Early Laptop Designer William “Bill” Moggridge 1943-2012

If you’ve ever spent any time working on a laptop computer, you’ve had interaction with design influenced by industrial designer, William “Bill” Moggridge. In 1979 Moggridge was approached by technology firm Grid Systems to design a portable computer small enough to fit in a briefcase. The computer, called The Compass, sold in the early 1980s for about $8000.1

Earlier, in the 1970s, Moggridge designed a precursor to the desktop computer that was about the size of a sewing machine. This design prototype, however, was never manufactured.1

"Moggridge later went on to co-found design company IDEO in 1991 and took over as director of the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, a wing of the Smithsonian Institute, in January 2010,” 2 a position he held until his death on September 8, 2012.2


  1. Kaufman, L. (September 9, 2012). William Moggridge, Designer and Laptop Pioneer, Dies at 69. The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/10/technology/william-moggridge-laptop-pioneer-dies-at-69.html
  2. Knight, S. (September 10, 2012).Early laptop designer Bill Moggridge dead at age 69. Techspot.com. http://www.techspot.com/news/50099-early-laptop-designer-bill-moggridge-dead-at-age-69.html

William Moggridge for Grid Systems, The Compass Computer, (1979). Photo credit: Dan Fogg, Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum.
Source: http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2012/09/10/business/moggridge-obit-2/moggridge-obit-2-popup.jpg

GIF turns 25

The Graphical Interchange Format (GIF), one of the most popular image formats used in web site design, was introduced twenty-five years ago this month by Steve Wilhite of CompuServe. Gif files use lossless compression, which favors flat areas of uniform color with well-defined edges. They can store low-color sprite data for games, and are often used for small animations and low-resolution film clips.1

The Daily Dot celebrates gif’s silver anniversary with twenty-five gif animations (including the one below) created by top digital designers. View the animations and read more about the gif file in their blog.

Pusheen. Twenty-fifth Anniversary Cat, (2011). Courtesy of The Daily Dot.


Wikipedia, (2012). Graphical Interchange Format. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GIF


Jonathan Ive Interview and Career Timeline

As a follow-up to our recent post on Apple's designer Jonathan Ive, here’s a 2007 interview and a brief timeline of his career.

1985 - Enrolls in the design program at Newcastle Polytechnic.

1989 - Graduates from Newcastle Polytechnic and joins London startup, Tangerine Design.

1992 - Leaves for Califormia to work for Apple.

1994 - Designs Apple’s first PDA, Newton.

1996 – Replaces Robert Brunner as Apple’s design chief.

1997 – Named senior vice president of industrial design by Steve Jobs.

1998 – Designs Apple’s revolutionary iMac; two million units sold.

1999 - Apple Cinema Display, Power Mac G4 Cube and iBook released.

2001 – Apple introduces Powerbook Titanium, the first computer made out of titanium;
iPod hits the market.

2002 – Second generation iMac launched.

2003 – Wins Design Museum's inaugural Designer of the Year Award, PowerBook G4 introduced.

2004 - Revamped Apple Cinema Display released.

2005 - Appointed senior vice-president of design at AppleMac Mini; third generation iMac and iPod Nano released.

2006 - MacBook and iPodWoofer released.

2007 - iPhone introduced.

2008 - Receives Mobile Data Association Personal Achievement Award for the design of the iPhone.

2010 - iPad released.