naturally carries on to cover Ive’s recruitment to Apple, the evolution of the Industrial Design group and more well-known topics such as the multitude of groundbreaking products for which his team has been responsible, including the original iMac that kicked off a “string of hits” for the Mac lineup, the iPod, the iPhone and the iPad.
Towards the end, Kahney’s biography talks about the corporate shakeup at Apple, which occurred late last year and saw iOS chief Scott Forstall ousted and Ive given the responsibility for the Human Interface aspects of software to go along with his hardware design role. Overall, the book does a pretty good job of pulling together various pieces of information, anecdotes and quotes from Ive himself to highlight his life, career and outlook on design. In the absence of cooperation from Ive and Apple, the book provides the best look at the designer whose work is seen and used by millions of people everywhere.