Steve Jobs: The man who changed everything

Steve Jobs, who has died aged 56, was at the heart of a revolution that turned the creative industries upside down. After Apple, our world was never the same again

Steve Jobs, who has died aged 56, was at the heart of a revolution that turned the creative industries upside down. After Apple, our world was never the same again

When I first started at Creative Review, in the mid-90s, we used to hammer out our stories on typewriters. The deputy editor would mark up these ‘galleys’ with typesetting instructions and, every evening, a man would come up on the train from our printer in Brighton, put these sheaves of paper in a leather satchel and take them back to be set. Also in his satchel were the day’s layouts – marked up sheets of paper onto which ‘bromide’ headlines and photocopied columns would be affixed along with transparencies or flat artwork to be scanned. And then came the Mac.

No doubt every one of our readers of a similar vintage – be they designers, art directors, filmmakers, photographers, illustrators or writers – can look back and reflect on their own Apple-driven upheaval not just in how they work but also what they work on. But no matter how old you may be, Steve Jobs will have changed the life of every one of our readers, even those who profess to hate Apple and all it stands for.

Following the advent of the Mac, almost every aspect of the production of visual communications was changed for ever. Of course it wasn’t all down to Jobs: many others helped build Apple and let’s not forget the contributions of Jobs’ contemporaries at the likes of Xerox, Adobe, Aldus, Macromedia, Quark and a host of other start-ups. Crafts such as typesetting, retouching and illustration, previously the domain of highly-trained specialists, were suddenly accessible to all. On one machine, we could design a typeface, retouch an image, create an illustration, layout a poster and edit a film.

But just because we could, it didn’t necessarily mean we should. Thanks to the Mac, designers could do it all – but for no more money and with no more hours in the day. For all the enormous and undoubted benefits that the Mac and the digital revolution it symbolised brought to the creative industries, it has also resulted in the undervaluation of many of the crafts on which it relies. The Mac, the DTP Revolution, whatever you want to call it, drew back the curtain. Now anyone with a computer could set a line of type, design a logo, touch up an image. In every revolution there are winners and losers.

And yet would anyone want to go back to those pre-Mac days? Creative Review readers are, in the main, Apple people. We stuck by Apple in the dark days of the clones before Steve (and a certain Jonathan Ive) returned to lead us (by the wallet) into the sunny uplands of the iWorld. We had Macs, the suits had PCs: they symbolised the great divide. They were ‘ours’ and, despite their faults, we loved them. Before iTunes and iPods, before the phones and the pads, we embraced Apple and we never let it go.

As TBWA Chiat Day’s famous campaign had it, with an Apple Mac you could ‘Think Different’. Such innate understanding of the power of his brand is perhaps the other reason why Jobs was held in such high regard by our industry.

It has often been said that Apple is not a technology company but a design company. It redesigned the way we live and gave us the tools to do it. Its products were not just the best looking but also offered the best user experience. The interfaces, the materials, even the boxes the products came in were leagues ahead of the competition, as was the advertising.

Jobs and Apple created their own exquisitely designed universe. As a result he will be remembered not just as the man at the heart of revolutionising the creative industries but also perhaps as its ideal client: a man in charge of one of the world’s biggest companies who understood the power of what we do, invested in it and championed it.

He got it. And he got us.



  • Great tribute and a great loss.

    Thanks for everything Mr Jobs, your legacy will continue to shine. RIP


  • Finn Sloth

    Picasso / Fleming / Eames / Parker / Palme / Coltrane / Jobs

  • If Steve Jobs did one thing, he lived the core value of the founder of IBM, Thomas Watson…
    Good design is good business.

    And that’s why he ‘got us’.

  • Pixel Creative

    Steve and the Macintosh. Thanks for giving us the inspiration and the tools to become better designers.
    You made me what I am today. God bless Rip. Pixel Creative.

  • Fascinating and fitting tribute.

  • Freddie Baveystock

    Clever man.. but still just a man

  • Sach

    Years ago my 3yr old daughter was on the phone and said ‘Grandma look at this’ – putting the handset up to her painting. A friend who was there said something like ‘kids can sure be dumb’. Steve Jobs sure got it – he put the person, our needs and desires first.

