back to article Sir Jony Ive, chief Apple doodler, promoted – into job he already has

Apple's Sir Jony Ive has been promoted from design supremo to design chief. 9to5mac reports that Apple CEO Tim Cook has anointed him the company's first ever chief design officer. The outlet claims to have the text of a letter Cook sent to Apple staff in which the CEO says Ive “will remain responsible for all of our design, …

  1. Mikel


    >Read it if you've eaten something nasty that needs to come out. ®

    WARNING: This was not sarcasm. It was literal.

    1. TonyJ Silver badge

      Re: Ew

      >Read it if you've eaten something nasty that needs to come out. ®

      WARNING: This was not sarcasm. It was literal

      Indeed. Quite sickening how he sucked up there.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Ew

        That article was surely worth every penny he was paid for it.

        In the Persian influenced Arab empire a visitor to the Kalif might start off with a fifteen minute speech on the wonders and talents of the bloodthirsty thug he was worshipping. Then the thug might have him whipped for not being fulsome enough. It seems Fry wouldn't have been much at risk.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ew

      Jonny Ive should read it to get rid of some of the pies he's eaten.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If anyone deserve the acclaim for artiste, he surely does. I don't buy Apple, but I don't hesitate to recommend it and yes, consistent design is a tick in some user's desire. [Me? Job one, after the OS and updates are done Linux, Windows, or whatever, that desktop gets a NeXTStep makeover.


    1. Vince

      ...if you buy into "consistent" design, then Apple's products are a terrible recommendation.

      The only "constant" is the quest for making everything thinner, even when not doing so would allow things people actually want... like better battery life on a mobile device.

      Or separate, magsafe power supply design on the latest thinner-than-thin-itself netbook meets laptop.

      If there is one thing Apple design isn't, it's consistent.

  3. Fazal Majid

    Sounds like he is being kicked upstairs

    That would be a good thing. The amateurish iOS 8 and the iPhone 6 lens bump show Ive is a hack without Jobs around as a tastemaker to keep him in check.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Sounds like he is being kicked upstairs

      iOS8 must be an embarrassment to apple. Its a poor attempt at an android catch-up hack

      A turd rolled in glitter if you will

      1. Sealand

        No - glitter was abandoned with iOS7

  4. Mage Silver badge

    Design ...

    Not as in engineering, hard sums or programming.

    But simply how stuff looks, mostly copied from Dieter Rams Braun Era.

    So they'd be mad to actually give him a senior job. Common in companies last 100 years to invent a new title for someone long serving.

    I wonder why Apple hired Jony Ives rather than Dieter Rams at the time. Maybe Jobs didn't know of him or he turned it down.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Design ...

      Car design does involve hard sums and programming. I guess FEA is used on Apple's cases, too.

      But I have a suspicion JI is not involved in that side of it.

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: Design ...

        > I guess FEA is used on Apple's cases, too. But I have a suspicion JI is not involved in that side of it.

        No. Ive isn't programming the FEA directly. But then, he's not much of a CAD jockey in general, preferring working with materials by hand. The standard disclaimer on FEA software is "This software is not intended to replace real physical testing, but only to reduce it". Apple will still build prototypes at all stages of the design process (Ive's studio has a couple of CNC machines at one end of the room) and test them. In any case, you can think of a product designer as a project manager - co-ordinating individuals from a wide range of disciplines.

        However, Ive is very interested in what FEA and real testing can tell him about materials and manufacturing processes. This is evident in the variety of manufacturing processes that Apple employ - machining, extrusion, forging, deep drawing, laser cutting... and that's just their aluminium parts.

        This isn't unique to Ive. The good product designers have never been the ones who hand a magic-marker pen drawing to an engineer and say "Now - you build this!"

    2. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Design ...

      First up, I'm glad you've heard of Dieter Rams. I would encourage you to seek out some interviews with him, though, and perhaps study more about product design - I personally find it a fascinating area because of the wide range of disciplines it incorporates. A good place to start might be the career of another German designer, Hartmut Esslinger, who founded FrogDesign and consulted for Wega, Sony, Apple and NeXT. That will take you into how design featured in Sony's products of the 1990s, with some clear parallels to Apple's subsequent story.

      Dieter Rams didn't call himself a 'designer', because he knew a lot of people mistook the term as referring purely to the appearance of an object. Rams prefers a German phrase that translates as 'Form Engineer'.

