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Hartmut Esslinger: Keep It Simple

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

Wednesday, March 19, 2014 from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM (PDT)

Hartmut Esslinger: Keep It Simple

Ticket Information

Type End Quantity
A+D Forum Member Ended Free  
CCA Industrial Design Ended Free  
GGAC-West Ended Free  

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Event Details

Hartmut Esslinger: Keep It Simple

Wednesday, March 19, 2014
7 p.m.
California College of the Arts
Timken Lecture Hall
1111 Eighth Street, San Francisco



Please join SFMOMA's Architecture + Design Forum, California College of the Arts’ Industrial Design Program, and the German American Chamber of Commerce for a lecture by renowned product designer Hartmut Esslinger, who will discuss his latest book, Keep It Simple: The Early Design Years of Apple (Arnoldsche Art Publishers, 2013). Esslinger founded esslinger design, which later became frog design, in 1969 in the Black Forest of Germany. With his ergonomic and emotional approach to design, Esslinger worked to prioritize aesthetics in a burgeoning consumer electronics market. His success began with his first client, Wega, a German electronics company that was later purchased by Sony. Since the 1980s, frog design’s client list has continued to grow, and Esslinger’s style of considered and focused simplicity has sparked a design revolution that has pushed industry leaders to address users’ functional and emotional needs simultaneously.

In 1982, Esslinger was hired by Steve Jobs to envision the design language for Apple’s brand of personal computers. Called “Snow White,” the language described an aesthetic that included minimal surface texturing, an off-white or gray color, an inlaid three-dimensional Apple logo, and unadorned ports and slots. “Snow White” was applied to all Apple product lines from 1984 to 1990, commencing with the Apple IIC and the Macintosh computer. In Keep It Simple, Esslinger details the evolution of his relationship with Steve Jobs and Apple, and the challenges and triumphs they faced while at the forefront of a personal computing revolution.



Event is by invitation only. Kindly RSVP by Wednesday, March 12, to reserve your spot. Space is limited.

This event is co-organized by SFMOMA’s Architecture + Design Forum, CCA’s Industrial Design Program, and the German American Chamber of Commerce, Inc.



Image: BabyMac, final design, platform with coordinated chassis elements, 1985; ©2013 Hartmut Esslinger and frog team.

Have questions about Hartmut Esslinger: Keep It Simple? Contact San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

When & Where


California College of the Arts
Timken Lecture Hall
1111 Eighth Street
San Francisco, CA

Wednesday, March 19, 2014 from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM (PDT)


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