When Steve Jobs was a college dropout he attended a calligraphy class that led to a revolution in graphic design. As we honor Steve Jobs, we hear about how the Apple Mac changed lettering, from calligrapher DeAnn Singh and graphic designers April Greiman, Lorraine Wild, Andrew Byrom and Keith Scharwath. And design consultant Chee Pearlman explains what "design" meant to Steve Jobs and his chief collaborator, Jonathan Ive.
Banner image: Candles, flowers and an iPhone with Steve Jobs' photo displayed, are seen in remembrance of the founder and former CEO of Apple Inc, outside the Apple Store in New York City. Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images
Guest InterviewHow Steve Jobs Transformed Design
This week, Apple employees will hold a special event to celebrate of the life of the company's founder and former CEO Steve Jobs, who died October 5. Besides the ubiquitous presence of Apple's game-changing products like the iPod, iPad and iPhone, Jobs leaves behind an even greater legacy: From the form and function of the products he enabled, to introducing a tool that changes the way designers work, no one person has more greatly transformed the field of design. Chee Pearlman, an editorial and design consultant was one of the few journalists to interview Steve Jobs, and his chief designer, Jonathan Ive. She says that Jobs viewed design "holistically," not just as "styling."
Chee Pearlman interviewing Apple's chief designer, Jonathan Ive
at the Art Center conference in 2006.
The sleek, distinctive look of Apple's products certainly changed the world of industrial design. But Jobs also changed the way that designers interact with technology with the Macintosh, a personal computer introduced in 1984 that is now used by most of the world's graphic designers. One of the reasons that designers embraced the Mac was because it was the first computer to contain multiple typefaces and proportionally spaced fonts, which eventually became standard on many computers. But how did Jobs become so interested in type? After dropping out of Reed College, he stuck around campus to audit classes and happened to attend a "calligraphy" class. Frances heads to the home of DeAnn Singh, a teacher and calligrapher, to learn about the craft of calligraphy and how it may have influenced Jobs.
Steve Jobs speaks about his calligraphy class at a 2005 Stanford commencement address
DeAnn Singh paints calligraphy letters on an anniversary bench made by Tori Spelling
A calligraphy piece of a Persian wedding poem by Rumi that DeAnn Singh created
As designers began to use the Mac instead of more traditional techniques, the look of graphic design, advertising and art radically shifted. To learn about the impact that the Mac had on graphic designers, and how it has evolved through the years, Frances sits down with four graphic designers from different generations: April Greiman, Lorraine Wild, Andrew Byrom and Keith Scharwath. The designers speak about how the Mac has enabled them to produce their specific brands of graphic design work, and what kind of legacy that Jobs and Apple have left on the design world. -Alissa Walker
Transmedia designer April Greiman, principal of Made in Space, Inc.
Greiman's piece Hand Holding a Bowl of Rice, a mural on the Metro station at Wilshire and Vermont
Lorraine Wild, graphic designer and principal of Green Dragon Office
The cover of Looking at Los Angeles, a book designed by Wild and Green Dragon Office
Designer Andrew Byrom and his Mac laptop
Grab Me, a typographic work by Byrom
Keith Scharwath being interviewed in his sign painting studio
Scharwath's poster for the film Beautiful Losers, with custom type by Geoff McFetridge