Where brand, design, analytics, and strategy converge to deliver next generation customer experiences.

Learning from Apple's Design Consultant

Share this article

You may not recognize his name but you'd know Hartmut Esslinger's work everywhere, from Apple to Vuitton.

According to Wikipedia, In 1982 he entered into an exclusive $1,000,000 per year contract with Apple Computer to create a design strategy which transformed Apple from a "Silicon Valley Start-Up" into a global brand. Setting up shop in California for the first time, Esslinger & frogdesign created the "Snow White design language" which was applied to all Apple product lines from 1984 to 1990, commencing with the Apple IIc and including the Macintosh computer. The original IIC was acquired by the Whitney Museum of Art in New York and Time voted it Design of the Year. Soon after Steve Jobs departure, Esslinger broke his own lucrative contract with Apple and followed Jobs to NeXT

Now Esslinger has a book out, A Fine Line: How Design Strategies Are Shaping the Future of Business in which he discusses his design strategy and personal career trajectory.

Reena Jana of BusinessWeek writes that the book is meant primarily for corporate execs, so designers may not garner much from his book. According to Jana, he doesn't go deep into design process.

Still, there would be a lot of interesting information from a man who has had such direct influence on design.

Share this article

Upcoming event


16 - 17 Nov 2020, Eastern Standard Time Zone (EST)
Future-Proofing Brands Through the Power of Design
Go to site