      Good design is time consuming; following Rams' '10 Principles' takes a long time. Analyse the problem, create solutions, build prototypes, test, redesign, repeat many, many times. You have to balance the engineering, the users' needs, the economics, the technology... Good product designers do understand the manufacturing processes that they will choose from.

      Side note: It wasn't Steve Jobs that hired Ive. Ive had been working as a consultant for Apple for a couple years, before joining them in 1992 - they tempted him in with a fake tablet computer project. Ive nearly quit before Job's return to Apple. Esslinger suggested to Jobs that Apple had some talented individuals in its design department, that could do good things if given the power to do so.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Up

        Re: Design ...

        Then it seems I should check out his works given my love for the NeXT interface/form. [Ouch, expensive!] Methinks a trip to our local university is calling. Thanks. Learned something today.

        1. Dave 126 Silver badge

          Re: Design ...

          I think he was more form than UI design, though of course the form of many devices is a part of the user's interaction - i.e, the Big Green Button on photocopiers, the moulded line between the eject button and the disc lid on the original Sony PlayStation, the position of volume buttons on mobile phones.

          1. Dave 126 Silver badge

            Re: Design ...

            There is a bit of cross over between Sony and Apple:

            - Both companies didn't like focus groups for the same reason that Henry Ford gave: "people would just tell me they wanted a faster horse!". Empirical studies over decades tell us that what people say they want isn't isn't what they will actually buy.

            - Portable audio players. Both 'Walkman' and 'iPod' have become near generic, like 'Hoover'.

            -Esslinger. Designed for Wega before Sony bought it. Developed Apple's 1980's design language. Sony's Playstation was a deliberate homage to it.

            - Propriety interfaces. Buy a Sony TV and the remote control for a Sony DVD player will control it. Great. If you only own Sony kit. Umm.

            -Steve Jobs used to just walk in to Sony HQ. When he ended the MacOS clone programme, he was willing to make an exception for Sony VAIO laptops and desktops (designed by the Playstation lead designer). However Sony were too far down the MS Windows path by then. Jobs also suggested to Sony that they stick a GPS receiver in their digital cameras.

            - Sony, and later Apple, kit is used in broadcast and video editing.

            - Shuttle controls in Sony's video editing kit became the iPod's scroll wheel, via a Bang and Olufsen telephone.

            - Sony had all the pieces to create a iTunes online music store and hardware player, and they had done the studies and tests... but they tripped themselves up.

            -Digital Cameras. The Apple QuickTake camera.


  5. Dan 55 Silver badge

    In his new-old job he gets to travel more, apparently

    Perhaps he's tired of being glued down and stuck in the same place.

    So are their customers who value a certain amount of upgradability in their iProducts.

    1. Indolent Wretch

      Re: In his new-old job he gets to travel more, apparently

      Yes I hear he has an iFixit score of 1/10

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sounds like the place i work... everyone is a Director of something.

  7. John of Warndon


    Presumably his Lordship was anointed with Spermaceti Edition oil?

  8. Zog_but_not_the_first Silver badge

    Head of Better?

    I hope his new office has rounded corners.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    For some reason the (worryingly) photo of Ive in your story reminds me of an Apple Watch - perhaps its the blank face.

    1. Indolent Wretch

      When did smiling go out of fashion?

      1. Fink-Nottle

        > When did smiling go out of fashion?

        He has the panicked look of an employee who has been scamming his company out of millions and is petrified of being found out. Obviously, that is not the case here. There's no chance of Jonty being exposed as a fraud.

  10. Mike Richards

    Mutley's got a new medal?

    I'd have preferred hearing that Apple had a new idea now that 'make it thinner' has been worked to death. And no making the same stuff available in gold and 'space grey' doesn't count.

  11. Oh Bother

    Chief Designer?

    There is only 1:

  12. returnmyjedi

    Aside from the overwhelming biliousness that the Fry "interview" invokes, I was left with a sense of disappointment that it wasn't published in the National Treasure's ™ usual Kleenex of choice, the Grauniad. Whilst the Telegraph's commentards include the occasional Apple zealot they are a pale imitation of those that exist under the CiF line.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You never see them in the same room together...

    Hmm, anyone noticed Barry Shitpeas and Jony Ive resemblance?

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