Apple in Print

Apple in print – Nude Review

By Anna Morgan

‘Designed by Apple in California’ was destined to be different, like everything else designed by Apple this was created for those who dare to think differently and for those who look at value rather than price.

Just as your iPhone is not just a phone and your iMac is not just a computer, this book is not just a book; it’s an important record of not only our technological advancements but also our cultural progression.

Looking through the 450 images it’s impossible not to place each Apple product into it’s own context story and think about how each item changed something, somewhere. It might only be minor, you may only get a fond memory of first connecting to the internet on your IMac G3 (mine was Bondi Blue) or the first song you listened to your iPod (It was ‘Island in the Sun’ by Weezer if anyone is interested…) However these memories are not just nostalgia, they are part of what formed the world we live in today.

Without Apple products technology would still be alien to most of us, connecting with other people would be harder and design would be totally different. Whether you like it or not Apple has had a big impact on our lives and at the very least I think we should all be a little bit grateful for iTunes.

Apple’s Chief Design Officer, Jony Ivy has said: “This archive is intended to be a gentle gathering of many of the products the team has designed over the years. We hope it brings some understanding to how and why they exist, while serving as a resource for students of all design disciplines.”

And whilst ‘Designed by Apple in California’ may come across at times as slightly self indulgent, it’s important to note the achievements of the company. Any company worth over 650 billion dollars (that’s more than the entire US stock market was worth in the 1970s and early 1980s) has more than earned their right to boast a little and Apple does have a lot to talk about. Even at 300 pages, you still feel like there are parts missing.

As always though Apple has really split the crowd with this release and there are the detractors who say it is overpriced and all style and no substance. However those who bemoan that $429 price tag and point out that most of book is dedicated to pictures of Apple products have failed to grasp the core of Apple’s ethos and brand.

The design is the content, each photograph gives us a glimpse into Apple’s world and each page follows the journey as design and technology slowly start to combine. As for the price Apple has never sold themselves cheaply, they have always been aspirational and their high quality products are themselves pieces of art copied by many bettered by none.  In short this book is a celebration of art and industrial design and of everything Apple has achieved. What other brand would spend eight years designing a coffee table book with specially milled German paper and gilded matt silver edges?

Ultimately your opinion of ‘‘Designed by Apple in California’ rests squarely in your opinion of Apple and whilst it may not top the best seller lists the way Bill Gates’ ‘The Road Ahead’ did, for the people who care about it, this book will be an important.

‘Designed by Apple in California’ is available from: see website for details and pricing.