We reported yesterday on Apple’s new coffee table book titled Designed by Apple in California, which consists of pictures of Apple’s products starting with 1998’s iMac and ending with 2015’s iPad Pro. But according to Jony Ive, Chief Design Officer at Apple, when it came time to take the pictures, the company didn’t actually have all those classic gadgets on hand.
Ive, speaking to Wallpaper, explained, “Many of the products that you see, we actually had to go out and purchase [laughs]. It’s a rather shameful admission.” Apparently, Apple doesn’t spend much of its resources on maintaining its own outdated devices. “It’s just not an area that we really invested much time or energy in,” Ives said. “So we started to build an archive of the physical products.” The book apparently inspired the company to start keeping better track of its history.
Designed by Apple in California is retailing for $299 for the full-sized version and $199 if you want a smaller one, but Ives gives some insight into why that might be the case (besides Apple knowing that their die-hard fans will pony up the cash). The book has been in the pipeline for eight years, which meant that the more recently photographed a device was, the better quality of the photographs. Ives said:
As the project has taken so long we actually had to go back and re-photograph some of earlier products because of how photographic technology had changed and improved. The images of the later products were superior to the earlier ones, so we had to go back to the beginning to keep that perfect consistency throughout the book.
On top of that, apparently Apple wasn’t satisfied with using just regular paper and ink. Because many of Apple’s products are white, the company wanted to be able to see all of the device’s little textures and “the off-the-shelf printing processes really didn’t do an adequate job in describing the colour and surface of those products,” Ives said. “So, unsurprisingly we ended up developing custom forms of paper [from British papermaker James Cropper] and custom inks.”
So to recap, Apple made their own paper because regular paper wasn’t good enough for their book showing off just how pretty their products are. We’ve basically hit peak Apple.