The biggest challenge for us was the fact that our focus and
preoccupation is always on the future. So that tends to exclude
much time to look back at the work we have previously done.
Sometimes if we are struggling with a particular issue then that
gives us reason to go back and look at the way we have solved
problems in the past. But because we’ve been so consumed by our
current and future work we came to realise we didn’t have a
catalogue of the physical products. So about eight years ago we
felt an obligation to address this and build an objective archive.
Many of the products that you see, we actually had to go out and
purchase [laughs]. It’s a rather shameful admission, but it’s just
not an area that we really invested much time or energy in, so we
started to build an archive of the physical products. […]
Interestingly, the only way we realised we would finish the
project was to treat it like one of the projects in the studio.
There were a few things we needed to do to accurately and
objectively portray these products. Of course, many of these
products are white, so the off-the-shelf printing processes
really didn’t do an adequate job in describing the colour and
surface of those products. So, unsurprisingly we ended up
developing custom forms of paper [from British papermaker James
Cropper] and custom inks.
It really does look like a marvelous book. Wallpaper has a short video with a behind-the-scenes look at Apple’s design team at work, and it also shows some pages from the book. I absolutely love that they include this well-worn original iPhone.