Jonathan Ive Knighted
May 24, 2012

Jonathan Ive Knighted

Michael Harper for

The British Empire apparently has very high standards when it comes to handing out the title of “Knight.” As it turns out, all you have to do is design 5 or more world-changing devices for the Royals to take notice of you.

Take, for instance, one Jonathan Ive. London-born, he studied industrial design at Newcastle Polytechnic before co-founding the Tangerine design agency, helping Apple craft their iPad predecessor, the Newton. Then, in 1997, Steve Jobs appointed him as the Senior Vice President of Industrial Design. As the story goes, Ive´s first project was the now iconic iMac before going on to design the iPod, iPhone, iPad and even the uni-body stylings of the MacBook Air and MacBook Pros.

As BBC reported on Wednesday, Ive was officially knighted in Buckingham Palace by Princess Anne. Ive was made a Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire (KBE) in the New Year Honours list for services to design and enterprise.

In an interview with The Telegraph, he called the honor “incredibly humbling.”

“All I´ve ever wanted to do is design and make; it´s what I love doing. It´s great if you can find what you love to do. Finding it is one thing but then to be able to practice that and be preoccupied with that is another,” he says. “I´m very aware of an incredible tradition in the UK of designing and making, and so to be recognized in this way is really wonderful.”

Ive, 45, now lives in San Francisco with his wife and twin 8 year old sons and flew into the UK for the event, as one does.

According to BBC, after the knighting ceremony Ive spent a few moments chatting with Princess Anne about how he often flies back to visit the UK. An iPad fan herself, Princess Anne then told Ive how often she uses the Apple tablet.

In his oft-quoted biography by Walter Issacson, Steve Jobs referred to Ive as his “spiritual partner,” and hailed him as one of those responsible for Apple´s great turnaround in 1997, making them the most valuable company in the world.

Notoriously humble, Ive told The Telegraph, “We´re keenly aware that when we develop and make something and bring it to market that it really does speak to a set of values. And what preoccupies us is that sense of care, and what our products will not speak to is a schedule, what our products will not speak to is trying to respond to some corporate or competitive agenda. We´re very genuinely designing the best products that we can for people.”

Explaining Apple´s philosophy behind each of their products, Ive also said, “We try to develop products that seem somehow inevitable. That leave you with the sense that that´s the only possible solution that makes sense.”

“Our products are tools and we don´t want design to get in the way. We´re trying to bring simplicity and clarity, we´re trying to order the products.”

When asked which design he was most proud of, or which he would most like to be remembered for, Ive played humble once again, saying his team´s current projects are “the most important and the best work we´ve done.”

Shane Richmond, tech writer for the Telegraph, asked Ive what he would say if the Queen asked for details about the upcoming iPhone.

“That would be funny,” said Ive.

“But I notice he doesn´t say no,” writes Richmond.