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17 Quotes on Design Philosophy From Apple’s Sir Jony Ive

Recently, Apple announced it was “promoting” its lead designer, Jony Ive. The promotion is little more than a title change, as Ive has led Apple’s world-changing product design since joining the company in 1996. “Sir” Jony Ive (he’s been knighted by the Queen of England) is well known across the globe for his innovative designs that made Apple the world’s biggest company and changed the way we interact with technology.

As designers, we draw inspiration from a variety of sources – the word around us, the innovative products and services of our clients and the work of great designers past and present. Ive is certainly one of those greats. The following collection of quotes from Apple’s creative maestro offer an interesting look into the philosophy that drives Apple’s world-changing designs.

“Simplicity is not the absence of clutter, that’s a consequence of simplicity. Simplicity is somehow essentially describing the purpose and place of an object and product. The absence of clutter is just a clutter-free product. That’s not simple.”

“There’s no learning without trying lots of ideas and failing lots of times.”

“Different’ and ‘new’ is relatively easy. Doing something that’s genuinely better is very hard.”

“We shouldn’t be afraid to fail- if we are not failing we are not pushing. 80% of the stuff in the studio is not going to work. If something is not good enough, stop doing it.”

“There is beauty when something works and it works intuitively.”

“If something is not good enough, stop doing it.”

“If you are truly innovating, you don’t have a prototype you can refer to.”

“What we make testifies who we are. People can sense care and can sense carelessness. This relates to respect for each other and carelessness is personally offensive.”

“Apple’s goal isn’t to make money. Our goal is to design and develop and bring to market good products.”

“True simplicity is, well, you just keep on going and going until you get to the point where you go, ‘Yeah, well, of course.’ Where there’s no rational alternative.”

“What I love about the creative process, and this may sound naive, but it is this idea that one day there is no idea, and no solution, but the next day there is an idea. I find that incredibly exciting and conceptually actually remarkable.”

“A small change at the beginning of the design process defines an entirely different product at the end.”

“When something exceeds your ability to understand how it works, it sort of becomes magical.”

“Designing and developing anything of consequence is incredibly challenging.”

“Making the solution seem so completely inevitable and obvious, so uncontrived and natural – it’s so hard!”

“It’s a very strange thing for a designer to say, but one of the things that really irritates me in products is when I’m aware of designers wagging their tails in my face.”

“The best ideas start as conversations.”

San Diego Digital Marketing Agency | Jacob Tyler

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