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Jony Ive speaks on means and methods of 'Designed by Apple in California' book

In an interview about the new "Designed by Apple in California" coffee-table book, Apple Chief Design Officer Jony Ive speaks about how the title was composed, documentation of the processes used to build the products in the book, and Apple's history.

Early iPod in the cockpit of Space Shuttle OV-105 Endeavour, as seen in "Designed by Apple in California"

"Because we've been so consumed by our current and future work we came to realize we didn't have a catalogue of the physical products," Said Ive to Wallpaper. "So about eight years ago we felt an obligation to address this and build an objective archive."

Ive confesses that many of the products in "Designed by Apple in California" didn't come from the Apple archives, but had to be purchased from collectors and other sellers, as preservation is "not an area that we really invested much time or energy in" until now.

Looking back complicates the present

In the course of production, the team, including Ive, realized that the only way to do the project the way they wanted to was to treat the entire project like it was a piece of hardware that they were working on.

"There were a few things we needed to do to accurately and objectively portray these products. Of course, many of these products are white, so the off-the-shelf printing processes really didn't do an adequate job in describing the color and surface of those products," said Ive. "Unsurprisingly we ended up developing custom forms of paper and custom inks."

Over the course of development, photography improved. Near the end of production, photographer Andrew Zuckerman reshot every single product, to keep "that perfect consistency" through the entire book.

Why now?

"We asked ourselves, 'What is the value of a book like this, when most people know these objects so intimately already?" asked Ive. "First, to see the objects out of their functional context. Next, to see them in a context of the subsequent products and hopefully how we have learned as a team how technology shifts, moves and evolves."

"The other reason was to do with the fact that many people don't really have much of a sense of how their manufactured environment came to be." explained Ive. "One of the things we wanted to do was try and explain as clearly as we can - through photography - how you transform a raw material into a product that you recognize and hopefully use as a daily tool."

Ive noted that the book is ending up in the hands of "all the major design colleges in the world." Being explicit in the processes used in the construction of the Apple aesthetic is key to Ive and team as an "educational resource" for future designers.

"Designed by Apple in California" will be available beginning Wednesday, November 16 in select Apple retail stores or online, in small (10.20" x 12.75") for $199 and large (13" x 16.25") for $299.