Design · iOS

A Lifelong Commitment to a Color

Courtney Starr

Last updated Jul 23, 2019

While reading the new Jony Ive book by Leander Kahney this weekend I came across an excerpt that lent an eye-opening insight into why iOS 7 is flooded with white open spaces:

Jony was instructed to work on a range of leather goods and wallets for Japan’s Zebra Co. Ltd., a pen manufacturer based in Tokyo. Typical of his style, Jony made intricate prototype wallets out of paper. “I remember him folding and playing with these beautiful all-white folded-out wallets, all double-sided with the leaves,” Peter Phillips recalled. “In the corner he’d cut out the tiny detail that showed the embossing. It was an absolute beauty. The most incredible model I’d ever seen. It was stunning.” The wallets were one of Jony’s first products in white, a sign of the designer’s lifelong commitment to the color.

It's interesting that a proclivity for a color (white) developed in the 1980s would play such a significant role in the design of an operating system released in 2013 (iOS 7). I highly recommend purchasing Jony Ive - The Genius Behind Apple's Greatest Products from the iBooks Store. It's not too often you get to read a book on a device designed by the main character.

Written By:

Courtney Starr

Courtney served as a mobile interface designer at Savvy Apps until November 2014.