Lifetime Achievement: Apple

An in-house studio comes top of the list of design D&AD award winners, but not just any in-house studio. Former D&AD President Richard Seymour discusses the contribution of Apple to the industry

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This accolade isn’t just important for D&AD but for the world. The world knows now, (thank you very much Apple), how important design is as a strategic tool for use in marketing and, as designers, like to say, how bloody good it is and how it exemplifies what we love in things. The world knows now how you put the analogue delight into the objects we use every day; how we can have something that we love rather than that we like.

These are messages that, when we used to talk about them with our clients 15 years ago, people would say ‘yes, but Apple is just a boutique computer company’. Now it is the most valuable brand on the planet. So it’s delicious. Thank you Apple.

The first characteristic that has helped Apple be successful is a blood bond at the top of the company between Steve Jobs and Jonathan Ive. They bid each other up, if you like. They whipped themselves up into a frenzy of aesthetic delight.

If you look at businesses that have got design on the board, they tend to perform extremely well. Apple has been able to prove in a business context, the power of design.

People often mistake what the product actually is here. The iPod isn’t the product, iTunes is the product. An iPod is the bit that protrudes into your dimension that you can touch and feel. A lot of people think of what Apple has presided over as a digital revolution. It’s not. It’s a digitally enabled analogue revolution. What we love about the stuff is how it feels, what
it looks like. These are analogue virtues. This is an analogue revolution and they understand that and look where it’s brought them.

The above is an edited transcript from a filmed interview by D&AD. See the final film on the CR iPad App

02 Pentagram Design
03 Studio Dumbar
04 The Partners
04 Caroll Dempsey & Thirkell
06 Michael Peters & Partners
07 Minale Tattersfield & Partners
08 Casson Mann
09 Farrow
10 Crosby/Fletcher/Forbes