Design Firm, LoveFrom, Ceases Collaboration With Its Primary Client, Apple, After Mutual Non-Renewal Of Contract

NEWS – Apple’s former chief design officer, Jony Ive, now has the freedom to choose whichever clients he sees fit to work with at his own company.

LoveFrom — a design firm established in 2019 by Ive — has had Apple as its primary client for the past three years. According to AppleInsider, Apple’s former chief design officer is no longer consulting for the Cupertino, California-based company, permanently severing Ive’s ties to Apple Park.

Jony Ive
Jony Ive of design firm, LoveFrom, seen photographed in 2021 with a graphic of the all-new iMac in the background. (Photo: MacRumors)

AppleInsider reported that both LoveFrom and Apple chose not to extend their existing contract, effectively ending what was to be a long-term partnership between the two companies (one that, to-date, has reportedly brought forth such collaborations as the all-new iMac which was released in April of last year).

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No Love Lost

Engadget revealed — based on a report originally published in the New York Times — that Apple executives had expressed concerns over the amount of money that was being paid to LoveFrom, not to mention, their frustration with the number of its employees leaving the company in order to join Ive’s design firm.

Worth $100 million, the multi-year contract with LoveFrom prohibited the design firm from taking on any projects considered to be in competition with Apple’s products. Ive, per Engadget, reportedly wanted the freedom to take on new clients without needing to ask permission first from Apple.

Engadget also reported that back when LoveFrom and Apple originally signed a deal, Apple CEO, Tim Cook, was noted for saying that he looked, “forward to working with Jony long into the future.”

According to MacRumors, Ive’s discontent with Apple began around the time that the Apple Watch was launched in 2014. Specifically, the frustration allegedly stemmed from Apple’s board being populated with directors who, rather than technology, had backgrounds in operations and finance.

Adding to Ive’s frustration was that, per MacRumors, Ive reportedly felt that Cook was showing little interest in the development process — much less, for product design — at Apple.

End Of An Era

Cult of Mac reported that the termination of the contract between LoveFrom and Apple represents the end of one of the most productive partnerships in modern history (this takes into account when Ive originally joined the Cupertino, California-based company back in 1992).

Ive’s early work in the ’90s resulted in a number of notable product designs that saved Apple, transforming it into one of the biggest companies in the world. However, per Cult of Mac, Ive said that his proudest achievement during his time at the company was Apple’s design team.

Macworld noted that some of Apple’s products — including the iMac, iPhone, and Apple Watch — which are considered to be the most iconic have Ive’s fingerprints all over them.

Ive’s influence on Apple’s products was so great that when he left in 2019, the magazine suggested that this could be an even greater test for the Cupertino, California-based company than the loss of the late co-founder and former Apple CEO, Steve Jobs. Macworld reported that the blow appeared to be softened when LoveFrom and Apple signed a multi-year contract (although, as the publication pointed out, just how much input Ive actually had over recent product designs during his consultancy is unclear).

According to AppleInsider, while the reason for LoveFrom and Apple not extending their contract was not clear, it was more likely than not that neither party was pleased with the deal and this resulted in Ive’s design firm and the Cupertino, California-based company parting ways.

Related Reading: from the “Mac Potpourri” story archives – “Is Thick The New Thin In Apple Product Design With Jony Ive Out Of The…. ‘Loop’?” (November 2019).

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