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Queen knights Apple's Jonathan Ive

updated 08:25 pm EST, Fri December 30, 2011

Jonathan Ive becomes Knight Commander in UK

Queen Elizabeth II finished 2011 by knighting Apple's Senior VP of Industrial Design Jonathan Ive. Sir Jonathan is now a Knight Commander of the British Empire for fostering the UK worldwide and his direct contributions to design. He had already been named a Commander of the British Empire in 2005.

Sir Jonathan, in reacting to the knighthood, told the BBC he was "humbled and sincerely grateful" for the honor. He claimed to have stood on the shoulders of giants, having benefited from a "wonderful tradition" of design in his home country.

Ive knew from age 14 that he wanted to design for a living and attended Northumbria Polytechnic to learn industrial design work. He started as a commercial designer almost immediately and garnered reputation with Tangerine, a design agency he co-founded with friends.

Apple came into play after it hired him on in 1992, having been impressed with notebook design work Tangerine had done in consultancy. Coming on at what many consider Apple's low point, however, his design talents were widely thought to have gone underused until Steve Jobs returned to Apple. Jobs quickly recognized Ive's abilities and put him in charge of design at Apple in 1997, a decision that ultimately proved crucial to the turnaround of a company that nearly went bankrupt.

Many started taking notice with the original iMac's translucent gumdrop shape in 1998. He quickly reinvented the company's entire look, dropping beige boxes for much more distinctive looks. All of Apple's core products, including the iPod, iPhone, and iPad, embody at least his basic concepts.

A large part of Sir Jonathan's influence comes from former Braun designer Dieter Rams, who emphasized a minimalist but quality appearance. Jobs is known to have sparked some ideas, although he occasionally took credit for Ive's own work.

by MacNN Staff



  1. charlituna

    Joined: Dec 1969



    this is one thing that Samsung won't be able to copy

  1. davoud

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Sir Ive?

    Sir Jonathan, not Sir Ive.

  1. chas_m



    St. Ive then! :)

    your comment

  1. SwissMac

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Sir Jonathan, not Sir Ive

    You're American so how could you know? Oh, by double checking the story in the British media perhaps? Anyhow, the full title is Sir Jonathan Ive, shortened to Sir Jonathan. I'm sure his friends will continue to call him Jony. It's an old title that predates the use of surnames, but again, that started before America was discovered so again, how would you know?

    As for St Ives, that's a beautiful fishing village in Cornwall that has some of the best Art galleries in the UK, great Fish Restaurants owned by celebrated chef Rick Stein, and some great surfing too.

  1. Jeronimo2000

    Joined: Dec 1969


    That sucks.

    Great, so now he's a knight. That means, if the Queen goes to war with someone, say the Scots or those crazy Irish rebels over on that rock, he would have to go and fight for her, right? Now, who's gonna design Apples stuff then? I think this is all a plot by Samsung to weaken Apple.

    Apple is doomed.


  1. philm

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Arise, Sir Jonathan

    Good lad.

  1. macjockey

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Stupid totally stupid

    I guess designing Macs benefits the UK so much it deserves knighthood.

  1. SwissMac

    Joined: Dec 1969



    There is such a thing as recognising someone's achievement for its own sake, not because it benefits the giver. What kind of Quid pro quo world do you live in? Honours are not given in return for favours. In this year's honours list some of the people honoured include an ex-convict, an ex-gang member, and dozens of ordinary people who have given their lives to charitably helping others in small towns for no reward and little recognition.

    Don't be such a cynic. Not everything in life can be bought. Some things are priceless.

  1. Jeronimo2000

    Joined: Dec 1969



    You're wrong, fool. Ives' speech at the Steve Jobs Memorial did more for the worldwide appreciation of the British accent than the creative output to date of Russell Brand, Michael Caine and Monty Python combined.

  1. ecliptic

    Joined: Dec 1969


    To h***

    withe British Royals. These are evil scum who have systematically infiltrated and usurped nation after nation. Now these scum and their "New World Order" are attempting to take over the world...

    The revolution is back ON after a couple of hundred year's hiatus. I hereby declare WAR on the New World Order. Fight to the DEATH!

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