‘There’s something wrong with those colors’
We’ve heard some stories in the past of Steve Jobs’ involvement in the construction of the Pixar campus in Emeryville, California and the main building, now named “The Steve Jobs Building” in honor of its co-founder and former CEO. In it’s recent tour of the building, senior design project manager Craig Payne, who happened to come with Steve to Pixar from NeXT, told BuzzFeed another interesting story about Jobs’ attention to detail during the project:
“So Steve loves the Hills Brothers building in San Francisco, and he wanted to replicate that [brick] palette,” says Payne. “So we found a company in Washington state that agreed to match that as best as possible. It was like five different colors of brick. So they made a 10-foot-high by 10-foot-wide panel of the brick, and Steve said, ‘I love it.’ He even said, ‘I want to eat it,’ which is a funny comment. It was done. We found our brick.”
That is, until the brick started to be applied to the walls. “Steve looked at it and said, ‘There’s something wrong with those colors,’” says Payne. “Sure enough, they took the production brick and they built another panel next to the one that he approved, and one of the colors was off. We were in a real mess because we were at the point where the brick was going to be laid on the building. We went back to the brick manufacturer, and we were like, ‘That deep brown needs to be deeper.’ They sent, like, three more samples, and after the third sample they said, ‘We’re going to do one more, but that’s it, and if you don’t like it, we’re done.’ They were just at their wits’ end. So I was the sacrificial lamb. I flew up to Spokane. The brick came out of the kiln, the guy grabbed the brick and said, ‘Do you want it or not?’ I didn’t lose my job, so I guess I made the right decision.
You can check out the rest of BuzzFeed’s tour of the Pixar building here.