Frog Design's Hartmut Esslinger Reveals Early Apple Designs in New Book

Friday December 28, 2012 6:35 AM PST by Juli Clover
Designboom (via The Verge) today got a hold of some photographs of early Apple computer designs from Hartmut Esslinger's new book, Design Forward.

Esslinger founded Frog Design, the company that Apple partnered with in the 1980s and '90s to come up with a design strategy. Frog Design was responsible for the Apple IIc, which led to the "Snow White" design language that persisted in Apple products through 1990.

This was the stylization that originally included off-white or platinum coloration, vertical and horizontal stripes for decoration, and a three-dimensional logo inlaid into the product case.

Frog Design also worked on several other prospective Apple products, which were never manufactured, including a telephone/tablet hybrid deemed the "Macphone," a simple, small-screened computer with a wireless mouse and keyboard, named the "Baby Mac," and a set of tall, space-aged computers called "Macintosh Studies."


Macphone



Baby Mac



Macintosh Studies

Designboom has a full range of pictures of 10 different conceptual product designs available, along with a few excerpts of text from the book.

Design Forward, Esslinger's Book will be released on January 16, 2013.

Top Rated Comments

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25 months ago
the baby mac looks cute ^^
Rating: 13 Votes
25 months ago

this guy looks like Lincoln.


I think you may be on to something: :p

Rating: 10 Votes
25 months ago
this guy looks like Lincoln.
Rating: 5 Votes
25 months ago

I want to know what wireless technology they would've used for the mouse and keyboard all the way back then. It's not like wifi and Bluetooth were things yet, much less commonplace.


It probably would've used Infrared technology like that used in TV remotes.
Rating: 3 Votes
25 months ago
That baby Mac is pretty awesome. I think the idea of IR tech sounds plausible for wireless.
Rating: 3 Votes
25 months ago
But are they thinner and lighter????
Rating: 2 Votes
25 months ago
Baby Mac is beautiful :O

Can't help but wonder how Macs would have looked today if they had actually released that thing. I would have bought in a second.
Rating: 2 Votes
25 months ago

I want to know what wireless technology they would've used for the mouse and keyboard all the way back then. It's not like wifi and Bluetooth were things yet, much less commonplace.


IBM's PCjr had an infrared wireless keyboard in 1984. While the design of the keyboard was much maligned, it connected nicely if the signal wasn't blocked. Interestingly, it would also connect through a wired connection, something that would be quite handy on modern wireless keyboards.
Rating: 2 Votes
25 months ago
Those designs look very modern, especially for that time..
Rating: 1 Votes
25 months ago
that mac phone looks so useless. Glad they moved on from it.
Rating: 1 Votes

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