In what has now become the stuff of myth and legend, Apple's collaboration with Hartmut Esslinger and his firm, frog design, almost certainly defined what we now ‘know’ computers look like. Everyone today is familiar with the ubiquitous mouse and standard form of the desktop computer. But when Esslinger and Steve Jobs met, anything was still possible.
“When I started working for Apple in 1982,” says Esslinger 8 “Steve Jobs’ ambitious plan to make Apple into the greatest global consumer technology brand on the planet seemed crazy.” At that time home computers were the dream of only a few nerds. What these computers would look like, how people would input information into them, even how they would look at the screen was still anyone's guess.
Esslinger and frog created several concepts out of foam and cardboard. They developed these ideas in white with spare lines and a clean look. This look came to be known as the “Snow White” design language and it quickly became part of Apple's Design DNA.
As is evident from the images that follow, generously provided to us by frog, anything was possible in 1982. Most of these images have never been seen anywhere else, and they represent a fascinating moment in history. They illustrate not only the solutions discovered but also the range of exploration it takes to develop an “iconic product with no historic precedent."