“We must have gone through twenty different title bar designs before he was happy,” Atkinson recalled. At one point Kare and Atkinson complained that he was making them spend too much time on tiny little tweaks to the title bar
when they had bigger things to do. Jobs erupted. “Can you imagine looking at that every day?” he shouted. “It’s not just a little thing, it’s something we have to do right.”
Jobs lavished similar attention on the title bars atop windows and documents. He had Atkinson and Kare do them over and over again as he agonized over their
look. He did not like the ones on the Lisa because they were too black and harsh. He wanted the ones on the Mac to be smoother, to have pinstripes.
The company’s first office, after it moved out of his family garage, was in a small building it shared with a Sony sales office. Sony was famous for its signature style and memorable product designs, so Jobs would drop by to
study the marketing material. “He would come in looking scruffy and fondle the product brochures and point out design features,” said Dan’l Lewin, who
worked there. “Every now and then, he would ask, ‘Can I take this brochure?’” By 1980, he had hired Lewin.
His fondness for the dark, industrial look of Sony receded around June 1981, when he began attending the annual International Design Conference in Aspen. The meeting that year focused on Italian style, and it featured the
architect-designer Mario Bellini, the filmmaker Bernardo Bertolucci, the car maker Sergio Pininfarina, and the Fiat heiress and politician Susanna Agnelli. “I had come to revere the Italian designers, just like
the kid in Breaking
Away reveres the Italian bikers,”
“so it was an amazing inspiration.”