Apple’s Jonathan Ive has been awarded the title of CBE, short for Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, England’s third rank in Britain’s five established classes of chivalry. The award was established by King George V to honor noncombatants during World War I; Ive’s not eligible to put “Sir” before his name, but the award is an indication both of Ive’s achievements in industrial design as well as how iconic and influential his work has become.
Born in London, Ive studied industrial design at Newcastle Polytechnic, joining Apple in 1992 and becoming the leader of the company’s design team in 1996. Since then, his influence on the look and functionality of Apple’s product line has been both overt and subtle. Ive designed the original iMacs, bringing color. quietness, and sleek design to desktops dominated by loud, humming beige boxes. Ive went on to oversee the design the much-loved but commercially unsuccessful G4 Cube, iSub speakers, Apple’s flat-screen Cinema displays, two new iMac iterations featuring LCD screens, the high end of Apple’s PowerBook line, the tiny, low-cost Mac mini, and, of course, the now-ubiquitous iPod media player lines.