Jony Ive, a recently released book by Leander Kahney about Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) renowned product designer, offers readers a “detailed portrait of a creative genius.” The book also contains fascinating tidbits of information about the decisions that influenced Apple’s product designs after Steve Jobs returned as CEO of the company in 1997.
Jony Ive was the designer behind some of Apple’s most iconic products, including the brightly-colored iMac. Upon its release, the computer was hailed for its unusual translucent candy-colored casing and distinctive shape. However, Ive soon began designing Apple products in white as a reaction to this colorful design, reports Business Insider.
After designing the iBook with a white plastic casing, Ive wanted to continue exploring this design ethos with the iPod. “Right from the very first time, we were thinking about the product, we’d see [the iPod] as stainless steel and white,” said Ive. “It’s just so…brutally simple. It’s not a color. Supposedly neutral — but just an unmistakable, shocking neutral.”
However, Jobs was not as enthusiastic about the move towards white-colored product designs as Ive was. “Initially, Jobs’s instincts were against white products,” wrote Kahney in Jony Ive. In order to reach a compromise, Apple’s designers created several colors that were as close to white as possible without being pure white.