Thursday, October 18, 2007

Apple... Who are you? Part 3 of 4.

Believe it or not, being minimal, and straight to the point via package designs, is a very rare thing. And being unique.... rewards. Its no secret that apple over the years have won alot of admiration (and awards) for their absolutely minimal and yet stylish packaging. Often apple packaging, especially for ipods, show the item in hiding, by a 1:1 scale around the outside of the packaging. Like seen here with the u2 5th generation Ipod.

Front. Actual product size on the outside of the box.

back and side.

Most significant and greatly typical for apple packaging is also, the actual size of the complete box, compared to the item inside. Especially with apples ipodline, its crucially important to underline the evermore smaller sizes of their devices, so they limit the packaging to being not much bigger than the products itself without too much glorification involved on the outside. What you see is what you get!. A very admirable "marketing strategy", that absolutely (unlike mcdonalds menus) radiates an honest image of the object in question. Isn´t that something even the dumbest consumers appreciate? honesty and trust?. And, yes! i personally agree- Apple makes trustworthy products wrapped in honest "no nonsense" packaging. So, lets conclude that all our mommies were right. Honesty does go along way.

Oddly enough another trustworthy yet fashionable company had a simular concept during the 70´s and 80´s. The Ipod of cameras- Polaroid. Like seen here on the box of a Polaroid lightmixer 630.

Front. Actual product size on the outside of the box.

Back. Same thing.


Hey wait a minute....... what am i getting at?.

To be honest theres absolutely nothing wrong with being one of the few companies that like and adore polaroid cameras. Everyone loves polaroid cameras. So lets just leave it at that. But have in mind for part 4, that Apples Senior Vice President of Industrial Design- Johnathan Ive was born in 1967. So he was a teenager in the late 70´s into the 80´s. Wouldnt it be plausible that he (and/or his co-workers) had a big crush on polaroid already back then?........................ Well, more about that very soon, so dont miss out of the final chapter of "Apple: Who are you?". The chapter where i will take one last big bite at the apple of ive. (let me give you a hint. "North west" ).

Chapter 4 of "Apple: Who are you?". Coming soon.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Apple... Who are you? Part 2 of 4.

1970´s was the beginning of the consumer electronics ecosystem . The remnants of revolution along a "healthy" appetite for a new decade, left alot of artists ( not just rockmusicians), designers and engineers hungry for more than just the popular shapes and colors of the 1960´s. With the first home video tape recorder coming out mid 60´s, public color TV transmitions hitting Europe in 1967, and personal computers like ataris claiming livingroom space globally from 1973. The foundation was set for alot new creative influences aiming to retrace design inside the home. With mentors like danish furniture designers Verner Panton, Arne Jacobsen and last but not least finish Eero Aarnio setting the pace. Alot of consumer design evolved into more than just a comfortable vision of the future.

Eero Aarnio´s Ball chair, also known as the "Pod chair". The Ball chair was exhibited in 1966 and became a huge commercial hit thru the 70´s. Together with Arne Jacobsens "Egg chair", the ball chair is one of the most popular and desired objects in design history.

Companies like German Telefunken, which in the beginning of the 60´s engineered the standards for European analogue televison PAL* ( *Phase alternating Line), quickly became one of the more popular affordable tv set fabricators, adapting fractions of the very same bold shapes and rich contrasts of Scandinavian furniture design. Even down to the trumpet feet details.

(ads courtesy of Gizmodo) Another significant detail about Telefunken tv´s, which tech site Gizmodo also pointed out two weeks ago, are the black trimmings around the tube on telefunkens Pal series tv´s. These trimmings are not a just a one time design fluke, no...

The very same type of black trimmings, also assisted this classic Brionvega Doney win the Compasso d'Oro
(Italian industry design award) aldready in 1962.

"Thee black trimmings"- A fascinating phenomenon which ever since, strangely enough have become a semi-must within the more luxurious television design communities. A simple search on the phrase "design tv" on google images will emphasize my point, by showing not just retro noname italian travel tv´s, telefunken highlights onto newer Jvc 2005/2006 series, but also point out german Loewe (who are quite known for their know how) with their "black trimmings". Like on this late 2006 Xelos series.

What your search on google wont show, is computers
(mostly because you searched on tv ofcourse), or computers that look like fashionable tv´s (both of the past and present). Computers like the 2007 Imac creature. A creature that just like all other creatures in its brand family, had its edges shaved off.

Yes, Inspiration (and trendy design) is a constant fleeting moment. In times like the late 60´s and 70´s where global consumerism got its very first technologically enhancements like cheap synthetics (for mass production) and television marketing, designers and companies faught each other greatly with loads of fun games such as: "impersonate this, impersonate that" and "I did this...Oh, me too". Both vast games of great corporate stamina, that obviously reaches far into the predetermined freedoms of the very simular future which is today. A today where quality design, originality and modifications there off, dominates discount outlets of every streetcorner, of every city, in every country. At very affordable prices. So.... Yeah baby, cheap shiny fascinating white plastic, black trimming remnants, retro design and globalization, can co-exist together in eternal harmony. Its just a matter inspiration?

Part 3 of "Apple: Who are you?" (and 4), coming sooner. Believe me.... You aint seen nothing yet.