Jony Ive’s design book is much more than an ego trip

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Designed by Apple in California book
Apple's Industrial Design team has published a book of its work over two decades: Designed by Apple in California.

Increasingly, some Apple fans think Jony Ive has lost it.

He’s killing ports and headphone jacks left and right. The latest MacBooks value form over function. He’s designing gold watches for the 1 percent.

And now his glossy new photo book, Designed by Apple in California, looks like a $300, linen-bound ego trip.

Breaking down Apple’s latest design studio video

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Apple Infinite Loop II
Apple's secretive Industrial Design Studio is on the ground floor of Infinite Loop II, one of the main buildings of Apple's Cupertino campus.

To promote his new design book, Jony Ive has made a video giving a very rare peek inside Apple’s ultra-sectretive design studio.

The video is only the second one that I know of that shows the inside of the “studio behind the Iron Curtain” — so called because it’s so sealed off from the outside world. (The other was last year’s 60 Minutes episode).

While watching it, I recognized a lot of details that I mention in my book about Jony Ive but I don’t think are generally well-known. So I screenshot the video and made a few notes. Warning: This one’s for the design nerds.

Jony Ive goes inside Apple’s design lab in new video

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macbook pro
Not a single detail goes unnoticed at Apple.
Photo: Apple

Going inside Apple’s design lab is a rare privilege some Apple execs don’t even get, but Jony Ive is giving the world a glimpse inside his lab to celebrate the company’s new book.

In Apple’s latest video, Jony Ive’s disembodied voice floats through his Industrial Design Studio while describing the processes for making the company’s iconic gadgets. Shots of Apple’s prototyping machines can be seen, as well as the product benches where every single detail of a product is analyzed and reconsidered.

Take a look:

Apple had to buy back old products featured in its new design book

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iMac
We hope they used Apple Pay, at least.
Photo: Apple

I don’t know about you, but I imagine Apple having an amazing vault somewhere under 1 Infinite Loop, containing pristine, still-packaged copies of every single computer it’s ever come out with — if for no reason other than as a design reference for employees.

Not so.

In fact, according to a new interview with Jony Ive, Apple had to actually go out and buy copies of its old products in order to photograph them for its new $300 coffee table book, set to be released tomorrow.

Apple chronicles 20 years of iconic design in pricey new book

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Designed-by-Apple-in-California-2
The perfect gift for the Apple fan in your life?
Photo: Apple

Apple has announced that it will be debuting a new hardbound book, entitled “Designed by Apple in California,” chronicling 20 years of its groundbreaking designs — boasting 450 photographs of past and present Apple products.

The book, which is dedicated to the memory of Steve Jobs, will also include exclusive details on the design processes used by Apple’s design team under the leadership of Jony Ive.