Apple Releases $200/300 Coffee Table Book Chronicling 20 Years of Apple Design


Apple today announced the release of a new hardbound book chronicling 20 years of Apple’s design, expressed through 450 photographs of past and current Apple products. Designed by Apple in California, which covers products from 1998’s iMac to 2015’s Apple Pencil, also documents the materials and techniques used by Apple’s design team over two decades of innovation.

The book is dedicated to the memory of Steve Jobs.

Two sizes, “small” and “large”, $200 and $300 respectively.

Initial thoughts, without having seen the book:

Apple’s products deserve this sort of treatment, but part of me says someone else should have published it, not Apple. TechCrunch’s snarky headline for this book announcement is “Apple Is Releasing a Coffee Table Book About How Awesome It Is”, and I’d file that one under “It’s only funny because it’s true”. It feels like this is for Apple, not for us. And it is backward-looking, not forward-looking. It makes Apple seem insular.

There have been previous third-party attempts at this, notably Jonathan Zufi’s excellent 2013 book, Iconic. Iconic covers not only the modern era of Apple design (the 20 years covered by Apple’s book), but the entire history of Apple’s products.

Update: Also, Apple Design, a 2011 book by Friedrich von Borrie; Keep It Simple: The Early Design Years of Apple, a 2014 book by Frog Design founder Hartmut Esslinger; and AppleDesign: The Work of the Apple Industrial Design Group, an out-of-print book from 1997 by Paul Kunkel and photographer Rick English. Update 2: One more: Apple T-Shirts, a 1998 compendium of just what you think.

Tuesday, 15 November 2016