Apple’s head of design, has been awarded a knighthood in the New Year Honours list. Mr Ive, who can now style himself Sir Jonathan, has been made a Knight Commander of the British Empire (KBE). Raised in Chingford, Mr Ive began working for Apple in 1992 and since then has been the brains behind many of its products. He described the honour as “absolutely thrilling” and said he was “both humbled and sincerely grateful”. Mr Ive added: “I am keenly aware that I benefit from a wonderful tradition in the UK of designing and making. “I discovered at an early age that all I’ve ever wanted to do is design.”
Mr Ive has been lauded for the tight fit between form and function seen in Apple gadgets such as the iPod and iPhone. Born in February 1967, Mr Ive inherited a love of making things from his father, a silversmith, and reportedly spent much of his youth taking things apart to see how they worked. From the age of 14, he said, he knew he was interested in drawing and making “stuff” and this led him to Newcastle Polytechnic – now Northumbria University – where he studied industrial design. On graduation he started work as a commercial designer and then, with three friends, founded a design agency called Tangerine.One of the clients for the agency was Apple which was so impressed with the work he did on a prototype notebook that it offered him a full-time job. Mr Ive was apparently frustrated during his early years at Apple as the company was then suffering a decline. Everything changed, however, in 1996 when Apple bought Next and Steve Jobs returned to the company he helped found.