Arnoldsche Keep It Simple by Hartmut Esslinger

As Steve Jobs famously said, “Innovation is saying no to 1,000 things.” Of course, the outside world rarely gets to see those any of those 1,000 things, as Apple only publicizes the few products that got the thumbs up and made it out to store shelves. Publisher Arnoldsche and designer Hartmut Esslinger are finally giving people a look into what could have been. Keep It Simple (€30/~$41), subtitled “The Early Design Years of Apple,” tells the story of the company’s beginnings, and includes photos and drawings of prototypes that haven’t been seen before.

Esslinger was brought in by Jobs to help design for Apple in 1982. This book is not only about the projects that didn’t make it, but also the history of the ones that did. There are 400 illustrations of the book’s 296 pages, meaning it’s chock full of the stuff we all want to see—at least, from those early years. For anybody looking to see early examples of computers, phones, and portable devices Apple could have released, this is a beautiful way to do so.

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