  • Lovely article, Patrick. Much has been said today about how Steve Jobs revolutionised the technology world, as well as shaping people’s personal lives. As a 27-year-old designer, it’s almost impossible to comprehend a life without a Macintosh and the software that it gave birth to.

    Thanks for changing the world, Steve.

  • Great tribute on a sad day.

  • Bert

    I guess I’m the only designer who doesn’t (want to) work with a Mac…
    Still, Mr. Jobs unmistakably had a major influence on “the design world”. His vision alone was amazingly inspiring to me. He really put “design” in the spotlight with the general audience and Apple’s products can serve as great examples of why (Industrial) Design is so important.

  • Ludo

    Can’t add anything to this. Been with Apple from day one (born 59). True, anyone can design logo’s etc. now on a Mac. Anyone can design a computer. Only a few do it the proper way. Only one did it the best way.

  • Lee Wai siong

    Who will be the next Steve job ? We design forward!

  • I’m sure his legacy includes a heap of design things that were in the pipeline, so, we will be reminded of his genius time and again.

  • Michael

    Thanks Steve, for Thinking Different!


  • Michael

    Thanks Steve, for Thinking Different!


  • Very well written tribute, especially for the honest appraisal of the change that macs and DTP have had – good and bad. RIP Steve.

  • Julius

    Great man! Great thinker..he truly changed the creative world! Rip steve

  • Leo Saunders

    “Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me … Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful… that’s what matters to me.”
    Steve Jobs

  • Thanks for what you gave, when you did.

  • Great tribute, the digital world is a worse place without him.

    RIP Steve #iLegend

  • Joanna

    Great tribute!

  • A very fitting tribute… his vision changed the way we connect and communicate. RIP Steve Jobs

  • What he achieved was so incredible and how he continued to push himself right up until the end. He is/was a total inspiration.

    ‎”Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to…love what you do. – Your time is limited. Don’t waste it living someone else’s life”. – Steve Jobs

  • ALQ

    My very first Mackintosh had 32mb of RAM. It also had that smiley face on the start up screen, and I loved it. Thanks to forward thinking creativity that hasn’t stopped, I’m typing this on my iPhone with 16GB, it’s crazy it’s beautiful and while the leader of the ship has finally sailed off, I truly hope the future and future thinking of Apple will continue at the forefront of everything. Because it deserves to. I think as designers and customers we are loyal because we need loyalty in our own industry and we have to keep delivering. Steve Jobs has to be our best role model and mentor. Let’s all continue to think different.

  • Debra

    As a writer, I’m no less impacted than those who use the full suite of design tools – my Mac Classic will always have a place on the shelf. Will miss you Steve.

  • Gordon Thompson

    Weird. I was in Covent Garden’s Apple cathedral on Monday – the day before he died(?). An incredibly impressive place. And now a fitting epitaph to a truly great pioneer. He really did change the world.

  • Carol Levy

    I will always be indebted to this great man, this genius, who not only helped me to be a better artist and graphic designer, but gave millions of people all over the world the ability to create, connect and interact with first-class technology, precision, speed, and ease! God rest his soul….he will be missed!


  • Typewriters in the mid-1990s at Creative Review? WTF! My first year at Poly (1986), the first Apple Mac arrived. Tutors sneered at it. And at me for using one. By the end of my course I was teaching tutors how to use them… My first job at Ludden Taylor in 1991 we took DTP to the logical conclusion and produced totally finished artworks on our Macs. Still using them today. But remember there are two Steves to thank, Jobs and Wozniak. Without either of them Apple Macs would not have existed.

  • Michael

    Thanks Steve, for Thinking Different!


  • Peter Farrell-Vinay

    Heaven will look and work differently from now on.

  • RIP Steve, never looked back since we changed all of our machines over to Mac, I see them as another member of our team, no doubt one of the most reliable and efficient.

  • Nigel Newby-House

    Funny, being born in ’69, I grew up as a designer feeling the world-altering period of “invention” was a period that came before me, the internal.combustion engine, the lightbulb etc. and that inventions of that magnitude I’d never witness or be a part of. With Steve Job’s vision and crucially his ability to execute, we can all proudly say we existed in the truly golden age of computing, telecommunications, entertainment and even retail breakthrough. Most of it driven by the leadership of one man. Stunning. Rest in peace.

  • Cristina Solé

    Yes, thank Steve!!!!!
    You have gone too soon… We will miss you!


