Read Cult of Mac’s latest posts on design:

Smarter design will make your website a love letter to users


Stop losing traffic because your site is clumsy with this bundle.
Your visitors will thank you for mastering UX design early.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

Learning to craft websites that users can easily navigate and enjoy exploring is an in-demand skill that could lead to an exciting career. And an easy way to get started on the web design career path is the 2022 Premier Adobe XD UI/UX Design Bundle.

This 75-hour course bundle can help you understand the principles of web design and some of the software that pros use. For a limited time, it costs only $39.99 (regularly $1,200).

iPhone Studio? Concept mixes Mac Studio design with Apple’s handset.


Meet the iPhone Studio, a design concept by Antonio De Rosa based on the Mac Studio.
Meet the iPhone Studio, a design concept by Antonio De Rosa based on the Mac Studio.
Photo: Antonio De Rosa

A new design concept has married elements of the recently released Mac Studio desktop computer to everyone’s favorite handset, the iPhone.

The resulting renders, by prolific Italian concept artist Antonio De Rosa, show a sleek “iPhone Studio” with a powerful array of features.

Feast your eyes on these zany Casely iPhone 13 cases


Casely's new iPhone 13 cases are a feast for the eyes. If you're into that sort of thing.
Casely's new iPhone 13 cases are a feast for the eyes. If you're into that sort of thing.
Photo: Casely

Apple accessories provider Casely is known for its kooky and colorful designs. That remains true with its new iPhone 13 cases. The new Casely iPhone 13 case collections for Apple’s new handsets are full of zany patterns, prints and textures worthy of an Instagram influencer.

Want to make a MagSafe accessory for iPhone 12? Follow these guidelines


MagSafe on iPhone 12 Pro GIF
MagSafe is back — but not as you knew it.
GIF: Apple

Apple has created a guidelines document for third-party manufacturers who want to create their own MagSafe accessories for the iPhone 12.

It contains specific guidance, such as the fact that MagSafe cases must have a a maximum thickness of 2.1mm, and should be capable of clinging on securely to an iPhone without necessarily having to rely on the magnets to do so.

Best iOS 14 custom Home screens (so far …)


iOS 14 Home screen modification
Give your iPhone a bespoke overhaul.
Photo: Pogpals

Thanks to iOS 14’s new widgets, seemingly everyone is redesigning their iPhone Home screens right now. Some of these look amazing. Others evoke the eyeball-abusing tragedy of late-stage MySpace, serving as painful reminders of why most of us didn’t become professional graphic designers.

Here are some of the better iOS 14 custom Home screens we’ve seen. (Want to make your own? We’ve got a guide for you: How to give your iPhone Home screen a new look with custom icons).

Meet Jerry Manock, the father of Apple’s Industrial Design Group


Apple’s first proper industrial designer, Jerry Manock crafted the look of the Macintosh and other memorable computers.
Apple’s first proper industrial designer, Jerry Manock crafted the look of the Macintosh and other memorable computers.
Photo courtesy Jerry Manock

Jerry Manock is one of the great unsung heroes of Apple design. As the father of Apple’s Industrial Design Group, Manock made an indelible contribution to the company’s long line of hit products.

He may not be a household name like Jony Ive, but, starting with the Apple II, Manock played a massive role in making the company what it is today. In an exclusive interview with Cult of Mac, the 76-year-old industrial designer recounts many colorful stories about Cupertino’s past — including one that shows even Steve Jobs got nostalgic.

Is this the bold new look for iOS 14? [Cult of Mac Magazine 337]


Neumorphism might fix some current iOS problems.
Neumorphism might fix some current iOS problems.
Cover: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

Before iOS 7, skeumorphism’s cartoon realism ruled. Then things swung too far in the opposite direction, with flat white pages, skinny text and occasionally confusing visual cues. An emerging design trend called neumorphism could bridge the gap in iOS 14, according to Cult of Mac’s Charlie Sorrel. With subtle shading and helpful hints, neumorphism could influence the evolution of Apple’s mobile UI.

Read all about this hot emerging design trend in this week’s free issue of our iOS magazine. It also includes the week’s top Apple news stories, along with a passel of how-tos and product reviews.

Most Americans say they won’t buy a folding smartphone


Xiaomi foldable phone
We're not exactly clamoring for one.
Photo: Lin Bin/Xioami

Someone thinks a foldable smartphone is a good idea. That person, for now, is not the consumer.

In a survey of 11,374 Americans, a whopping 82 percent of the respondents said they have no plans to purchase a foldable smartphone. That doesn’t mean companies need to shut the lid on the idea.

Is neumorphism the big new look for iOS 14?


Flat UI elements, bolstered with real-world visual cues, make neumorphism easy to
Flat UI elements, bolstered with real-world visual cues, make neumorphism easy to "read."
Photo: MazePizel/Dribbble

Take one look at any screenshot from a pre-iOS 7 iPhone, and you’ll wonder how we ever used such a hideous interface for so many years. The skeumorphic design language included so much fake wood, glossy plastic and gray gradient that there’s almost nowhere to put the actual contents of the app.

iOS 7 went way too far in the opposite direction, with flat white pages and skinny text. Is that a button? Is it just a label? Can I press it? Who knows? We’re still suffering from this UI ambiguity today, in iOS 13. Text got thicker, but it’s still hard to know what to press, and what is just there to be read.

