Jonathan Paul Ive CBE (born February, 1967) is a British designer and the Senior Vice President of Industrial Design at Apple Inc. He is internationally renowned as the principal designer of the iMac, aluminum PowerBook G4 (and MacBook Pro), iPod and iPhone.
The translucency and colors in this style appear to be inspired by gumdrop candies, and Ive reportedly visited confectionery plants to learn to replicate the gumdrop's visual effect. Ive and his team went on to develop novel manufacturing techniques in order to build products based on this design.
Only the PowerBook G3 was uninfluenced by the translucent style (with the exception of a translucent, bronze-colored keyboard on the Lombard and Pismo models, and retained its opaque black casing until it was replaced by the Titanium PowerBook G4 in 2001.
The "Bondi blue" iMac was replaced with five fruit colors in January 1999, "Blueberry" (a bright blue); "Grape" (purple); "Tangerine" (orange); "Lime" (green); and "Strawberry" (pinkish red). Two of these, "Tangerine" and "Blueberry", became the first colors for the iBook. Blueberry was also the color for the Blue and White Power Mac G3 and its displays. These candy colors started a fad in consumer goods where everything from clock radios to hamburger grillers had translucent bright plastic.
In late 1999, the fruit colors were joined by a quieter color scheme called "Graphite", in which the colored elements were replaced with a smoky grey and some of the white elements were made transparent. Graphite was the color of the iMac Special Edition models and the first Power Mac G4. Next came "Ruby" (dark red), "Sage" (forest green), "Indigo" (deep blue) and "Snow" (milky white) in 2000. The iBooks' colors were also updated: Blueberry was replaced with Indigo, Tangerine was replaced with Key Lime (an eye-popping neon green), and Graphite was added at the high end.
In 2001, two new color schemes were introduced: "Flower Power" and "Blue Dalmatian." "Flower Power" was white with flowers, and "Blue Dalmatian" was a blue similar to the original "Bondi blue", but with white spots. The "Snow" color scheme was also used on the second generation iBook.
In 2001, Apple designs shifted away from multicolored translucency and began two new design branches. The professional motif appeared with the Powerbook G4, and features industrial grade metal, first titanium, then aluminum. The consumer design debuted with the iBook G3, and featured glossy white coloring and opaque finishes. Both lines did away with soft, bulging shapes and moved toward streamlined, orthogonal, minimalist shapes. The designs appear to have been heavily influenced by German industrial designer Dieter Rams , with a clear example being the iPhone calculator widget, which appears to have been directly influenced by the Dieter Rams' 1978 Control ET44 calculator.
The iPod continued the look of the consumer line, featuring an opaque, white front. The success and wide embrace of Apple's iPod appeared to have had an effect on Ive and his design team, and some noted the striking similarity of the iPod's design with the subsequent iMac G5 and Mac mini designs. Apple even promoted the release of the iMac G5 as coming "from the creators of iPod," and, in the accompanying promotional photographs, both products were shown next to each other in profile, highlighting the similarities in their design. The more recent Airport Extreme, Apple TV, and iPhone designs have continued this trend toward a simple rounded-rectangle styling across product lines.
Critics regard Ive's work as being among the best in industrial design, and his team's products have repeatedly won awards such as the Industrial Designers Society of America's Industrial Design Excellence Award. Ive was the winner of the Design Museum's inaugural Designer of the Year award in 2002, and won again in 2003. In 2004, he was a juror for the award.
Ive is known to be unselfish in how he is attributed: In interviews, for example, he always emphasises the teamwork that goes into the products for which he receives recognition and fame.
The Sunday Times named Ive as one of Britain's most influential expatriates on 27 November 2005: "Ive may not be the richest or the most senior figure on the list, but he has certainly been one of the most influential... The man who designed the iPod and many more of Apple's most iconic products has shaken up both the music and the electronics industry." Ive was number three on a list of 25.
A recent Macworld poll listed Ive joining Apple in 1992 as the sixth most significant event in Apple history, while MacUser (a subsidiary of Macworld) writer Dan Moren suggested recently that, when the time comes for Steve Jobs to step down as CEO of Apple, Ive would be an excellent candidate for the position, justifying the statement by saying that he "embodies what Apple is perhaps most famous for: design.
The Daily Telegraph rated him the most influential Briton in America on 11 January 2008, 16 places ahead of his fellow Waltham Forest native David Beckham despite the massive publicity received in 2007 by his move to Los Angeles Galaxy.
In July 2008, Ive was awarded the MDA Personal Achievement award for the design of the iPhone.