Early Apple Prototypes Discussed In New Book By Apple Designer

The founder of Frog Design, Apple’s first ever in-house design contractor, has written a new book depicting his personal story at the company that discusses the process of designing and creating early protoypes for Apple.

Hartmut Esslinger worked at Apple between 1984 and 1990, before the release of the original Mac. In the book, he shows off various pictures of early protoypes for the Mac and other products that Apple was working on. Esslinger was tasked to come up with “concept three” for the Mac product design. The design that Esslinger came up with is the one that ended up defining the look of the original Macintosh line.

The book, Design Forward, also provides insight into the thoughts of Steve Jobs, who said that he wanted Apple’s products to have a classic “Americana” look inspired by the likes of the Studebaker automobile and the Coca-Cola bottle. Jobs also suggested the design philosophy of, “what if Sony made computers,” this coming at a time when Sony was known for its product design and before it entered into the computer market.

The book is loaded with concepts and images of other Apple prototypes created in the early 80s, such as an early stylus driven tablet and a corded phone that included an LCD display capable of sending email.

If you’re someone that is fascinated by behind the scenes looks at companies like Apple, you can order a copy of Design Forward online here.

More pictures of prototypes included in the book can be viewed here.

Toby is a writer of word and a lover of Apple, hip-hop, life, and technology.