Jony Ive and the Wallpaper* magazine cover

London. Just south of the Thames river, in the Blue Fin building, somewhere near the top, is Wallpaper* magazine.

The December issue will have a huge feature and interview with Jony Ive and Apple Park. And Jony is even designing the cover.

“Holy shit! Here it is!” The art director sits at her desk while the editor stands behind. The rest of team crowd around.

“The cover?”

“The cover!”

“From Jony Ive himself?!”

“Check it,” she points at the email header, jonyive@apple.com, “right there!”

“Oh man.”

“What’s it say?!”

“Hang on! I’m just opening it!”

This email has no content.

“No message?”

“No. Just the file, cover_41_final_FINAL_D.PNG

The Wallpaper team murmer in awe.

“Click it!”

“Yes, yes!”

The art director double clicks the PNG. Everyone stares. Half smiles on their faces. The file springs open in Preview.

Everyone pauses.

“What happened?”

“Did you double click?”

“Yes! This is the file.”

“It’s just white.”

“Yes, I know… hang on, let me load it up in Photoshop. He’s probably got some complicated spot layers on or something.”

The team watch the Photoshop launch screen load and the horrendous black UI fill the screen, then a pause, then the same thing happens, the image springs open, simply white.

“Check the layers, he must’ve hidden them.”

“Nope. No layers. Just the background layer. Just white.”

“Maybe it’s corrupt?”

“I don’t know?”

“Email him.”

“What?”

“Email him and ask if it’s the right file.”

“Are you joking? I’m not emailing Jony Ive asking if the file is right.”

“So what, we just send this to the printers? Those lads will piss themselves laughing at this.”

“Hang on. Let me check the colour values. Maybe it’s an off-white.”

The art director clicks the eyedropper tool and clicks around the image.

“Well?”

“What the…”

“What? What is it?”

“How is this possible…”

“What?!”

The art director begins laughing, a chuckle at first, and then harder and harder.

“Fucking what?!”

“I don’t know how he’s done this,” She says dabbing tears from her eyes, “but Jony’s created a gradient from C0 M0 Y0 K0 to R255 G255 B255.”

“Fuck does that mean? So this is the correct image? There’s a colour? A gradient?”

“No!” the Art Director is shaking her head but still laughing, “They’re both white! The gradient is from RGB white to CMYK white! There’s no colour change other than the digital information. It’s genius! Jony Ive is a genius! Oh my god the lads down at the print house won’t know what hit them.”

“Incredible.” The editor says with conviction, pretending she knows what the fuck is going on.

The entire team make that ‘awww’ noise like those green things from those movies, also pretending they know what the fuck is going on.

“Must’ve taken ages.” someone says.


Wallpaper* magazine December issue