  • Ann

    Thanks Steve jobs: you inspired me to play the computer: thanks iPad 2

  • stu

    cannot wait to get that xmas biography oooooooft !!!!

  • As a Graphic Designer I had the great pleasure to begin working with Macs in 1986.
    My sons (born in 1992 and 1994) played on them before they spoke so I am a witness of the enormous influence in our lives.
    Thank you Steve!. We will miss you

  • Jake Tilson

    Great tribute, thank you.
    I’m shocked at how deeply upset I feel about the death of Steve Jobs. I’ve been thinking about it all day. Losing an innovator in charge of the second largest company on the planet (after Exxon), who not only loved good design but understood its importance in our lives, makes it such a great loss. A sad day

  • My first desktop design tool was a Mac Plus, then a Mac II followed by a Quadra, by which time the studio staff had increased from two to six. Steve changed my life and my fortunes. Thank you Steve!

  • Thank you Jobs for everything. You made a much better world indeed!

  • Pascal

    From the first Macs to iPad, he always devoted his soul on everything he created.
    That is the difference between Apple and other brands.

    Rest in Peace Steve…

  • Freddie, you’re absolutely correct, he was still just a man.
    A man true to his convictions with incredible focus. And, a sharp sense of design.

    Living in Los Altos CA I ran into Steve at places like a: coffee shop, the car wash, cafe, and with all his millions/billions he was completely unpretentious. Jeans, running shoes, a pullover shirt, the standard Steve Jobs look. There was never-ever an entourage of “his people”… he was simply waiting for his car to be washed, eating a bagel or just having coffee. I last saw him in July (& wife) and was shocked to see such a frail man with a waist size of 18”. My cousin died of pancreatic cancer and I had flash backs of his suffering and pain he went thru when I last saw Steve Jobs. It truly shook me.

    So, yeah in the end, he was just a man.
    A man who changed the world.

  • My first desktop design tool was a Mac Plus, then a Mac II followed by a Quadra, by which time the studio staff had increased from two to six. Steve changed my life and my fortunes. Thank you Steve!

  • Chris C

    Not many people get to leave a legacy that truly changes the world, even fewer that change it for the better. Look around. Count the number of iPhone/iPad/iPod/iMac users (or the countless imitations) and consider how many lives the man touched – directly or otherwise. Incredible. I’m not one for emoting on the passing of the rich and famous but Steve Jobs sure will be missed. Innovator. Genius. Pioneer. Legend. Truly, truly inspirational and a huge loss.

  • Lets not forget the output of Pixar, a company which probably would have floundered and fail without Steve Jobs direction on his sabbatical from apple. He leaves both companies in very capable hands, To Infinity and beyond, Mr Jobs.

  • Such a privilege to have worked on apple product advertising in the 80’s.

    A great great mind gone.

    He changed my life, and that of so many others.

  • Alastair Leith

    Mac came out 24th Jan 1984. You had to wait till mid-90s to get off the typewriter? Then Jobs must have changed the world in the best way, slowly 😉

  • Ian Dennis

    Fine tribute. Spot on that he changed every designer’s life. I once thought I only needed a drawing board and a repro camera. But we have bought Apples since they appeared, including one of the first Macs – we still have it. I don’t begrudge Apple a penny.

    The irony is that 40 years after Henrion et al made us designers and consultants we’re back to being commercial artists, thanks to Steve.

    Bert Janch, Graham Dilley and Steve Jobs all in one day. But we can celebrate their lives for hours with a touch of one finger.

    “ The reasonable man adapts himself to the world. The unreasonable man persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man. ”
    —George Bernard Shaw

    Adios and thank you Steve Jobs

  • Ian Dennis

    Apologies. Please seek out Jansch with an S. One touch of the finger makes a huge difference on the guitar as well as the iPad.

  • Patrick,
    thanks for a well written commentary especially for those of us in your vintage.
    Lovely to unite in our sadness, reading the snippets of other people’s experiences.

    The foundation of this revolution (Beatles) and about the EXPERIENCE (Jimi Hendrix) as our generation grew up with fashion style and music and that was THE word that has carried us through. Apple thinks about user EXPERIENCE and from the comments here we can see how very deeply and broadly Apple has affected our entire life experience, globally.

