In 1999 or 2000, I remember seeing the Marc Newsom-designed “021C“, a Ford Concept Car, in surface magazine. It was perfect. Loved the color, loved the retro nods and loved the ideas in the car.
The ideas in that vehicle showed a kind of thinking that were so far away from Detroit, they seemed to come from some other time, when people weren’t afraid of risks and weren’t afraid to spend money to try at something weird, just to see what would happen. Kind of like Detroit in the 1950s and 60s, crazy wings and flares, all full of space race and hoping for a collective future of flying cars.
Newsom’s concept for a sedan looked to a simpler, full of bright colors and groovy surfaces. Look at the dashboard design:
and then take a look at a dribbble search for “ux” Even 15 years later, that dashboard can only be seen as hugely influential.
Last weekend, it broke that the Apple had hired Mr. Newsom as a VP of design. Suddenly, his hiring casts a light on tomorrow’s event that validates all of the smoke around Apple announcing more than new iPhones. Daring Fireball linked to Newsom’s portfolio site and linked the Charlie Rose interview of Jony Ive and Newsom. This shouldn’t be missed if you want to hear Ive talk about design outside of the scripted product launch videos. Ive and Newsom appear to be more than colleagues and I wonder what the actual product design will be like between Ive and Newsom.
And yeah, Newsom designs timepieces. Really nice ones.
In case you don’t want to watch the Charlie Rose interview, Ive and Newsom worked together to design a series of one-off products to auction for (RED). The items sold for a combined $13 million USD. My favorite is the Leica M that has some interesting touches and is likely a photographer’s nightmare. Still, it looks amazing.
Despite my fawning, both Ive and Newsom haven’t been perfect in their work (1, 2), and that is refreshing to consider, given the string of home run work the two have produced.
I can’t wait to see what Apple stuff Newsom comes up with.
Sources: Gruber, Mac Rumors