Five Jony Ive designs you probably don’t know

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It’s not all iPhones and iPods, you know…

British designer Sir Jony Ive has said he is leaving tech giant Apple after more than two decades at the firm.

While at Apple, Sir Jonathan designed hugely successful products including the iPhone, iPod and iMac.

As he prepares to launch his own venture, it’s worth remembering that Ive’s design career has so far included more than those blockbuster devices.

Here are some Jony Ive originals you may not have heard of…

1. A toilet

One of Sir Jonathan’s first jobs after leaving Newcastle Polytechnic was at the London design agency Tangerine.

While there, he was asked to work on a number of products – including microwaves and a comb aimed at hairdressers: the Brian Drumm Flatliner. However, he also designed a toilet and basin.

His work was not well-received by his boss, however. In a 2014 interview with Time magazine, he recalled how his boss – sporting a Red Nose Day plastic nose – joked about how his work was overly modern and expensive.

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The Twentieth Anniversary Macintosh – or Tam, for short

2. Twentieth Anniversary Macintosh (Tam)

In 1997, Apple released an unusual computer to mark the firm’s 20th birthday – the Tam.

It was a limited edition product, aimed at wealthy users who were prepared to pay $7,499 at launch (roughly $12,000 today, or £9,400).

In a promotional video released at the time, Sir Jonathan commented on the various design quirks of the Tam.

“While it doesn’t have answers for all the questions it asks, I think it’s a consequential, it’s an important product,” he said.

“I think it gives a new face, a new meaning, to technology that has changed at an enormous pace.”

But the Tam did not fare particularly well. About six months after release, its price was cut to $3,500, which helped to improve sales. Remaining stock sold out at retailers when the price was lowered further, to $1,995 in March 1998.

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One of the world’s most expensive cameras?

3. Leica camera

In 2013, Ive collaborated with designer Marc Newson to create a one-off Leica Digital Rangefinder camera with a sleek aluminium body.

More than 500 models and 1,000 prototype parts were made during the production of the single, special edition device.

It was auctioned to raise money for the Global Fund to fight Aids, Tuberculosis, and Malaria.

Sotheby’s records that the buyer paid $1.8m.

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They look great – but many found them difficult to use

4. Hockey puck mouse

The 1998 G3 personal computer with its bold, translucent coloured shell was very well received – unfortunately the same cannot be said for its USB mouse accessory.

Its circular design was derided as being awkward to use and, with no obvious top or bottom, knowing that the mouse was pointing in the right direction when moving it was difficult.

The G3 itself was very successful, however, and eventually came in 13 different colour schemes. That included the special edition psychedelic “flower power” design.

5. All-diamond ring

This was another charitable collaboration with Marc Newson, but an even weirder one.

Last year, the pair announced a ring made entirely from meticulously cut diamond.

The ring, with its thousands of facets cut by laser-guided water jet, was to be crafted specially for the highest bidder.

It sold for $250,000 in December.