Steve Jobs: The entrepreneurial visionary of the Apple design network.
Jonathan Ive: The creative visionary of the Apple design network.

red dot: design team of the year 2002

Apple Industrial Design Team


This year’s honorary award “red dot: design team of the year” goes to the Apple Industrial Design Team. With this title, the Design Zentrum Nordrhein Westfalen annually honours a design team in the “red dot award: product design” for their design achievements. The award ceremony will take place on 1 July 2002 in the Essen Aalto Theatre.

With both of Apple’s “iMac” as well as other gear like the “iPod”, the Apple Industrial Design Team proves its outstanding achievements in product design. “Apple has made the computer a mass tool, by developing a graphic and iconographic language. Apple sets standards also on the hardware-level: the product forms convey a modern life style, which is always one epoch ahead of our time”, explained Prof. Dr. Peter Zec, president of the Design Zentrum Nordrhein Westfalen.


1. The centre of modern lifestyle: The new iMac’s outward appearance reminds of a sunflower. Inside there is a giant in terms of technical support.
2. The iMac’s happy and colourful design makes it a suitable object for any living-room: it is the favourite computer of professionals and private users.



“Think different”: Strategy, shape and life style
The economic upswing and the company’s strong international presence firstly resulted in Steve Jobs’ re-joining Apple, which he had once co-founded, in 1996 and secondly in the achievements of the design team under Jonathan Ive. Innovation and design as pillars of the entrepreneurial vision had again become important elements of the business culture. The introduction of the “iMac” in the summer of 1998 started a new string of successes. The round, integrated computer made of transparent, vivacious plastic has given computer design a new use of forms and the computer product a consumer quality, so that Apple was able to navigate out of the economic doldrums.

With the current “iMac”, Apple has again set new standards in computer design: a severe form, which nevertheless has a fine and elegant appearance. The high-performance software, a CD and DVD-player and -writer make the new computer a popular consumer product. Furthermore, the new form allows more mobility: grabbed by the flat screen’s slender joint, the “iMac” can easily be carried.



1. Fly around the world, listening to music non-stop: The small “iPod” is a brilliant achievement in terms of product design and technical
performance. Therefore it has received the “red dot: intelligent design” award in the red dot award: product design 2002.

2. When the computer learned to talk: The 1984 “Macintosh” was the first computer with an iconographic user interface.



The Apple Design Team has managed to achieve a unique market position in a distinguished way, thanks to a high product quality connected with a striking use of forms. The Apple Industrial Design Team has introduced new design possibilities for computer hardware as well as software, which set international standards. Nothing verbalises Apple’s business strategy, life style and use of forms better than the world-famous slogan “Think different”.

 In the case of Apple, design has clearly had a positive effect on the image as well as the net product. For achieving an economic turnaround not least because of a consistent design management, the Apple Industrial Design Team receives the “Radius” challenge cup. The “Radius” is the only design challenge cup world-wide. It is awarded by the Design Zentrum Nordrhein Westfalen. The names of all the previous prize-winners have been engraved into the cup. Among them are Bruno Sacco and the Mercedes Design Team as well as the teams of Sony, IDEO and Siemens. Last year’s winner Axel Thallemer of the Festo Design Team will hand over the Radius to the Apple Industrial Design Team at the festive award ceremony on 1 July 2002.