Clearly, there’s a space between these two extremes. Something as clean as iOS 7 and, at the same time, as obvious and usable as iOS 6 and previous versions. But what would that look like? I know what I want it to look like. It’s called “neumorphism,” and it looks fantastic.

The designer of Apple’s iconic dingbats font recreates Cairo as a throw rug


The designer of Apple’s iconic dingbats font recreates Cairo as a throw rug
Can you spot Clarus the DogCow?
Photo: Susan Kare/Areaware

If you’re an old school Apple fan, you may well remember the Cairo font. Cairo shipped with every version of macOS from 1984 through System 7.1. It was computer history’s first “dingbats” font in computer history, meaning a font in which letters are represented by seemingly unrelated graphics.

Now Susan Kare, the iconic Apple designer who created the fonts and icons for the original Mac, has resurrected Cairo as the basis for a new limited edition throw rug design. Searching for the perfect geeky rug design for your office? Look no further.

How to preview installed fonts on your iPad


More terrifying than a blank Pages document.
More terrifying than a blank Pages document.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

iOS 13 and iPadOS added official support for adding fonts to your iPhone and iPad. You’ve been able to do it for a while, using third-party apps that hack their way around the problem using software configuration profiles to install typefaces on your system.

And you can still use those. In fact, you may have to, as we’ll see in a moment. But now you can also install fonts from the App Store, as well as previewing them in a new built-in panel. Let’s take a look.

3 productivity apps for Mac we can’t live without


Running out of time? There are many ways to boost your productivity.
Photo: Pixabay

This Mac productivity apps post is presented by Dashlane.

Productivity apps for Mac are ubiquitous. There are so many of them, you can burn up a lot of productivity while you spend hours searching for the best ones. That’s why articles like this one prove so useful. They help you quickly identify a few key apps worth considering.

Cult of Mac book designer embraces ‘think different’


cover of Cult of Mac 2E
The Apple inspiration doesn't stop with the cover.
Photo: No Starch Press

Designer Derek Yee asked himself why there weren’t any books about Macs that looked like MacBooks.

So when the assignment came across his desk to design The Cult of Mac, 2nd Edition, he thought that making the upcoming book’s cover look and open like a silvery MacBook Pro was a winning idea.

His colleagues at No Starch Press weren’t so sure.

Save up to 73% on a pro vector graphics app [Deals]


Gravit Designer PRO
Score access to a powerful, intuitive, and affordable vector design app.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

If you’re doing digital design work, you have to work with vector graphics. The scalable format is fundamental to today’s designers, but subscriptions with the big platforms like Adobe can get expensive. So this affordable alternative from Gravit is a great way to do the work while saving dough.

Enhance your content with unlimited royalty-free photos [Deals]


Add gorgeous, royalty-free photos from all over the world to any project.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

Few things can make your content pop like a good photo. That’s true whether you’re building a website or a slide presentation, or writing an article or an ad.

Unfortunately, photo rights can be expensive, so this massive photo library subscription is a can’t-miss opportunity. Even better, you can get it at a massive discount.

Steve Jobs insisted every bolt on Pixar’s HQ be hand-tightened


Steve Jobs sweated the details of the Steve Jobs Building on the Pixar campus in Emeryville, California.
Steve Jobs sweated the details.
Photo: Duluoz cats/Flickr CC

Breaking news: Steve Jobs was kind of a perfectionist when it came to design.

OK, so that’s not exactly the world’s best-kept secret. But a new story about the creation of Pixar’s headquarters highlights Jobs’ obsessive attention to detail. For anyone who remembers hearing about the creation of Apple Park, it will sound eerily familiar…

Jeff Williams might be Apple’s next Tim Cook


Apple COO Jeff Williams
Williams is next in line for the CEO’s office.
Photo: Apple

Apple operations chief Jeff Williams is the most important person at the company after CEO Tim Cook, according to a new report.

Williams, who has also taken over Apple’s design studio following the departure of Jony Ive, is thought to be first in line to replace Cook when the time is right.

“He’s very much in the mold of the current chief executive: a paragon of operational efficiency and even temper,” said several current and former colleagues.

Jony Ive has been on his way out of Apple for years


Jony Ive CultCast
Ive only visits Apple's campus a couple of times a week.
Photo: BBC

News of Jony Ive’s departure from Apple may have come as a shock to some, but to many others, it has been a long time coming. A new report claims Ive has been slowly reducing his responsibilities since the launch of Apple Watch.

Sources close to Apple have revealed that Ive has been visiting the company’s new headquarters as little as twice a week. “This has been a long time in the making,” one said.

Beef up your resume by adding UI and UX design [Deals]


The Ultimate UI & UX Designer Bundle
With 24/7 access to four UI and UX courses, you can boost your resume at your own pace.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

In the precarious gig economy, there’s no such thing as being overqualified. One of the many great ways to boost your resume is becoming fluent in UI and UX design. In our digital age, there’s almost no industry that these disciplines don’t touch, so it’s a valuable skill indeed.

Apple product shot parody makes beat-up gadgets look pretty


Apple product shot parody
A broken Apple Watch and scratched up iPod never looked better.
Photo: Elvin Hu

Apple taught Elvin Hu new languages.

Born in China, Hu refined his English by watching Apple keynote events. He also came to understand the visual language of Apple’s product photography.

The latter inspired Hu, a design student at The Cooper Union in New York City, to create a series of product shots showing broken and well-worn Apple gadgets in hands that share similar gouges and scratches.