How ironic it was to learn of Steve Job’s death while on my newly bought iPad? Upon seeing the breaking news flipping through my CNN app, I just went into shock. Logically, I knew he was very sick and dealing with pancreatic cancer but emotionally I just always saw him outliving us all, pitching to us all the great new toys to come. His passing truly means an end of an era to me. Having practiced graphic design since 1988, Steve was right there with me. No, I didn’t know him personally but I had intimate relationships with his techno toys.
The first time I meet the Mac was around late 1990 to early 1991. Oh baby, it was love at first sight! The company I was working at began to phase out live mechanical boards and moving everything to the computer. All of us in the art & production departments went into training and learned how to use Quark on Mac Quadras. Man, oh man, were they so sexy! After training, I’d run back to the offices and continue working on the Quadras in the office because I couldn’t get enough. I would be there for hours. Damn, those were the days.
Like any good Mac fan, I’d try to keep up on all the latest and greatest out of Apple whether it be hardware or software. The only problem I had was that it was all for work. I didn’t have any Mac stuff at home—yet. Years past, upgrades came, new launches happened and I made it my business to know what it all was. During the mid-90’s at the Javits Convention Center here in NYC, there was a graphic expo where in the flesh I saw the new wonder Steve had created—the NeXT computer. Man, I was so damn excited to see it. Touching it, feeling it and messing around the desktop was just so overwhelming. Add to the mix, the whole branding campaign was designed by the legendary Paul Rand and I was just having an orgasm there. Yeah, man it was that hot for me.
Too bad it never really went that far. I thought it was really cool computer but it just didn’t catch fire. Who would’ve thought that from this failure, Steve Jobs would turn Apple into the world’s leading company that set the standards for the near perfect relationship between business and design—as well as making a pretty damn good mint with it.
Eventually I did get my own little Mac environment going on in my home and without question in my own design studio. I still am madly in love with most things Mac as you just develop this love/hate relationship with Apple. There were times where I thought Steve was outta his fucking mind and then others that I praised his utter genius. Steve Jobs was a genius in the truest sense of the word. He completely understand how the function of design was tantamount to a successful business. Both hardware and software coming out of Apple was simply gorgeous. It called to you like a siren in the middle of the sea. The sights and sound were devastatingly seductive. I will freely admit I’ve never had the intensity in any of my personal relationships that I’ve had with Apple over the last twenty-one years.
Think what you want but as I’ve always said to everyone that knows me, design is my mistress and she has some very temptatious friends. When the iPad came out, I wasn’t very interested in it as I just thought it was an overgrown iPhone. But more and more the industry was moving towards edit design on tablets and I just had to find out what the deal was to stay current. So damn you Steve, I broke down and brought one just over 3 weeks ago. My kids love it and I still think it’s an overgrown iPhone but I gotta say it again Steve…you really are a freaking genius.
Hope heaven likes all the new toys you’re bringing them!