The award recognizes Ive’s international achievement in the field of industrial design and for having led the team responsible for the design of “groundbreaking products such as the iMac, iBook, PowerBook, and iPod.” Created by King George V, the CBE honors those who have served the British empire.
“I am delighted that out of the many Brits working in Silicon Valley, Jonathan has been honored in this way,” said British Consul-General Martin Uden as he announced the award in San Francisco. “His creation of these icons of modern life places him head and shoulders above his contemporaries and shows the relevance to us all of excellence in design.”
The London native joined Apple in 1992, but it was not until Steve Jobs returned to the company in 1998 that Ive’s impact began to be felt when the redesigned iMac hit the market. The groundbreaking design, which featured a translucent blue case with rounded corners accompanied by a round and partially translucent mouse, energized the computer company.
Ive’s design spawned a computer revolution that took the computer out of its beige box and sent computer manufacturers as well as other industrial designers back to the drawing board as they attempted to incorporate color and sophistication into their products.
“We are as proud as could be that Ive is receiving such a prestigious commendation,” said Apple in a statement.
Having changed the look and feel of the computer, Ive then turned his attention to redesigning other Apple products, including the iBook, Power Mac, PowerBook, and Mac Mini. However, the iPod is, arguably, Ive’s greatest achievement to date. The white and chrome design, sporting a display and click wheel, resulted in the sale of 22.32 million of the music devices and gave apple an 80 percent share of the music-player market.
According to the company’s financial statements, Apple sold nearly 6.5 million iPods in the last quarter of 2005 alone, including one million iPod Nanos that were introduced in September, a 220 percent increase over fourth-quarter sales one year ago. IPod sales earned Apple $1.2 billion in revenues for the fourth quarter and outstripped computer sales by almost six to one
Ive has been recognized with a bevy of design awards. His designs are featured in permanent collections at museums around the world, such as the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Pompidou in Paris. In 2003, he was named the Designer of the Year by the Design Museum in London and received the title of Royal Designer for Industry by the Royal Society of Arts.
“It is a personal and professional honor to receive this aware from Her Majesty,” Ive said in a statement. “The CBE is a rewarding acknowledgement of my work as a designer. As a Briton, I couldn’t be more thrilled.”