Revisiting Apple’s “Designed in California” Book

Back in November 2016, Apple introduced a book that contained 450 images of Apple products, depicting the innovation of many great products, such as the Macintosh, iPhone, and much more.

When you look at the book, you struggle to see the meaning behind the near-blank canvas.


In fact, the only markings on the book is a white Apple logo in the middle along with “Designed by Apple in California” inscribed along the side of the book. It’s quite modest, yet a bit pompous at the same time. When it was released, you could get the hardcover book in two sizes: the smaller 10.20″ x 12.75″ version for $199, and the larger 13″ x 16.25″ version for $299. It’s not inexpensive by any means.


Anyways, you wouldn’t think it’s a particularly interesting book just by looking at it – but you’d be wrong. The book, as Jony Ive put it, ” is an objective representation of our work […] it describes how we work, our values, our preoccupations, and our goals”. Apple dedicated the book to the memory of Steve Jobs, who without a doubt was the most valuable person for Apple as a company, and he paved the way for so much innovation to come. Here we see one of the pages, an up-close of the Apple Watch.


On this page, the book shows the original iPhone, in all its glory. The phone was made mostly from aluminium, and was a great success for Apple, leading the way for a whole new generation of iPhones to come. On the page, there’s a top, back, side, and front view of the phone, showing every aspect of one of Apple’s biggest innovations to date.



Jony Ive also hoped the book could be used as a “resource for students of all design disciplines”. The 450 images in the book cover products from 1998’s iMac to 2015’s Apple Watch. It documents the innovations made by Apple’s team over a span of two decades. It’s a must-see for any true Apple Fan. Don’t get this book for reading though – there are very few words in the book.


We’re looking forward to seeing another one of these books 15 or 20 years down the line. Would you get this book?