How Apple got serious about style

"Design Forward," a book debuting in the U.S. today, reveals Frog Design founder Hartmut Esslinger's challenges helping to transform Apple product design in the 1980s and beyond. Here, a look inside.

Humble beginnings -- an early conceptual modular Apple tablet from 1982. Harmut Esslinger, Frog Design

When Frog Design founder Hartmut Esslinger met Steve Jobs in 1982, it sparked a chain of events that monumentally changed Apple's design philosophy forever. It wasn't just a change in how future products would look -- Esslinger ushered in a change of mindset and a unified design language across products.

Esslinger's new book, "Design Forward: Creative Strategies for Sustainable Change," available today in the U.S., delivers some fascinating insights into those crucial early years at Apple.

The dialect that emerged from that period, known as the Snow White design language, influenced dozens of Apple devices starting with the Apple IIc in 1984 and lasting until the Macintosh IIfx in 1990.

Our gallery below starts off with a range of computers that earned Frog Design a hefty annual contract and a role as a leader in Apple's product design process. The two companies didn't just create computers, however; they went beyond and created a mock tablet, computer phone, flat-screen devices, and more.

 

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