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Frog Design's Hartmut Esslinger Reveals Early Apple Designs in New Book

Discussion in 'Mac Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Dec 28, 2012.

  1. macrumors bot



    (via The Verge) today got a hold of some photographs of early Apple computer designs from Hartmut Esslinger's new book, Design Forward.

    Esslinger founded Frog Design, the company that Apple partnered with in the 1980s and '90s to come up with a design strategy. Frog Design was responsible for the Apple IIc, which led to the "Snow White" design language that persisted in Apple products through 1990.

    This was the stylization that originally included off-white or platinum coloration, vertical and horizontal stripes for decoration, and a three-dimensional logo inlaid into the product case.

    Frog Design also worked on several other prospective Apple products, which were never manufactured, including a telephone/tablet hybrid deemed the "Macphone," a simple, small-screened computer with a wireless mouse and keyboard, named the "Baby Mac," and a set of tall, space-aged computers called "Macintosh Studies."


    Baby Mac​

    Macintosh Studies​
    Designboom has a full range of pictures of 10 different conceptual product designs available, along with a few excerpts of text from the book.

    Design Forward, Esslinger's Book will be released on January 16, 2013.

    Article Link: Frog Design's Hartmut Esslinger Reveals Early Apple Designs in New Book
  2. macrumors 603


    the baby mac looks cute ^^
  3. macrumors 65816


    Some really nice designs!
  4. macrumors 6502

    But are they thinner and lighter????
  5. macrumors 68000


    Agreed! Awesome looking little machine.

  6. macrumors 65816

    Drunken Master


    I had seen photos of the Baby Mac before, but not the others.

    The first iMac's face looks a lot like a colored, pinstriped version of the Baby Mac's face. That thing looks so cool.

    A lot like the Dieter Rams Atelier TV set for Bruan.


  7. macrumors 6502


    Very cool!
  8. macrumors 6502a

    It's interesting to see that many ideas were present a long time ago. A phone, tablet, a small mac. Ideas that took up to another 20 years to become products. Really shows how definite Steve Jobs was in his ideas of what technology should be doing. It will be interesting in another 20 years to have a similar look at products Apple is working on now, are they still as forward thinking, is it possible to still be as forward thinking?
  9. macrumors regular

    this guy looks like Lincoln.
  10. macrumors 603


    I think you may be on to something: :p

  11. macrumors regular

    I want to know what wireless technology they would've used for the mouse and keyboard all the way back then. It's not like wifi and Bluetooth were things yet, much less commonplace.
  12. macrumors 68000


    Baby Mac is beautiful :O

    Can't help but wonder how Macs would have looked today if they had actually released that thing. I would have bought in a second.
  13. macrumors 65816


    I don't think they would have been wireless if they were actually released.
  14. macrumors 603


    It probably would've used Infrared technology like that used in TV remotes.
  15. macrumors 65816


    Infrared would be too slow for a keyboard and mouse and would need them to be facing the computer directly.
  16. macrumors Nehalem


    That baby Mac is pretty awesome. I think the idea of IR tech sounds plausible for wireless.
  17. macrumors 6502a

    Baby Mac looks like the first iMac! So it wasn't really a Johnny Ive creation, it was a frog design's legacy. Fantastic.
    Designs look original and unusual but nice, and in 80s and 90s there were much more variation in design than in current Apple products.
  18. macrumors newbie

    Looks to me like all the designs are also shown in the book AppleDesign, The Work of the Apple Industrial Design Group. 1997
    Using the word 'reweal' seems like a journalistic twist....
  19. macrumors member

    RF like they still use in some logitech wireless mice with dongles?
  20. macrumors 68000


    The Macphone would have been absolutely revolutionary in 1985. Too bad it never came to be. The people would have appreciated it.
  21. macrumors 68040


    Pretty sure I used a wireless RF mouse in the mid-90s. I remember being blown away, but it was pretty laggy, had to be pointed a certain way, and couldn't be more than about 12-18" from the receiver. So not practical. I imagine similar tech would be available in Apple's labs years before—but deemed terrible to use.
  22. macrumors regular

    These are just mockups. One of the pictures just has the keyboard mocked up out of foam or paper or something.
  23. macrumors 68030


    Wow! The Baby Mac looks freaking awesome, even by today's standards! And the iPhone came a longggggg way :D
  24. macrumors 68030

    IBM's PCjr had an infrared wireless keyboard in 1984. While the design of the keyboard was much maligned, it connected nicely if the signal wasn't blocked. Interestingly, it would also connect through a wired connection, something that would be quite handy on modern wireless keyboards.
  25. macrumors 604

    Jessica Lares

    The Baby Mac is awesome. Love how the keyboard looks so modern.

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