We recently finished reading the biography of Apple’s visionary leader, Steve Jobs; a hefty 600 page tome authored by Walter Isaacson and released this last October. Whether you regard Jobs as a savoir or the devil, it’s hard to refute the momentum and influence that Apple wields in the design world. The biography is heavy on design and the list of resources mentioned throughout the book really got our gears spinning. Some of the names are familiar, some of them are new to us; some are significant individuals, others are synergistic companies. All of them are important and we’ve selected our top designers to study up on and present for today’s post. If you’re design conscious, this is a good primer on a handful of designers and designs that influenced the aesthetic direction of the most valuable brand in the world.

Raymond Loewy French (1893-1986)
Graphic Design,  Industrial Design, Fashion, Architecture, Furniture, Transportation

[Image Credit: raymondloewy.org]

First and foremost we apply our creativity to generating ideas.

Pencil Sharpener 1933. [Image Credit: raymondloewy.org]

Logo Sheet [Image Credit: raymondloewy.org]

Herbert Bayer Austrian-American (1900-1985)
Graphic Design, Painting, Sculpture, Environmental + Interior Design, Architecture

[Image Credit: theworldofphotographers.wordpress.com]

Beauty in utility.

Universal Typeface 1925 [Image Credit: wikipedia.org]

Articulated Wall 1986 [Image Credit: flickr.com/dktrepepr]

Paul Rand American (1914-1996)
Graphic Design, Corporate Logos

[Image Credit: paul-rand.com]

The problem of the artist is to defamiliarize the ordinary.


Perfume Bottle 1944 [Image Credit: paul-rand.com]

Eye Bee M Poster 1981 [Image Credit: wikipedia.org]

Richard Sapper German (Born 1932)
Industrial Design

[Image Credit: mainindustrialdesign.com]

You do not need big teams to creative innovation. As a matter of fact, big teams often act as brakes to innovation. However, you need big teams to translate innovative ideas into mass-produced products.  

Tizio Lamp 1972 [Image Credit: dailyicon.com]

Doney 14 Television Set [Image Credit: moma.org]

Dieter Rams German (Born 1932)
Industrial Design

[Image Credit: vitsoe.com]

Less, but better.

Ten Principles of Design:
Design is innovative, makes a product useful, aesthetic, makes a product understandable, unobtrusive, honest, long-lasting, thorough down to the last detail, environmentally-friendly, and as little design as possible.

Universal Shelving System 1960 [Image Credit: wikipedia.org]

Braun SK 61 1961 [Image Credit: wikipedia.org]

Hartmut Esslinger German-American (Born 1944)
Industrial Design

[Image Credit: design-emotion.com]

Form follows emotion.

AEG Home Appliances 1983 [Image Credit: frogdesign.com]

Sony CONCEPT 51 1978 [Image Credit: futureness.com]

The Innovator’s Dilemma by Clayton Christiansen (2003)

[Image Credit: amazon.com]

The very decision-making and resource-allocation processes that are key to the success of established companies are the very processes that reject disruptive technologies: listening carefully to customers; tracking competitors’ actions carefully; and investing resources to design and build higher-performance, higher-quality products that will yield greater profit. These are the reasons why great firms stumbled or failed when confronted with disruptive technological change.

IDEO United States (Launched 1991)

Tim Brown, CEO [Image Credit: businessweek.com]

David Kelley [Image Credit: fastcompany.com]

Bill Moggridge [Image Credit: stanford.edu]

Mike Nuttall [Image Credit: adlensjapan.co.jp]

We moved from thinking of ourselves as designers to thinking of ourselves as design thinkers. We have a methodology that enables us to come up with a solution that nobody has before.            –David Kelley


Method Cards [Image Credit: ideo.com]

Shimano Coasting Bicycle Design Strategy [Image Credit: ideo.com]

Tangerine United Kingdom (Launched 1989)

Martin Darbyshire, Owner [Image Credit: icsid.org]

Clive Grinyer [Image Credit: clivegrinyer.com]

Jonathan Ive [Image Credit: technobuffalo.com]

Design is the activity that turns [this] knowledge into actions, to create tangible responses to real needs.            -Clive Grinyer

Apple Concept 1994 [Image Credit: benarent.co.uk]

Samsung Pleomax [Image Credit: tangerine.net]

We’ll leave you with a quote from the man himself:

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.


Cheers from Team BUILD