Farewell to an Icon: Steve Jobs (1955-2011)

Farewell to an Icon: Steve Jobs (1955-2011)

We lost a great one yesterday. Here, the design community reacts to the impact that Apple co-founder Steve Jobs had on themselves and design along with a look at how magazines have covered his early death. 

Personally, Steve gets my vote to get into the honorary Art Directors Hall of Fame. Great AD's don't necessarily take the pictures, draw the drawings or write the words -- but they do harness all of these elements to tell a story and build a product. That's what Steve did with Apple. Steve didn't write code, design packaging, or carve aluminum. He was able to create beautiful products by identifying and evangelizing the best user experience, industrial design, graphic design and marketing in the world.


Every editor and designer has been impacted by all that Steve Jobs created. We changed the way we wrote, designed, perceived audiences, all because Steve Jobs gave us the most incredibly beautiful and functional tools to do it. The fact that he sat at the intersection of art and technology should be an example to all of us who sit at that intersection daily.
--Mario Garcia, CEO/Founder, Garcia Media


It's the design that is at the heart of Apple, and even there the hardware and UX designers took inspiration from the whole culture. Much has been made, at least since they sued Samsung, about how Apple devices look like props in the movie "2001"--or old Braun radios or calculators designed by Dieter Rams. 

Jobs didn't copy, he absorbed. And took in not just the visual design profession, but basic human behavior and popular culture. The Times did have some insight on this in a story early last year:

Great products, according to Mr. Jobs, are triumphs of "taste." And taste, he explains, is a byproduct of study, observation and being steeped in the culture of the past and present, of "trying to expose yourself to the best things humans have done and then bring those things into what you are doing." --Steve Lohr, The New York Times

Job's relentless quest for the insanely great was successful because he hit the cultural mark. Apple made an experience, not a just a machine. He didn't sit and look at the competition's hardware and software. He looked at the world, and the human race.

He didn't code, he didn't design, he didn't build. He just thought.

And  all of us Apple users are wondering what we'll do without him. Will Apple be as good? How can they be as good? That perfect synthesis of culture, which is the very essence of great design, is gone. [read the full post here]
--Roger Black


Steve helped the world understand that design is to be cherished, fought for, and protected at all costs. He understands that good design--whether in the layout of Pixar's campus or in the pixel colors in an icon--is good business. Steve made it acceptable for corporate America to care about the design of every aspect of business, and I think the world is a more beautiful place for his vision.

I hope his most lasting contribution to design is the belief that details can change the entirety of purpose. And sometimes, the removal of detail can lead to the purest expression of form meeting utility. One only need look at the iPhone--a computer in your hand, a device that can literally do millions of things, and it has one button. His is a breathtaking vision of simplicity, balance, and calm, and there isn't a designer on the planet who hasn't been inspired by the man.
--Scott Dadich, Conde Nast


According to executive design recruiter RitaSue Seigel, since the success of Apple, companies started asking "find me a Jonathan Ive". Through example, Steve Jobs showed everyone what we designers already knew (or hoped): design could be important.
--Luke Hayman, Pentagram


I was teaching a type workshop at SVA yesterday when a student shared a text from a friend about the passing of Steve Jobs. The class sat silently for a few minutes, unsure of what to say or do. We were sad--it was the same kind of sadness that blankets you when someone you know dies. It's impossible to do justice to all of the ways one man's vision has impacted our day-to-day lives and careers.
--Gail Anderson


It is impossible to imagine a world without Apple products or Steve Jobs. How often do we wish for the immortality of a corporate CEO. I think that says it all. 
--Steven Heller


I had the privilege of meeting Steve Jobs in the mid-1990s, after he had resigned from Apple following a clash with John Sculley and started a computer company called NeXT. It was a different time -- a visit from Jobs stirred interest from only a handful of writers and editors in a small conference room at The New York Times, leaving space for a page designer to take one of the seats. Even then, with Apple struggling and NeXT not quite there, he was remarkably confident and spoke in such a way that everyone in the room leaned forward to take in every word. Steve Jobs stayed the course, overcoming one setback after another to recompose the world as he believed it should be. He inspired so many on so many levels, and for me that chance meeting leaves an indelible impression today. We live in a malleable world, shaped by those who are most steadfast in their beliefs. Steve Jobs' legacy will continue to effect change for centuries to come.
-- Joe Zeff, Joe Zeff Design


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Rolling Stone, October 27, 2011


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Adweek, October 10-16, 2011; illustration by Jason Seiler.


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People, October 14, 2011


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The New Yorker, October 17, 2011


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Newsweek, October 2011


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Billboard, October 15, 2011


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Bloomberg Businessweek, October 2011


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TIME, October 11, 2011


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The Guardian, G2, October 10, 2011


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The Economist, October 8-14, 2011



What did Steve Jobs mean to you? Please share you thoughts.


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  • Muhammad Durmush

    Steve Jobe was a legendary entrepreneur.

  • Andrei Michailov

    Thank you, Steve! That's all I can say... And these ones are for you... http://www.artflakes.com/en/products/think-different

  • Ricardo Ralston jr .

    I'm sure Steve would forgive me if I'm still a Microsoft user for my convenience in achieving my work goals that I've been working on, I'm also a BlackBerry user and beside of me not being a sponsor of Apple products I have always read and watched YouTube videos on Steve Jobs, while him always having a large number of business ethics and inspiration to say for the future that he's always  inspired to share and talk about, I've always really liked the man, from that moment of watching, "Pirates of Silicon Valley" to his last video I've seen four months ago, at the Cupertino City Council http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...

    I can only listen to his words that he spoke so loud and clear. Steve Jobs (after his death) is now my life mentor, for my health, my success and my happiness..Steve taught me recently to be a good "entrepreneur " (which I missed spelled my first attempt in the word). My business is currently running today, but still working on its growth. If I can only imagine what Steve would say: "Still working on the ship to keep at flout, I think he would say that, as he made an impression on me.

    Today in my personal life, I refused a great job opportunity in an effort to keep this new business that i started going and keeping it on float. I had an offer for one marketing job at Affinity Solutions and wage was awesome. Just  because I had Steve Jobs business tactics and spiritual understanding of the man, I denied this position, I mean, every man my age 28 would of taken the job, but a rather go down with my ship that have not even been properly finished built yet.

    I just want to end my remarks with a quote: "Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others opinions drown out your inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary"- Steve Jobs

    And I will always stay Hungry and Stay Foolish.

  • coverjunkie

    Oh man, damn! This man made me understand ace design is a celebration form and functionality all together. He's all about cherishing design. So sad the damn disease took him out, as a c-surviver myself i cherish Steve Jobs

  • Grant Glas

    As a designer, entenpuener and Apple fan Steve was a huge inspiration. He will be missed.

    This 15 minute video sums it up: http://www.ted.com/talks/steve_jobs_how_to_live_before_you_die.html#.To1mH9542U9.facebook

    If you do anything today it should be watching this.

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