    I share with our fellow readers here, my kids grew up in our design studio on the laps of designers, they are now twin boys 17 and daughter 19, never look down at the key board, operate many more apps than me and with skill and speed. The generation we see now using their inventiveness with so many tools.

    I agree about your comment Patrick on devaluing some of the processed parts of the design business and now I have more opportunity to use my creativity with all the tools Steve’s given us than the craft of slog.

    What a most wonderful human being, now in our history and never will be forgotten in the iconic symbol of the Apple.


    From a faithful Apple user since 1989, Issy Pover

  • jess

    This is one of the best blogs I have read..Cheers xxoo

  • “Here’s to the crazy ones.
    The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers.
    The round pegs in the square holes.
    The ones who see things differently.
    They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo.
    You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them.
    Because they change things. They push the human race forward.
    And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius.
    Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do”

    You changed my world Steve.

    The world is a much better place because of you. You were brilliant, and clever and inspirational. Your last major speech said it all for me, ( +

    Stay hungry and stay foolish.

    I am and I will be for the rest of my life.

    Like you said, death is inevitable. All that matters is what you do between now and then. I’ll never again settle for doing stupid stuff that doesn’t matter. You started this process for me when you got me to ‘Think different’.

    I do. And I’ll miss you.


  • Nigel Newby-House

    Funny, being born in ’69, I grew up as a designer feeling the world-altering period of “invention” was a period that came before me, the internal.combustion engine, the lightbulb etc. and that inventions of that magnitude I’d never witness or be a part of. With Steve Job’s vision and crucially his ability to execute, we can all proudly say we existed in the truly golden age of computing, telecommunications, entertainment and even retail breakthrough. Most of it driven by the leadership of one man. Stunning. Rest in peace.

  • Manjunath G.S

    Man who thinks very different. Converting of his great ideas to products.

  • David Case FCSD

    I brought my first Mac in 1984. I introduced the Mac to British Newspapers at the Financial Times. Steve Jobs changed my career and the careers of people that worked for me. The Mac became pencil, pen, brush, camera and window to the world. Thank you.

  • I remember being the art director at CR at this time. Looking back at it, I think I spent most of my time counting copy, sticking down galleys and choking on Spray Mount. Nowadays of course, even though I am still an art director, my ‘design time’ is now spent doing what a repro house used to do, preparing files for print, colour correcting, and dealing with increasingly complex workflows. With the streamlining of your individual job via a shiny new computer, comes the bean counter who suggests you can do several other people’s too!

  • being a design student, i really do appreciate the contribution of Mr. Chairman to the industry, without the product of his work we will not enjoy the things we love to do. Thanks sir.

  • You inspired us! You hanged the way we use and view technology today! A true visionary, a great man, an inspiration a mentor to the new generation. You will never be forgotten. May you rest in peace. You did a good job Steve Jobs!

  • Lesley Curtis

    Lovely article and tribute.

    I started my design career at college in the 80s with a lot of work being created on the Grant Enlarger! I do remember the very early Macs and feeling totally daunted by them and their amazing capacity! I truly believe that if it wasn’t for Steve Jobs and his creativity, forward thinking and inspiration amongst many other qualities, I wouldn’t have the successful design career that I have today. RIP young man you’ll be greatly missed. Although you will never be forgotten and will go down in history as a true visionary.

  • Great tribute.

  • John Graham

    Am I the only one that thinks these flowery overdone tributes are completely insane? What is the matter with you people? The man improved the design of computers and phones. He did not bring about a revolution, he did not change the world. He was a billionaire CEO of a company that produced shiny gadgets (all of which I might add produced using virtual slave labour from China) for you to flaunt and prove you have made some money.

    This kind of mass (temporary I hope) insanity actually scares me, I am beginning to think of Apple more as a cult than a computer company. Crying and laying flowers at your local Apple store? Come on. Get a grip.

    Worshipping at the altar of a brand? This cultism is both scary and a backward step for the human race.

