We’ve all been waiting to see what world-class technology designer Sir Jony Ive’s next step would be. Now we know that his creative diet will no longer be Apple-centric.
Apple’s 52-year-old Chief Design Officer Sir Jony Ive will be stepping down to form a new design firm called LoveFrom with designer friend Marc Newson.
Fast Company published a synopsis of LoveFrom’s origin, which was originally from a Financial Times article that scored an exclusive interview with Sir Jony Ive.
“There was an employee meeting a number of years ago and Steve [Jobs] was talking . . . He [said] that one of the fundamental motivations was that when you make something with love and with care, even though you probably will never meet . . . the people that you’re making it for, and you’ll never shake their hand, by making something with care, you are expressing your gratitude to humanity, to the species.”
“I so identified with that motivation and was moved by his description. So my new company is called ‘LoveFrom’. It succinctly speaks to why I do what I do.”
His departure is a seismic shift.
Steve Jobs and Sir Jony Ive were to Apple from 1997 through 2011 what Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak were to Apple from the mid-70s through the mid-80s.
And Apple’s stock certainly experienced a seismic change yesterday, according to Business Insider.
Upon news of Ive’s departure, Apple’s stock dropped about .087% in after-hours trading, as of the time of writing— which doesn’t sound like a lot, but at Apple’s scale, meant that it shaved off about $8 billion of its market cap. If the loss holds by the time of the opening bell on Friday, Apple will be worth about $910 billion.
Aside from the late Steve Jobs, the second most important person at Apple — from contributing to the design and creation of the iMac in 1998 to a wide range of consumer products as well as Apple Park in the present day — has been Chief Design Officer Sir Jony Ive. His team’s breakthroughs involving the iPod, iPhone, and Apple Watch, for instance, have defined Apple as a global leader in consumer tech with sleek, cool design and ease of functionality. During major product reveals, Sir Ive’s voice can be heard describing the inner workings and minute details of Apple’s most popular products.
What does this mean for the iconic Apple products designer and his former company?
Pressure. Lots of pressure.
While Apple will be one of the clients at Sir Ive’s LoveFrom design firm, the creative team in Cupertino, CA under the overall guidance of CEO Tim Cook will have to figure out a new signature design that will surprise consumers — current and potential alike — with the same awe as the revolutionary iMac in 1998 with its non-beige or black, fun translucent frame. We need to see something(s) we’ve never seen before. Apple needs to make a common smartphone (plus iPod, iPad, etc.) look and feel brand new.
Apple needs to deliver an exciting, game-changing aesthetic.
Perhaps it’s fitting that we’ll likely be given our first glimpse into Apple’s future vision sometime in 2020. With no Woz, Jobs or Ive, Apple is in unchartered design and storytelling waters. We’re going to find out just how water-tight Apple’s products (and design ingenuity) are without three of its most influential giants.
It won’t be the first time Apple has been pressured to imagine and deliver a society-altering NeXT step.