Watch Jony Ive’s full Vanity Fair interview

“Apple’s Jonathan Ive in Conversation with Vanity Fair’s Graydon Carter” has been posted online by Vanity Fair.

With a unique mix of image and intellect, Vanity Fair captures the people, places, and ideas that are defining modern culture. From the arts and entertainment, to business and media, to politics and world affairs, Vanity Fair is what the world is talking about now.

The full discussion from Vanity Fair’s New Establishment Summit:

Direct link to video here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Fred Mertz,” “Lynn Weiler,” and “Sarah” for the heads up.]


  1. Jony, we have Internet submitted questions coming in. This one from GoeB:

    “Jony, love your work and the latest lineup of Apple products proves you are the greatest industrial designer that ever lived. Why then, have you changed the famous illustrative icons under Steve to flat, lifeless and dull coupled with hard to read thin grey fonts on glaring empty white backgrounds?

    I await your response, thank you.” 🙂

    1. We get it: you do not like the new icons. Time to get over it. I am pretty sure the best design team in the world has their reasons to make the changes. (And I am sorry they did not ask your opinion on the issue.) Trust them. Let’s move on. Stop whining. Tired of it.

      1. I think as the computer in whatever form gets more complex there is an advantage in having simpler and clearer icons with which we interface with it. You can argue over the form but the principle remains relavent I believe. Not to mention stitching as much as I loved it originally gets boring after a while.

  2. Fabulous interview. It highlights the brilliance of Jony Ive and Apple. It also expresses the best argument for why industrial design and an original product’s “look & feel” must absolutely be legally protected as intellectual property.

    DOJ, Ninth Court of Appeals, Legal scholars, judges, administrators, and Judge Lucy Koh — please take note !

  3. GoeB… This is where you miss the point.

    The design has always been about simplicity.. The important parts are focused on. But the non focused on areas are kept simple and elegant. Elegance is not extravagance.

    As the product line has kept its simple thought concept, but while maintaining elegance, this has translated to the OS design. The skeumorphism was complex. It was a novelty. But it was complex. Multiple tiny little details that had zero effect on the functionality of the applications. If you take the functionality down to the core of itself, its not basic, it just appears that way at face value..

    If you take the complexity out of the “icons” which you refer, the psychological effect is that of simplicity. And when a user, perhaps new to the system, sees the icons as simple, they fell empowered, as they believe intellectually that it is simple, they WANT TO USE TO APPLICATION. Thus.. They want to use the device. A complex device that intimidates a user does not make them want to use it.. A simple front is unassuming. And it makes them want to use it. Regularly.

    Why sell a product the user doesn’t want to use, or, invariably, feels intimidated to use? That is the core of the company. And you missed the point completely..

    1. Mikey, how is the user experience made simpler when he can’t tell the difference between icons anymore?

      You seem not to understand what Skeumorphism is. It does not mean to replicate complicated objects, it means to make the iconic representation of the 2-D interface recreate with shades and textures the 3-D experience that everyone realizes every day in the physical world. Without 3-D effects, the GUI loses its life… literally. That doesn’t mean we lust for stitched leather-bound borders. It DOES mean that the GUI should have depth and color for intuitive understanding and immediate recognition. Ive screwed the pooch on iOS7 and everything that has been released since. Too bad some Apple fans are too proud to admit it. Jobs prided himself with a lifelike “lickable” interface, and Ive shat on it.

      EXACTLY the simplest interface, because instead of

      1. I simply don’t agree. It’s a non issue to me now as much as I was against it originally. I don’t totally accept its implication but totally support the increased concept of simplification. But having created the base concept it is nog icily improving over time. Rome wasn’t built in a day.

  4. oops, cut off last part

    I was attempting to write that, like so many others here have experienced, OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard was almost EXACTLY the simplest interface, because controls were obvious, text was legible (if not user-controllable), and shadings enhanced the user’s understanding of what moved and what didn’t, where to grab and what not to. That is all gone now that Ive screwed it up with his sorry excuse for “simplicity”. His simplicity looks like Windows 3.1.

    1. I agree. Sadly, Apple has lost its way in this respect. Intuitiveness is what made Apple computers so great from the beginning. Now, that is all going out the window (like Windows).

      Don’t get me wrong. Apple computers are still the best but they are certainly not as good as they could be and the trend is troubling. And I consider Ives largely responsible for this trend.

  5. I disagree about the icons being “simple”. If you analyse them they’re actually produced using a very sophisticated system of spirals and ratios. iOS ones, anyway. At the event it was Craig who got the credit/blame for how Yosemite finally looked (Ive was conspicuously absent).

    But compare the old Finder icon to the new one and tell me Snow Leopard represented the ultimate in design awareness… It looks horrible by comparison, the new one is much, much better.

    1. how is Ive an annoying guy?
      he’s the most soft spoken multi millionaire knighted award winner I’ve seen. (with all the accolades he’s collected you’ll think he would be a heck more arrogant).

      Go compare him with some other big shots like Ballmer….

      I thought he was very reserved and articulate.
      15 min almost up… eh did you notice how well the iP 6 is selling?

  6. I am watching Jony, and can’t help feeling, he doesn’t want to be there. I mean he enjoys talking, but does not enjoy being in front of the spotlight. I think being a designer, he is left to himself a lot, you get used to that small team and develop your own language. Going out to meet other people then, becomes a challenge.

    As a developer, I can’t talk to my wife about work. And I think he finds it difficult to talk to us about his work. He has to think very hard and translate it into something we can understand.

    When he does the videos, he has time to polish what he wants to say and is most comfortable reading from a script.

    I have a lot of empathy for him, and to me, the interview can’t be over soon enough.

    1. I think he explained himself very well in the main, most designers tend to express themselves in a pretentious conceptualised way that is difficult to comprehend but I’ve is rather down to earth and clear in his explanations of the way the thought process works.

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