  • I learned DOS in school and HATE it. If that was about computers, I preferred death!
    Then in college, as a revolutionary subject, I gave computers a second chance. I learned with the first mac, programming something to move on screen, not quite sure what it was, tiny screen, it looked like a gray box. Now, I cant leave home without my mac. I may forget to pick-up children from school, but I never forget taking my mac along. It is to me like a security blanket. I am a graphic designer now, and thanks to these incredible tools, I am virtual, hands on in any corner of the world.
    I am sure Apple products will continue to blow our minds, but what I will miss of Steve Jobs are his public speeches, and his bright mind
    My most sincere condolences to his family and friends

    Catalina Rojas

  • Paul Almas

    Time helps perspective. By virtue of nothing but fate I bring 6 decades to the conversation being born in ’43. As in industrial designer graduated in ’67 I’ve been able to watch a few of the least and greatest gurus come and go. Apple is a celebration of good design carried through to the market place with great competence but there was also a co-incidence of being at the right time in the right place with another competent individual. Having worked for Herman Miller in the early ’70s, Charles Eames was the design guru that was the focus of design worship, only one of a list of designers that Miller elevated to prominence – George Nelson and Alexander Gerrard as well – names not even on the radar of this generations design culture. In retrospect, it’s never the brilliance of just one individual’s exclusive attributes. People become famous because, in significant ways, other systems and organizations make them so. A life well lived encompasses much more than the public persona. Strong visions and personalities usually prevail over the broken spirits and emotional wreckage they leave in their wake.

  • William R McGrath

    I am grateful to Steve Jobs and watsisname Wozniak for giving us the Macintosh Computer. I was working as a designer artist for a newspaper in Canada when I managed to convince my boss that we needed a Mac. That little Mac Plus freed me from the tyranny of the “back shop”. It was gift then and the recent iterations are gifts yet.

    Bill McGrath

  • Beautifully written. Like so many other contributors to this article Apple’s products changed the course and direction of my career. Steve Jobs was a true visionary and innovator and he’ll be sadly missed. I wonder what the future holds for Apple?

  • Without Steve Jobs the design world would be a very different place right now.

  • It will be very interesting to see what Apple comes out with in the next few years. Their success has surely been down to a strong team rather than one man, but on the other hand the power of a single driving force at the top can be immense.

  • Lucy

    Steve Jobs revolutionalised the way I work in the world of Graphic Design. I was just starting my career as Apple’s were being introduced to design studios and have grown up with Apple, being wowed by every step of their innovative breakthroughs, each of which not so much made my job easier but allowed me to focus more and more on being creative without worrying about file sizes/filling up disc space etc. I hope his team continue his great work.

  • Crazy One.
    An animation I did in memory of a genius:

  • Although there is those being fairly critical of his role and charitable efforts, he revolutionised the way we look at computers. He showed us that technology doesn’t have to be clumsy and ugly looking. His iPods changed the way we listened to music on the go, and for that you have to take your hat off.

  • I started on a Mac Classic, setting births, deaths and marriages at the Yorkshire Post in Leeds. My first purchase was a IICi I have loved every minute of the last 20+ years on Macs. I now run a small web company and a small ad agency. All thanks to Steve. So long fella.


  • Ronald Assumpcao

    After Adam, after Newton… he is the third man that with an Apple changed the destiny of the world. Will be missed forever.

  • Steve Jobs n co came out with a new minimalist branding approach that suited them down to the ground. It’s a shame that everyone else had to copy them. Apple essentially killed Graphic Design.

    Graphic Design Glasgow

  • RIP Steve Jobs.. Inspiring technology! will never forget.
    Someone has big shoes to fill… lets hope whoever it is can carry on Steves legacy!

  • Good article. Such a loss but leaving such great inventions to us.

  • Great program on Channel Four at the moment about Steve, check it out:

  • Thank you for this wonderful article. I am still very sad that we lost such an amazing person. Jobs changed the world. Today, you can’t imagine to life without an Iphone or Ipad anymore. The internet world has gained even more importance, as you can serve wherever and whenever you want with his devices.

  • Good article. Thanks for changing the world, Steve.

  • Finally got my new MAC today :)..then stumbled upon this article on Google….still sad hes gone, but at least his legacy lives on! This MAC is AWESOME!!!!

  • Not wanting to get lynched here but was jobs that big an innovator or was he just great at seeing the next big thing?

    He undoubtedly had an eye for it (goes without saying) but you can be sure he had the team to support him, he’d have gone across the world to find them because those working for you make you who you are.

  • Still missing him now – Apple just hasn’t been the same since. They seem to be getting confused with all their products slowly merging into one. At what point does an iphone 6 plus become an ipad mini!? Rest In Peace Steve.