JOBS, STEVE. 1955-2011. Original patent award plaque presented to Steve Jobs by Apple on the occasion of his design for the design of the Macintosh case,
Lot 114
JOBS, STEVE. 1955-2011.
Original patent award plaque presented to Steve Jobs by Apple on the occasion of his design for the design of the Macintosh case,
US$ 40,000 - 60,000
£30,000 - 45,000

Lot Details
JOBS, STEVE. 1955-2011.
Original patent award plaque presented to Steve Jobs by Apple on the occasion of his design for the design of the Macintosh case, 307 x 204 mm, with engraved stainless steel plate reproducing US Patent No. 285,688 for the Macintosh computer housing, with second plate beneath engraved, "Presented to Stephen P. Jobs/ by apple computer inc./ 1987", upper plate fastened at corners with decorative washer and screws to walnut mount.

STEVE JOBS' PATENT AWARD PLAQUE FOR THE MACINTOSH CASE DESIGN. Apple's early motto, "Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication," encapsulates the company's approach to innovation and design. Beginning with Steve Wozniak's elegant circuit board designs of the Apple 1 and Apple II, the sleek case of the Apple II series, the company hit its stride with the Macintosh, from its "friendly" case design inspired by Jobs' interest in Bauhaus design philosophy and the Braun products of Dieter Rams to the GUI (graphical user interface) borrowed from Xerox after a number of visits to their PARC labs.

Jobs, who had been ejected from the Lisa project just a few months earlier, took over as project manager of Macintosh in January 1981, immediately butting heads with team leader Jef Raskin. Raskin had envisioned a computer that would sell for $1,000 and be a simple all-in-one unit. He even supplied the name based upon his favorite apple. Raskin left the company, however, and went on to develop the unremarkable Canon Cat, and Jobs refocused the project, sacrificing portability for a more distinctive design. "He plopped down a phone book and declared, to the horror of the engineers, that it shouldn't have a footprint larger than that" (Isaacson p 128).

The case was designed by Jerry Manock and Terry Oyama with Jobs' constant input. Oyama remarked, "even though Steve didn't draw any of the lines, his ideas and inspiration made the design what it is. To be honest, we didn't know what it meant for a computer to be 'friendly' until Steve told us." The patent for the case design, issued to all three, was finally awarded in 1987, two years after Jobs left the company to start NeXT. Curiously, whether a joke or a mistake, the above patent award plaque bears the incorrect spelling "Stephen." Jobs did not hold the plaque in a place of esteem, but left it at Jackling House after he moved out, eventually gifting it to a friend.
Isaacson. Steve Jobs NY: [2011].

Footnotes

  • SIMPLICITY IS THE ULTIMATE SOPHISTICATION.
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