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Tuesday, June 24, 2008


The iPod, now the world's best selling digital audio player of all time with over 170,000,000 sold through March '08 and a timeless and instantaneously recognizable pop culture icon, started as Apple's response to an observed absence of portable music players that effectively utilized their form. Instead of focusing on the "function" side of the design (which had already been largely invented and unsuccessfully marketed), Apple devoted its resources to the user interface and actual appearance of the iPod. Steve Jobs, Apple's C.E.O & underworld black turtleneck cult leader, personally oversaw the design of the user interface. Jonathan Ive, Senior Vice President of Industrial Design for Apple, was the lead designer on the development team and is widely renowned as the actual designer of the iPod (and iMac and iPhone). Ive won what is known as a Black Pencil award for the iPod. The "Black Pencil" awards are essentially the Holy Grail of the design world. The organization D&AD awards the Pencils to only a very select few each year and if there is no worthy candidate in a category there are simply no awards given. Six different years no awards were given at all. As Claire Beale explains in the article below, "Yellow pencils can be career makers. But the elusive Black Pencil is a marker of creative genius."

Jonathan Ive has won six. 
In less than ten years.
That's more than anyone else. Ever.

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