Famed Designer Richard Sapper Was Once Recruited by Steve Jobs

Discussion in 'Mac Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jun 19, 2013.

  1. macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    In an interview with design magazine Dezeen, German industrial designer Richard Sapper revealed that he was once recruited by Steve Jobs to do design work for Apple. The interview doesn't specify when the recruitment happened, but it could have been in the early 80's when Apple was just starting out, or in the mid-90's after Jobs returned to the company.

    The 81-year old Sapper has been designing products for nearly 60 years, including lamps, phones, radios, coffee makers and an IBM ThinkPad notebook.

    Article Link: Famed Designer Richard Sapper Was Once Recruited by Steve Jobs
  2. macrumors 6502a


    Aug 16, 2009
    New Zealand
    I'm pretty sure the ThinkPad's design hasnt changed since the 80's :cool:
  3. macrumors 6502


    Jan 7, 2010
    London, ON
    He would have been 65 in 1997 when Jobs came back. Maybe he just wanted to slow things down and retire at that point. Apple was still considered small at that point too.
  4. macrumors 604


    Nov 26, 2007
    This guy designed the IBM logo?

    Didn't the guy who design that logo also design the NeXT logo?
  5. macrumors regular

    Mar 14, 2012
    Back in Your Head
    If there is one laptop that's more iconic than the MacBook line, it's the Thinkpad. That is quite an accomplishment.
  6. macrumors 6502


    Jan 30, 2008
    Paul Rand designed the NeXT logo.

    Sapper designed the Tizio lamp that Jobs so admired according to the Isaacson biography.
  7. macrumors 603


    Oct 28, 2007
    The ThinkPad has got to be one of the ugliest laptops in the history of computing. Thank God IBM had an exclusivity deal with this guy.
  8. macrumors 65816

    Drunken Master

    Jul 19, 2011
    The ThinkPad looked great for 1992.

    It hasn't aged so well, though.
  9. macrumors 65816


    Oct 9, 2010
    This sound like one of those "guy who declined to manage the Beatles" stories.
  10. macrumors 603


    Oct 28, 2007
    I suppose. But, yeah, it never evolved. It basically stayed the same forever. The Lenovo ones still look like they were made 15 years ago.
  11. macrumors 68030


    His story is consistent and seems believable. Why would he make that up?
    Here http://www.google.ca/search?q=richa...daKKYWCyQGQoIBA&ved=0CFYQsAQ&biw=1543&bih=878 are some of Sapper's designs.

    On the fifth row, second from right, is a clock face that looks suspiciously like that Swiss Federal Railways clock, that was in the news around November of last year.
  12. macrumors 68000


    Jul 1, 2010
    He was a fool for not going to Apple. But it's good that he didnt, because now they have Sir Johnny.
  13. macrumors 6502a

    I WAS the one

    May 16, 2006
    “at that time Apple was not a great company, it was just a small computer company.”

    He wasn't a passionate visionary artist, he was just a worker. You don't join a startup company because is big and powerful, you join a startup company because you love the dream too.

    I can imagine (even if he's millionaire today) how bad that sentence sounds today.
  14. macrumors regular

    Nov 2, 2008
    It is the Swiss Railways clock, in watch form. But this was just a watch he owned, he had nothing to do with the design.


    That's a bit harsh on him, since there could have been many reasons for him to decline joining Apple. Steve might have failed to convince him that Apple's vision was worth working for. Or his style of design was different to how Apple wanted their design.

    Looking at Thinkpads, they are of a different philosophy to Macbooks. One's utilitarian and a workhorse, the other is sleek and modern. Both are some of the best designs in laptops thus far, but for entirely different reasons.
  15. macrumors member

    Jan 5, 2006

    The red dots and black body must be a signature of this guy as it is also like the black Thinkpad with red eraser nub mouse thingy.

  16. macrumors 6502

    Jan 10, 2006
    The Swiss railway clock, as we know it now, was designed by Hans Hilfiker in 1953. It more complicated than it seems (all clocks are synchronised because when the CFF tells you the train leaves at 0714 they'll be damned if the doors aren't closing at 0740:01).
  17. macrumors G3


    Aug 24, 2009
    Heh. I actually love the ThinkPad design. Great, powerful and durable laptops. I can't stop collecting the things. There is something about them I find somewhat infectious and brilliant.

    I guess it's just me. :cool:
  18. macrumors 6502a


    May 9, 2005
    somewhere outside your window...
    Lenovo is not a design company, or even innovative. Lenovo is a cheap box-shifter.
    Hindsight is 20:20 vision :rolleyes:


    Wasn't the ThinkPad originally introduced in 1992 when Apple's PowerBooks looked like this:
  19. macrumors 65816

    Drunken Master

    Jul 19, 2011
    Yes, so contrast it with this:



    Again, not amazing for its time, but a nice step up.
  20. macrumors member

    Jul 22, 2011
    Agreed. The ThinkPad is an incredibly good design.

    I have learnt however that MacRumors is the worst place to discuss design. Just look at the panning the Phillipe Starck yacht or the Ruth Asawa fountain got.

    Both beautiful things in their own ways, but not 2mm thick aluminium slabs designed by a certain Brit, so immediately dismissed by those who prefer to be told what they like.

    (And before I get destroyed - I think the design of my MacBooks and iPods are beautiful. But the only and best (there's no such thing - design is not a race) style in which something should be designed? Absolutely not.)
  21. macrumors 68020

    May 23, 2011
    Thinkpad (used to be) the best laptop

    Say all you want, but the Thinkpad design is a classic. It also happens to be one of the most comfortable laptops to use, more than any other laptop (and I am including Mac).

    Too bad IBM sold it all to Lenovo, it went downhill since...
  22. macrumors member

    Jan 27, 2012
    The Thinkpad was a thing of beauty when IBM made them, definitely better than those jellybean clamshell iBooks.
  23. macrumors 68030

    Sep 20, 2006
    Aussie living in Canada
  24. macrumors regular


    May 14, 2012
    Monterrey, Mexico
    The Thinkpad has a good design for a IBM/Lenovo product.
  25. macrumors 6502a


    Sep 8, 2007
    The German aesthetic really seems apparent in the linked images. It's interesting to think about what Apple might have come up with him instead of Ive...



    Never having owned one, I'd forgotten about all the peripherals!

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