This story is component of Apple Event, our complete coverage of the newest news from Apple head office.
At its spring occasion earlier this week, Apple made the unexpected plus bold move of introduction its new iMac within a kaleidoscopic array associated with colors. From the begin of the event, colour played a key part, with CEO Tim Cook throwing off the presentation within front of a big rainbow sculpture.
Apple’s accept of the rainbow design brings to mind Cook’s and the wider industry’s support of the LGBTQ community, nevertheless appearance upon Tuesday served as a good early wink at an information that hits nearer to house. Or, if Apple offers its way, nearer to your own home office.
Editors’ top picks
Subscribe to CNET Now for the day’s most fascinating reviews, news tales and videos.
Because since much as this may appear like a throwback, along with people rightly pointing away the particular link to the color palette from the initial iMac (not to say the particular original Apple logo), is actually not solely a shift driven by nostalgia. In fact, it’s very a lot reflective of emerging design trends in the right here and now, using the range motif also being a universal image of hope in these types of particularly dark times.
“We wanted it to really feel light and optimistic, whilst instantly brightening up any kind of space,” Mac Product Marketing Manager Colleen Novielli mentioned during Tuesday’s event, quickly touching on the colour decision. A move towards bringing more vibrant colors to the physical spaces all of us occupy is a pattern that can be observed among interior designers right this moment, according to some top figures in the industry.
“Crisp, clear colors are usually continuing to grow within popularity, with yellows, gentle blues/turquoises, and greens used to brighten up areas and set a smile upon your face,” Timothy Corrigan, an LA-based interior developer to royalty and Hollywood stars, said in an email. “This is specifically true during these difficult times, as we keep on to take more time at house and on our computer systems.”
The colorful new Macs are a reflection associated with the broader change our own work lives have gone through during this past season of coronavirus lockdowns. With more people working at home, frequently bringing equipment that as soon as belonged in an workplace setting into their homes, it seems sensible that Apple would certainly move away from a uniform and utilitarian color scheme.
The new iMac in yellow could add warmth to your home.
The new iMacs also break away from more than 20 years of colorless desktop computers from Apple, where white and silver have dominated the Mac color palette. And they’re a far cry from those brightly colored original iMacs, which gained pop culture icon status and are still strongly associated with ’90s aesthetics.
Colorful hues are making a comeback in a big way.
The new interiors status symbol?
The pandemic-related working-from-home trend isn’t going away anytime soon, meaning that a good iMac is as likely to live at a residential property as a commercial one. Apple understands this and appears to have purposefully avoided making a machine that would look staid or industrial among the soft furnishings and personal knickknacks of the average home.
There’s no halfway house of tasteful neutrals here, though. Apple has gone big and bold with juicily saturated primary colors, especially on the rear of the Mac (the front is frosted in a lighter, pastel hue to help with focus). These aren’t necessarily the trendy tones that’ll blend in with your favorite shade of Farrow & Ball. “I love that bright yellow,” interior designer and colour expert Maria Killiam said over email, “but no one is decorating with that color.”
Perhaps that’s the point. Apple hasn’t made something that’ll blend in. Rather, the Mac will draw the eye and be a statement piece, an objet d’art. It’s a rejection of the kind of thinking that’s informed the design of TVs that can be disguised as mirrors or have rollable screens that can scroll away into unobtrusive sideboards.
It’s never really been Apple’s way to treat technology as something unsightly that should be hidden from view lest it be a blight on surrounding aesthetics. It’s long rejected the view that technology is inherently ugly, instead using forward-thinking design to turn its products into status symbols. With the brand new iMac, it’s dialing up this strategy even as it reaches back to its roots.
“The original iMac introduced a radical design and vibrant colored plastics which changed the way consumers thought about a desktop PC,” said CCS Insight analyst Ben Wood. “Apple is clearly hoping to achieve the same impact with the new iMac, offering a range of colors that make it attractive enough to put anywhere in a home or workplace — almost verging on being a technology fashion statement.”
The broad color palette is also reflective of Apple’s aspiration for the Mac to be more than just a work device, said Wood. “The vision is clearly for the iMac to look perfectly in place not only on a desk, but in a kitchen, lounge, bedroom or elsewhere,” he said.
The new iMac is designed to look good in any room in your house.
Death to minimalism, ode to joy
This move toward bolder colors — Apple also released an eye-popping purple iPhone 12 — stands in contrast to the past 20 years, during which the company has focused on one dominant design trend: minimalism.
Over the last few years, the company has snuck more color into its products (iPhones in particular), but from Steve Jobs‘ black mock turtlenecks to the dazzling whiteness and clean lines of every Apple Store worldwide, its dedication to minimalism remains clear. But due to what’s going on in the wider world right now, the aesthetic isn’t resonating as strongly as it once did.
In an article for the Atlantic last October, journalist Spencer Kornhaber wrote that the pandemic has made a mockery of minimalism, calling out “the vexingly featureless iPhone” as a classic example of how “austerity” has been the dominant design force on popular culture. Some have attempted to pronounce minimalism dead over the past few years, although the notion hasn’t necessarily taken. But by comparing minimalism to the “aesthetics of quarantine,” Kornhaber’s argument that sparse and sterile aren’t serving us at this moment in time will ring true for many.
How often have people, while locked inside over the past year with only their personal belongings surrounding them for entertainment and comfort, wished they’d Marie Kondoed their homes a little less brutally? Have they looked around at their sleek, white, blank-canvas walls and longed for a little spark of joy that comes from an injection of color?
As it happens, “joy” was at the top of Architectural Digest’s 2021 list of design trend predictions. In defining what it actually meant by joy, the publication said we should look out for design that “celebrates life and unapologetically screams happiness” with “outspoken color combos.”
Apple clearly gets that people are seeking to bring more color into their homes right now, making decisions based on how those colors make them feel. “We created colors that bring a sense of joy to any space,” Novielli said during the event earlier this week announcing the new Macs.
- Hello, new iMac: What we think of Apple’s redesigned M1-powered Mac so far
- Apple redesigns Magic Keyboard, Mouse and Trackpad for its new iMacs
- Chill. The iMac charging cable is a reasonable design, not proprietary nonsense
- Apple tailors iMac for video calls with 1080p webcam, better speakers and mic
With many of our homes loaded up with tech (formerly referred to as office equipment) that is black, white or silver at best, the new iMacs provide a welcome contrast. The company has made design decisions with this product that are at odds with what the rest of the technology world is doing, but that’s hardly unusual.
Apple has a long history of trendsetting, and this can well be its way of calling time on monochromatic minimalism as we know it. That’s not to suggest the company is about to go the other way and embrace messy maximalism, but at a time when people are reaching for rainbows in search of hope and joy, Apple has been the first to step up and show itself happy to oblige.
iMac throwback: Apple’s candy-colored history, through 1999 in order to 2021
See all photos