Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Because we'll buy anything. Anything.

I mean, you can't show up to a king's
birthday with a gift card. That'd be lame.
Wondering what to get the person who has everything? I mean, literally everything. Like a super rich person, or a king or something? Because that scenario is the only reason I can see for this. Yeah, Apple in what I assume was a totally serious move, announced today that they will be releasing a book filled with pictures of their products. Yes, with a straight face. And because this is Apple, you could pay $199 for it, or you could get the slightly larger version for $299. I mean, you'd be an idiot not to, right?

The book is called-hang on, let's refer to it as a coffee table book. A book-book should probably be mostly words and not say, pictures of iMacs. Anyway, it's called 'Designed by Apple in California' and to quote the website 'Tells the story of Apple's design.'
"Yes, gather 'round children and I shall tell you of the legend
of Apple's sleek, industrial design and hip brand image.
According to the book's forward, it's more than just a fancy coffee table book. It's-
Come for the intensity, stay for
the corporate self-aggrandizement.

"...an objective representation of out work that, ironically, describes who we are...We have always hoped to be defined by what we do rather than what we say. We strive, with varying degrees of success, to define objects that appear effortless. Objects that appear so simple, coherent, and inevitable that there could be no rational alternative."

-Jony Ive, Apple's chief of design
and staring intensely into cameras

Apple I. It's from  the 'here, you deal with it'
school of consumer product design.
Holy shit, right? Does it come with a packet of poison Kool-Aide? I bet you thought this was just a book about Apple unabashedly patting themselves on the back for their designs, which, can we talk about that? The book walks through the company's various product lines from their early days of sending you a box with some loose wires and a circuit board (no really) all the way up to today where we hand over absurd amounts of money for an iPhone so we can feel slightly more cool than the people who bought a Galaxy. You know, the one that actually explodes.

From the people that brought
us small, glass and frictionless. 
So I guess my question is, are they all that good at design? I mean sure, Apple's stuff is (usually) pretty, I'll give them that, but doesn't design extent to function as well as aesthetic? Like, they're kind of famous for making phones that shatter into razor sharp spider webs of agony at the slightest provocation and I'm not sure that dropping a useful feature like, say, the headphone jack and then selling you a dongle to replace it is so much an innovative design choice as it is a cost cutting measure.

I think the real heroes are their marketing department that manages to convinces us, the gullible public, to not only pay extra for their stuff but then to cough up another couple hundred bucks for the extended warranty because there's a decent chance your new MacBook or whatever will shit the bed within the month. Which, can you get Apple Care for the book? It'd be a shame if it got bricked by a bad update.
Pictured: Apple's new coffee table books. At least I think it's pictured above. You know, for
a company that's releasing a book about design, you'd think they'd be familiar with contrast.

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