Night of the leather-stitched knives at Apple

Posted on by Mike Evans

Skeuomorphism, as isms go, hasn't been much in focus until yesterday. It's a big crime against good taste, though. Scott Forstall, Apple’s Senior Vice-President of iOS software, has been purged by the politburo, apparently because of his passion for this curious design fetish. He was also said to be “a bit difficult to get on with”. The last straw, apparently, was his refusal to apologise for the Maps débâcle, for which he was ultimately responsible.

Skeuomorphism is the opposite of Iveism, the clean, no-nonsense modern style that has come to epitomise Apple in the 21st century. In contrast with Jonathan Ive’s impeccable taste, Forstall’s approach can be seen littered around iOS and OS X. Presumaby it is the reason Calendar (Miss iCal as was) looks like a leaf out of Queen Victoria’s 1868 journal.

Whatever the story behind Forstall’s departure, if it results in banishing all that faux leather and crafty stitching it will be a victory for Apple and for good taste.

That brings me to the simultaneous departure of retail guru John Browett, late of Dixons, after a mere five months in the interesting seat. I assume he was found guilty of anther form of skeuomorphism: Trying to make Apple Stores look and operate like a branch of Currys/PC World.

by Mike Evans, 30 October 2012

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