by Tristan Rayner in Gadgets on Thursday 29 May 2014

Apple’s designs are well regarded at the top of the tree, with the late Steve Jobs considered the messiah – but there was a time when the company was struggling to figure out who it was and needed outside help.

Design firm Frog are credited with many of the earliest design prototypes for Apple products – and a new book from the founder of the company, Hartmut Esslinger, illustrates just where designs started from.

Keep it Simple tells a number of stories, and includes some truly interested imagery of prototypes that progressed into Apple products, and others which didn’t make the cut.

Just one tale is that Esslinger taught Steve Jobs to put design first, and the pair collaborated on a range of Apple projects.

Take a look at the publishers of the book, some of the images below. The Verge have more.