Goodbye Steve, It's Been Fun
I've had a close relationship with Steve since I bought my first Mac back in 1989. Back in those days buying a Mac was akin to scoring drugs. They weren't sold in regular stores like today, back then you had to source your Mac through hard to find, shady resellers (in Vancouver anyway), and this wouldn't change for many years. I felt like I had scored.
My favorite quote of yours is "Most people make the mistake of thinking design is what it looks like. People think it’s this veneer - that the designers are handed this box and told, ‘Make it look good!’ That’s not what we think design is. It’s not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works." And it did Steve.
I remember the three of us in the studio at the time huddling around the glowing screen like the previous generation did around the radio. We experimented with Aldus Freehand, Pagemaker and Digital Darkroom. We were going to change the world through design and the Mac. And we did - all of us in the cult. Soon enough we were typesetters, photo retouchers and prepress technicians. Our output was sent to the service bureau for film then directly to the printer. What control! We could use as many screens and colours as we wanted as long as they were cmyk. We soon learned to run special colours out as process, tricking the software into thinking they were cmyk - oh, the days. The days of only one undo - SAVE AS! How many times did we save over a day's work? Too many! But that wasn't your fault Steve, we were caught up in our enthusiasm for this wondrous machine.
We held in there for you Steve, even when Apple shunned you. We even considered buying a Next, because you and Paul Rand were there. We faithfully supported Apple through the Starmax licensing exercise and even bought a couple of those. Through so many periferal devices that failed through no fault of your own - scsi, floppy, Zip, Syquest and the rest.
Years and many Macs later, you return to resurect an ailing Apple. You make it the most highly capitalized company in the world, not just overtaking our nemeses IBM and the dreaded Microsoft, but Exxon itself. Global domination! Ironically, to those in the graphic design industry who so faithfully stood by, it was not those heady machines that changed our industry so dramatically that brought the massive success, it was a phone. A phone? And music? Wow, who would have thought.
That's what made you so special Steve. You surprised us. And the world will never be the same without you. As I type this on my iPad on the side of the field where my son is practicing soccer, I know where you took us - to somewhere in your imagination. That imagination will be missed. I miss you. But I'll be ok, because I have your memory in my iPhone, iPad, iMac, MacBook, and iTunes. They're an integral part of my life.