Apple's Radical Overhaul Of The iPhone's Software May Have Been Influenced By This Legendary German Designer

jony ive

One of the mny shocking changes in iOS 7, Apple’s new version of the iPhone’s software, is the new colour palate. 

Jony Ive, who led the design, threw away Apple’s muted colour set for something much more vibrant. It’s almost a neon colour scheme. 

Apple blogger John Gruber and supremely talented software designer Craig Hockenberry talked about the influences for iOS 7 on Gruber’s podcast. 

They mentioned the work of Otl Aichen as a likely influence. 

Aichen’s career-defining work came for the 1972 Olympics in Munich. He designed the images used to represent each sport in a simple way. The icons were designed as a universal language to help people get around the grounds of the games easily. 

He also chose a set of colours for each sport. Those colours are quite bright, and to Gruber, they look a lot like the colours Ive used in iOS 7. The font style is also similar, with thin, sparse typography. 

Apple has long used influence from classic designers. 

The clocks used in the iPad were a copy and paste of the classic clocks designed by the Swiss Federal Railways. Its hardware designs have leaned on the work of Dieter Rams and Braun

Therefore, it wouldn’t be a shock if Ive was inspired by the classic design work of Aichen for iOS 7. 

We’ve rounded up some of his work, so you can compare it to iOS 7.

First, a look at Apple's new icons for iOS.

And here are some of the designs and colours from Aicher for the Olympics.

This is a poster made by Aicher's collaborator Max Bill. (Together, they launched the Ulm School of Design.) You can see these colours and styles in iOS 7.

Again, this is what iOS 7 will look like.

And here is one of the posts from Aicher for the games.

Here's another poster.

This is the poster for the games, generally.

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