Much ink has been spilt about Apple’s industrial design skills and the polarizing look and feel of its unapologetically sexy gadgets. Jonathan Zufi’s photographic shrine of Apple’s design work is taking it all to the next level. The 42-year-old Australian native has managed to put together a massive 326-page coffee table sized book containing detailed photographs he’s meticulously taken over the years.
It showcases Apple products and their packaging from the designer’s point of view, unlike any Apple book you’ve ever held in your hands. This has got to be the most original and detailed tribute to Apple’s design prowess I have seen to date, check it out right past the fold…
Aptly titled Iconic: A Photographic Tribute to Apple Innovation, the book focuses on beautiful photographs and precise typography which somewhat resembles Jony Ive’s iOS 7 work. It actually owes its concept to the Shrine of Apple website that Zufi created a few years ago as a place to post photos of Apple’s product.
Here’s a short video about Iconic.
Drawing from the website’s 3,500+ photos and an astounding 150,000 product shots the author himself has meticulously taken in his photographic studio in Atlanta, the mouth-watering book offers a uniquely detailed insight into “the progression of more than three decades of product design that has made Apple the brand it is today”.
The 12-by-9.625-inch book features over 650 products, each personally bought and paid for by Zufi out of his own pockets. This “photographic shrine” is divided into six chapters: Desktops, Portables, Peripherals, iDevices, Prototypes and Packaging.
The foreword was penned by no other than Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak and famed Apple blogger Jim Dalrymple. Each chapter begins with an introduction by a different luminary “who has been a part of the Apple community”, such as ZDNet columnist Kenneth Hess, Apple employee #12 Daniel Kottke, Belkin CEO Chet Pipkin and others.
For instance, an introduction to a chapter on desktops features a circuit board from the original Apple computer, the Apple I, and Daniel Kottke’s words describing it as “primitive as the Model T” compared to today’s electronics.
Betsy McKay at the Wall Street Journal explains Zufi intentionally captured stunning color photography of each Apple product set against the same type of futuristic white backdrop used on the Apple website and seen in Apple Stores.
He also went to absurd lengths to document rare Apple product prototypes:
Mr. Zufi met with collectors around the country, loading dusty collections of valuable prototypes into rental cars and photographing them, sometimes in makeshift studios in hotel rooms.
Zufi, who has never worked for Apple Inc, has since emptied the storage unit and sold most of the items he bought, though he still keeps “an enormous monitor in his garage” along with a dozen other items.
I wanted to create a repository where people who also love the company and its products could go and reminisce. I want people who are a bit younger who think Apple just makes things that start with “i” to know this company used to make clunky printers.
The Smyth sewn-bound Iconic is printed on the exquisite 105 lb. GoldEast matte paper.
The dust jacket is the 105 lb. art gloss material with film lamination while the endpapers are printed on 95 lb. white woodfree, plain white paper. Amazingly, the case materials used are “Slate Blue binding cloth (Classic Edition) and General Roll Leaf Lustrofoil ‘Silver S5’ (Special Edition).”
Check out the exquisite Special Edition, shipping in mid-October, in a video below.
The Special Edition comes with an external “custom form-fit book case with a design to celebrate the vintage computing retro form factor of the late ’70s and early ’80s”.
Zufi even created Ridgewood Publishing to self-publish Iconic.
You can order Iconic: The Classic Edition for $75.
The ultimate Special Edition masterpiece comes with a hefty price tag of $300, but something tells me the true Apple enthusiasts won’t think twice before ordering one of these.
I’m tempted as well.