13 of the greatest Apple innovations that changed the world

Apple has always been at the forefront of great design, in fact you could say it's part of the company's DNA, with award-winning industrial designers such as Jony Ive and Australia's Marc Newson behind some of the company's most recognisable products.

So, it's not surprising that Apple would create a book about the development of its products that is a fabulous work of design in itself.  "Designed by Apple" in California was released in Australia this week and covers products from the 1998 iMac through to 2015s Apple Pencil. The book is dedicated to the memory of Steve Jobs.

The linen-bound hardcover coffee table book is sure to be on the Christmas wish lists of Apple disciples across the globe. It is printed on specially milled, custom-dyed paper with gilded matte silver edges, using eight colour separations and low-ghost ink. It was developed over an eight-year period and published by Apple.

And it's damn gorgeous to look at.

A tech retrospective

The book covers two decades of Apple design, expressed through 450 photographs shot in a minimalist style by Andrew Zuckerman. The materials and techniques used by the famous Apple design team are also documented, making it a must for anyone interested in aesthetics and innovation.

"The idea of genuinely trying to make something great for humanity was Steve's motivation from the beginning, and it remains both our ideal and our goal as Apple looks to the future," said Jony Ive, Apple's chief design officer. "This archive is intended to be a gentle gathering of many of the products the team has designed over the years. We hope it brings some understanding to how and why they exist, while serving as a resource for students of all design disciplines."

Ive, now the world's most influential designer, joined Apple in 1996, at a time when he still had a full head of hair. One of his first successful designs was the original Bondi Blue iMac G3, released in 1998. Having grown up in a world of boring beige computers that looked like boxes, people had never seen anything like it before.

A timeline of minimalism

The following year the iMac was available in a number of 'flavoured' translucent cases, including lime, grape and tangerine. An apocryphal story suggests that to research the iMac's colours, Ive spent some time in a jelly bean factory.

The past 20 years has seen Ive and his team revolutionise the world as we know it, from music and television, to watches, phones, and tablets. His attention to detail, form, and materials is legendary in the industry and he has been known to spend months on minor details. In 2012, he and his team in Cupertino, California, were named the Best Design Studio of the past 50 years.


Independent curator, writer and design consultant Anne-Maree Sargeant discovered Macintosh way back in 1987, at her first job as an interior designer in London. Sargeant, who helms the re-launched Authentic Design Alliance, says she never leaves the house without an iPad mini and iPhone. "With these two devices and a passport and credit card I can run my business from anywhere in the world."

And when it comes to Apple's design language, Sargeant is smitten. "Everything from the packaging to the advertising, is 'designed', she says. "Apple embodies design; that being the intersection of form and function that actually innovates."

Click through the gallery above to see Anne-Maree Sargeant's 13 favourite Apple designs.

Designed by Apple in California is available in two sizes: small (260 x 324 mm) for $289; and  large (330 x 413mm) for $429. Both from Apple.com.