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“Designed by Apple in California” – is for me the best assurance I can get. Is it that for you?

Beside my desk I have three boxes stacked. One marked iPhone 4, the other iPhone 3G S and the third iPhone 3G. People tend to ask: Have you bougth a new iPhone? And I deny, I just like to have the boxes in front of me. They are marketing and packaginG wonders!

A post from 37signals.com by Jason Z. has the whole story. Here is a part:

 “I think that ‘Designed by Apple in California’ is the most brilliant thing to ever appear on a package,” I wrote on the application-site that was mentioned in yesterday’s post on sites that landed jobs at 37signals. SvN readerMichael P. Mills asked:

I agree, that line is brilliant and I remember the first day I ever saw it. I am very curious to hear why you believe that “it is the most brilliant thing to ever appear on a package”.

This simple tag has appeared on nearly every Apple product or package in at least the last decade. (I couldn’t find any definitive answer as to how long it’s been in use, but I remember it distinctly on the iPod packaging in early 2000’s.) What’s great about this phrase is that it’s powerful on more than one level.


Designed by Apple in California is usually presented dramatically and in isolation. Often you see it after opening a flap or unfolding a panel. It stands alone as a single line of type on a solid field. There is never anything that distracts from it. The early cube-shaped iPod packages were the best at this. You’d remove the sleeve, unfold two panels, and there it was. The next fold revealed the device. That I still remember this sequence says a lot about how powerful the experience was.


The copy itself, evokes feelings of artistry. Like this object was meticulously crafted, carefully wrapped, and bought safely to your door. It feels human, as if you received it directly from the person who so lovingly made it. Craftsmen sign their work. Master Bladesmith Bob Kramer puts his name on all his knives. Vermont Furniture Designs puts its name inside each dresser it makes. Edward Tufte advises designers to always put their name on what they make — it shows that you care about the finished product and take responsibility for it. That’s the feeling I get from this line. Also, it wasn’t “Made by Apple in California,” it was Designed. I can’t think of another company that holds design in higher esteem or even one that touts every product as designed, not made. This might be the best expression of the company’s mission available.


About mortjac

Norwegian social entrepreneur, blogger&Swift programmer. PM for the OMG GL standard. Using #ULab to give #Villajoyosa sustainable tourism&tunable pipe organs.


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