I remember back before the iPhone 4S was released, I read an article about how Apple usually designs several different prototypes of a device before deciding on the final one that will be released. They aren’t just prototypes drawn on a piece of paper, but they are actual gadgets that a lot of people worked very hard on for a long time, and the designs that aren’t ultimately chosen get scrapped. I don’t know why, but this surprised me.
It makes me wonder how many interesting gadget concepts might have ended up in the Apple garbage can over the years. I never thought about it before, but it makes sense that in order to release a design that blows us all away, they would have to experiment and do testing on several different forms of the device to be sure that the one which ends up in our hands is as optimized as possible in every way.
As it turns out, most companies in the public eye do this same thing, and I don’t mean just the ones in the technology industry. Take news magazines for example. Since they release a new issue so frequently, I never thought about the fact that there is a staff of people who design several different covers for each issue. Then someone (or a whole team of people) is assigned with the task of choosing the cover which will be released.
Just a few days ago, the art department at Newsweek started a new Newsweek tumblr to showcase the covers that they designed which were not chosen. According to the creative director, “Every week we produce anywhere from 10-20 different cover ideas until we settle on what works best as the story develops, so at the end of each week we wind up with a proverbial wastebasket full of scrapped concepts.” This week’s Newsweek cover says, “The Politics of Sex.” You’ll see some of the trashed designs below, and then at the bottom, you’ll see the one they decided on in the end. Interesting!