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FUSE in Focus

A community that brings designers and brand strategists together through creative, inspirational, educational, and thought-provoking content.

Apple Season

Old-meets-new: Jonathan Ive, lead designer at Apple
will be designing a limited-edition camera for Leica

Sometimes it feels like it is hard to walk out of a session at Fuse without hearing a least one mention of that beloved brand "Apple."

Last year, for example, Vince Voron told us the story of Apple's "jewels," and ever since the original iMac and iPod Apple has been on a steady march of innovation, first earning itself the preference as designer's choice and eventually making the competition seem downright dowdy in comparison. We even made a Pinterest board entitled "Inspired By Apple" the brand popped up so frequently.

However, the recent Fast Company article "Will Apple's Tacky Software-Design Philosophy Cause A Revolt?,"and the less than stunning reveal of the new iPhone 5 seem to be early harbingers of a trend: are we tired of Apple's designs? Fast Company's Austin Carr derides the skeuomorphism in Apple's software "calendars with faux leather-stitching, bookshelves with wood veneers, fake glass and paper and brushed chrome" and notes "Apple iOS SVP Scott Forstall is said to push for skeuomorphic design, while industrial designer Jony Ive and other Apple higher-ups are said to oppose the direction."

It was interesting then to see that Jonathan Ive is currently working on an (extremely) limited edition camera for Leica. Design hasn't begun yet, so it remains to be seen what the camera will look like, but Leica cameras generally maintain many original design details in an increasingly digital world. I'll definitely be keeping an eye peeled to see what comes of this.

In the meantime, what do you think of Apple's recent design choices? Are you still eagerly queuing and per-ordering their products? The brand has built up a lot of love amongst it's consumers (HP CEO Meg Whitman is a fan, for one) and until sales start dropping or another company starts offering a superior experience, we can't imagine those jewels going anywhere.

Michelle LeBlanc is a Social Media Strategist at IIR USA with a
specialization in marketing. She may be reached at