A Profile of Jonathan Ive Before He Was ‘Apple’s Jonathan Ive’

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As a paunchy, pasty male, as we’re sure many of you are as well, given that you’re reading a design blog at 9am in the morning, it gives us great pleasure to be able to see a photo of a slightly-puffy, very awkwardly-haired, teenage Jonathan Ive, because it somehow helps us feel better when seeing images of him now, in all his tight-shirted, more-handsome-than-Jason-Statham glory. The photo is included in this great profile of Apple‘s resident, secretive design guru by the Daily Mail. It tells Ive’s life story, some of which we’re sure has been out there before, but we’d never heard, from his time at Newcastle Polytechnic to his first post-college job, designing bathroom fittings, his rough early days at Apple, and why he possibly turned his back on working as a designer in the UK (something he still maintains, doesn’t like talking about, but might need to work on if he moves back for the sake of his children). It’s a great lengthy profile on one of the best-known designers working today. Here’s a bit about his early days:

Fellow pupils remember a chubby, dark-haired, modest teenager who made the most of his abilities, be they as a rugby player or a frustrated musician.

“Jony was a big Roger Waters fan,” recalls Walton old boy Chris Kimberley. “He was drummer in a band called Whiteraven. The other band members were much older than him. They all met through an evangelical church called the Wildwood Fellowship. They used to play mellow rock in church halls.”

Alan Saunders was his captain in the school rugby team: “He was a gentle giant. He was very unassuming but he did somehow have a big presence about him, and complete commitment. He played prop forward and I never once saw him shy away from a challenge.”

Dang. Awkward photo aside, he was still cooler than us as a teenager. We were never a drummer in a band, never played mellow rock in church halls, or played rugby.