Jonathan Ive – The Dyslexic Genius Behind Apple’s Greatest Products
Some of the world’s most creative people have one special thing in common, and that is dyslexia. Inventors, creative geniuses and innovators like Steven Spielberg, Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, Alexander Graham Bell and Leonardo Da Vinci are counted among the ranks of people with dyslexia, along with the brilliantly creative mastermind of Apple’s iPod, iPad and iPhone, Jonathan Ive.
It’s no wonder that Jonathan Ive and Steve Jobs from Apple quickly became like creative brothers in spirit and good friends. Steve Jobs was another famous visionary genius with dyslexia. Jonathan Ive has led the design team at Apple since 1996 and with his team has won many design awards including several famous design museum and President’s design awards in 2003, 2005 and 2007. He also holds over 5,000 patents.
Dyslexia Never Held Jonathan Ive Back
The fact that Jonathan Ive is dyslexic has never held him back or negatively affected him. He graduated from Walton High School in Stafford in the UK. In 1985, he began to study at Newcastle Polytechnic and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Industrial Design. Since then, he’s been awarded three honorary doctorate awards from Northumbria University, the Royal College of Art and from the Rhode Island School of Design. He’s also received a title of Royal Designer for Industry from the Royal Society of Arts. He was even knighted in 2013 for his services and contributions to the fields of enterprise and design.
Jonathan Ive was born in Chingford, London, England in 1967. His father, Michael Ive, likes to tell stories of the earliest manifestations of his son’s creative genius which began in childhood. He tells of a very innovative obstacle course once built by his son Jony for his pet hamster. The obstacle course was crafted from simple materials like cardboard and wood. Later, Jonathan became adept at drawing and once created a likeness of a scuba diver that was incredibly realistic and even featured a sense of movement.
A Childhood Immersed In Creativity Blended With Common Pursuits
Throughout much of his childhood, Jonathan Ive had a passion for work, but along with that came a love for play that he showed by taking part in sports like Rugby. His grandfather on his father’s side and great-grandfather were both metal workers, and both of his parents were teachers. His father taught design and technology in a secondary school in England and was a skilled craftsman and silversmith. His mother was a theology teacher. His sister grew up to be a consultant to non-profit organizations in England.
At one point, he also developed an affinity for dance music. He met his wife, Heather Pegg in school. After dating for a while, they married when he was half way through school in 1987. At the time, she was a student at Newcastle University studying English Literature. Jony Ive developed a passion for cars that began in the early 1980’s, perhaps because of their unique design qualities. Since then, he has drifted towards cars like Bentleys, Austin-Healy’s, Aston Martins and Land rovers.
A Part Of The Apple Design Team Since 1996
Since 1996, Jonathan Ive has been a leader of Apple’s design team. The team is regarded worldwide as one of the most creative and best in their field. Ive’s title is Chief Design Officer. He’s been responsible for things like packaging, new concepts for the way Apple products look and feel and for coming up with new design ideas.
He was also instrumental in developing some of the architectural ideas for the unparalleled, unique design of Apple’s retail stores. Jonathan and his design team were named the Best Design Studio over the last 50 years. They received this award in 2012 from the Design and Art Direction organization. Museums like the Pompidou in Paris and New York’s Museum of Modern Art have featured some of this design team’s work in permanent museum displays.
A Unique Style With Elements Of Bling
Jonathan Ive’s design style is often one that follows an aura of sensibility combined with some bling. He follows a belief that everyone is entitled to styles that are elegant and well designed, without a lot of extra cost. Some of Ive’s friends have attributed this characteristic to a lack of wealth when he was growing up. He’s had a fascination with luxury high-end products for years, like the jeweled phones created by a British company called Vertu.
Jonathan Ive had to do some convincing within Apple to get them to produce the Apple watch. This was a totally different concept for the company, but one that Ive felt would be lucrative. Fashion wasn’t really one of Apple’s fortes, but the inroads they’ve made into the jewelry watch market have been met with a level of success. To make sure a desirable product was designed for the jewelry market, some of Apple’s recently hired advisers have come from companies like Tag Heuer, Yves Saint Laurent and Burberry.
Apple Products Jonathan Ive Has Worked On
Jonathan Ive went to work for Apple in the mid-1990s. This was after he designed a prototype for Apple that expressed the first idea he had for a product similar to an iPad. His idea was a Mac tablet known as a Macintosh Folio. It had a screen that was adjustable and the user would use a stylus. He also designed the iMac G3 and was known for working on ideas he had for a computer that could be accessed behind a set of credenza doors, in effect a computer that would be built into a piece of furniture.
Ive’s creativity extended to other products as well. Today it’s rumored that he is working on a future product that involves aerospace concepts, as well as a new project known as the “Airbug.” What he readily admits is that he won’t adhere to any schedule or try to create something just to answer to a corporation’s agenda. He wants every product created by his design team to be the most exceptional product it can be. He doesn’t place much emphasis on how long it will take to create something new. His main focus and emphasis is always on quality, no matter how long it takes.
Jonathan Ive Attributes Apple’s Success To Teamwork
One thing Jonathan Ive tells interviewers is that everyone on the design team that has worked together for over 15 years at Apple has played a critical part in the success of new ideas, and in the way those ideas eventually became the development of new Apple products. It has always been and will continue to be a concerted team effort. This team has become attached to the way they work together and the way they have been able to learn together.
He feels that the biggest rewards come when they see people using and enjoying Apple products they’ve created. These products have usually been developed from a single idea that was shared with others and finally came to be through creating a prototype. And all of this happened after these creative ideas went through a lot of pensive thought and careful consideration.
Dyslexia Does Not Need To Hold A Person Back
In light of the many people who have become successful in careers and in life despite being dyslexic, it can be concluded that dyslexia doesn’t have to hold a person back from success. With extra support and an awareness of how the dyslexic person learns best, many have overcome this neurological learning disability by using different learning methods to help them grasp important concepts. Being allowed to record lectures to listen to again later, for example, has been an effective learning aid for some college students with dyslexia.
It’s estimated that dyslexia affects about 10 to 15 percent of the United States population. The occurrence of dyslexia appears to be nearly equal in boys and in girls. It has been difficult to gather good statistics on dyslexia because it is a condition that can sometimes be misdiagnosed or not diagnosed at all.
Dyslexics Like Jonathan Ive Have Achieved Monumental Success
People with dyslexia have statistically become important contributors to society. Dyslexic people are found in all walks of life, including actors and actresses, politicians, scientists, authors, researchers and athletes. Those affected by dyslexia can be taught effectively with some help and understanding from the most important and influential people in their life like parents and teachers. Especially when help begins at a young age, dyslexia does not need to have negative effects or hold a person back in any way.
Jonathan Ive has been able to overcome the challenges posed by dyslexia to become monumentally successful as a crucial part of the design team at Apple. Many people with dyslexia display a higher prevalence of ability to focus their attention, extraordinary attention to detail and a tendency towards acute visual memory. Add to this the skills of creativity, unique vision and resourcefulness and the things that can be achieved by a person with dyslexia become almost limitless.
Learn about Other Famous People With Dyslexia