Former Apple design chief Sir Jony Ive has revealed his latest project, a collaboration with British audio brand Linn to design a 50th anniversary edition of its Sondek LP12 turntable.
The luxury $60,000 record player is the first non-Apple hardware project Ive is known to have been involved in since he and four other colleagues left the company in 2019 to found the design firm LoveFrom.
The premium piece of audio technology features many of the classic hallmarks of an Ive-approved product, right down to the smoothed off aluminum edges, circular elements, and neutral, minimalist aesthetic.
Speaking to Fast Company, Ive said he had owned multiple Linn products over the years, explaining that “music has always been profoundly important to me.” He continued:
“So you can imagine, I think the first consequential music player that I designed was the first iPod, and that began a journey of multiple generations of iPod, and multiple AirPods and music accessories. I feel really fortunate to have gone the full circle… so many years on from my first visit to the factory.”
Ive describes the LP12-50 as “a very gentle and modest project for us that was really motivated by our love and respect for Linn.” Indeed, according to Fast Company, LoveFrom completed the work pro bono, and has no contract or other financial arrangement with the company.
“There’s a substantial percentage of our work which we do purely for the love of doing it,” Ive told the website, which noted that the design firm relies on its longer-term contracts with the likes of Airbnb and Ferrari to make money.
Since leaving Apple to found LoveFrom, Ive and fellow designer Marc Newson have designed a typeface, an emblem for the coronation of King Charles III, and a red clown nose for British charity Comic Relief.
Apple said in 2019 that Ive would continue to be involved in design at Apple and that it would be one of LoveFrom’s primary clients. For example, Ive was reportedly involved in the creation of the 2021 iMac. It’s unknown whether LoveFrom has worked with Apple since, and the design firm tends to keep a low profile.