paperback and book display

a design comment on apple and steve jobs

yes, i was lucky enough to get to design a book by walter isaacson on steve jobs.

originally published as an article, portfolio penguin decided to publish it as a small book in brazil, following the success of the best-selling jobs biography.

what

graphic / object design

what

graphic / object design

when

2014

when

2014

team

ilana tschiptschin

team

ilana tschiptschin

jobs, apple, materiality

while apple’s industrial design headed by jony ive has always fed on modernism, it went beyond simple minimalist, exploring material qualities and giving objects a fun and inviting touch, and we wanted to bring some of that to this book.

although it’s a low price pocket edition, we managed to use a screen-printed silver paper for the cover, and rounded corners, which really connected the book to the anodized aluminium aesthetics of apple devices.

boldness

the text is short and written in a commanding language – ‘do this’, ‘don’t do that’, etc.

this tied to jobs’ own radicalism led us to a bold, manifesto-like design.

chapter numbers and titles are huge, and the whole book uses lower case type – also a reference to apple’s design sources, in european modernism.

simplicity

it’s almost impossible to make the book simpler.

on ordinary pages the text fills the page, and each chapter opens in a dramatic two-column layout that connects to the cover.

also, the book is so thin and the chapters so short that we managed to not even number the pages – and navigating is still super easy.

keep hungry, keep foolish

the famous quote from ‘the whole earth catalogue’, cited by jobs in his 2005 stanford talk, is appropriately the title of the last chapter.

i think this spread shows how the titles really speak up, and you can almost read a summary of the book in the chapters’ titles.

cube display

while the book was printing, we were lucky enough to be invited to design a display for bookstore counters.

we dived into apple design and came up with a white plastic cube, made of a single folded piece of acrylic, that stores up to 20 books and displays one.

it makes multiple references to apple products: the power mac cube, the white translucent macs from the 2000s, and a charging ipod on top of a speaker.

as jobs used to say: ‘people do judge a book by it’s cover’, and this book was a non-fiction top seller soon after launch.

as of writing, it’s sold out.