Next Computer

Frogdesign      1988              Computer

A central question in design is not how to do something well, but how to do it better. That was the dictum the founder of a famous computer company followed when he was pushed out by a bank-installed executive. He decided to do his next big thing: Start anew, but this time, from day one with a design driven approach. He hired the best graphic designer he could find to draw his new company’s logo and the best industrial designer, companion through many years with his old company, and created an amazing venture with superb products. Targeted not for the average consumer, but for enterprises and educational use, his computer had a completely new operating software, which is still the basis for much of what we use today. The product itself was designed in a spare-no-effort approach, made in magnesium and in the shape of a perfect cube with edges a precise foot long. It was this reduction to visual simplicity that the makers felt would represent the neutral character of the device best. The precision and accuracy in the detail honored the product’s visual, hardware, software and intellectual quality.  Only around 50,000 products were ever sold, but the legacy of an unparalleled purity and innovation level, impressed people then and still does now.