Blast from the past: 10 amazing Apple designs that never were

Founded on April 1, 1976 by the Steves, Jobs and Wozniak, Apple's incredibly-rich history spans nearly 4 decades now. And while most of us associate the Cupertino-based company with its newer generation of products -- the iPad, the iPhone, the Macbook and Mac Pro -- it's important to remember that these are hardly exhaustive of Apple's design history.

Most of you have seen the Apple II, and the Lisa, though. What you probably haven't seen, however, are the hundreds of prototype illustrations that never actually made it to the market for one reason or another. That's exactly the topic of acclaimed designer and founder of Frog Design, Hartmut Esslinger's book, Keep It Simple: The Early Design Years of Apple (available here).

A little over a decade after founding his now renowned design agency in 1969, Esslinger had already worked for big names like Louis Vuitton, but it wasn't until 1982 that his firm was approached by Apple. The then growing company wanted to make a break from its start-up status and transition into a global brand, so it agreed to pay Esslinger and co. $2 million a year to create a design strategy that would see to it. The outcome of that partnership was the "Snow White" design language, which went on to characterize Apple's products from 1984 to early 1990. During that time, as you can imagine, the collaboration produced quite a few concepts, most of which are still little known to the general public. 

You'll be wanting to check them out.


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