Recruiting the best

Robert Brunner, director of Apple’s Industrial Design group in the 1990’s, recruited Jony Ive to his team. Some of his thoughts on how he did this are recorded in Jony Ive by Leander Kahney.

Creating a work space:

“[The studio] was essential to recruiting talent. I can’t have people working in cubicle hell. They won’t do it. I have to have an open studio with high ceilings and cool shit going on. That’s just really important. It’s important for the quality of the work. It’s important for getting people to do it.” -Robert Brunner

Getting the word out:

Talented, ambitious designers were more inclined to go to firms with a strong creative history like the Bay Area’s IDEO.

To help with recruiting, Brunner […] started promoting his work through design magazines. He created mock-ups of fantastical Apple products and ran big glossy photos of them on the back of I.D. magazine, the international design bible. One was a gigantic bicycle navigation computer that showed maps and local landmarks. Another was a chunky wristwatch computer the size of a cantaloupe.

“They were concepts, not real products,” said Brunner. “They started to get attention. It was totally recruiting. No other reason. They were sketchy, information appliance models. A little bit tongue in cheek.”

1 Comment »

  1. Brian Said,

    August 6, 2014 @ 9:01 am

    This was is great article, and shows how getting work out there is so very important to Industrial Designers. Many other designers did similar things to get attention. In Europe a now famous Ora Ito did a website of products designed for the most well known companies in Europe- all completely fake- he actually was almost sued by many of the companies until individuals high up noticed the quality of his work and commissioned him. That cemented his work!

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