• 1 minute Read

Hartmut Esslinger’s Amazing Apple Mac Prototypes

Rare images of Apple Macintosh prototypes found in frog design founder Hartmut Esslinger’s new book offer a glimpse of Apple’s alternate history.

apple prototypes

It’s well known that Steve Jobs collaborated with frog design, which was founded by Hartmut Esslinger, to create the “Snow-White” design language for Apple Macintosh computers in the early 1980s. “We worked closely with Steve Jobs and Apple’s developers to innovate computer usability and appearance, resulting in iconic products with no historic precedent,” writes Esslinger, in his new book A Fine Line: How Design Strategies Are Shaping the Future of Business. (Stay tuned for more about this book in the days ahead.)

This collection of images is included in the book. Some of the objects, like the flat-topped mouse, are familiar. But others I’ve never seen before–they exist historically somewhere between the Lisa and the original Mac. The second row includes a modular workstation with a phone and printer attached to the CPU–looks like something that could sit on a trader’s desk. Got any details about the names and back story for these prototypes?

Catching Up With Hartmut Esslinger, Design Genius

About the author

I'm an executive editor at Fast Company, and the creator of the Co. network of websites: Co.Design, Co.Create, Co.Exist, and Co.Labs.