Macintosh Icon Designer Reflects On Her Work at Apple

Susan Kare, who created many of the original interface elements for the Apple Macintosh in the mid–1980s, today reflected on her work at Apple in an interview with Path (via AppleInsider). Kare first joined Apple with the title "Macintosh Artist" through software programmer Andy Hertzfeld, who she knew from high school.

susankareicons

When asked about her design influences and her time at Apple, she had this to say:

I was so lucky to get to work in the Macintosh group with great colleagues and talented programmers. That experience introduced me to interface design development and how I might be able to contribute as a graphic designer to the overall user experience. It also gave me practice in aiming to communicate big concepts in small spaces.

At Apple, Kare was responsible for most of the typefaces and the icons of the original Macintosh, along with much of the marketing material. She is best known for the Chicago sans-serif typeface and the "Happy Mac" icon that welcomed early Mac users on startup.

Kare now works as an independent artist and created a set of "stickers" for social networking app Path.

Top Rated Comments

mrsir2009 Avatar
119 months ago
Those icons remind me of my childhood :o
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
HMI Avatar
119 months ago
"That experience introduced me to interface design development and how I might be able to contribute as a graphic designer to the overall user experience. It also gave me practice in aiming to communicate big concepts in small spaces."

That was back when one could get a job without 5+ years of professional experience doing the same exact thing they were applying for and without having advanced degrees in that specific field.

If she were trying that now, I wonder if any company would give her the time of day, even with her obvious talent.

Art is so undervalued!
:(
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Casiotone Avatar
119 months ago
The funny thing is those icons were better than the ones now. Given the size of the icons these old black and white icons would be perfect for the iPhone.



I loved doing that. Plus constantly screwing around with control panel settings, editing the system file and juggling extensions. Does anyone remember the name of that program for editing system files? The icon was a jack in the box popping out of a mac.

ResEdit.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
notabadname Avatar
119 months ago
Man, hard admitting that I am old enough to recognize (and have used) all of those.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
laurim Avatar
119 months ago
Kinda makes me wish there was a "classic" theme to OSX. Anyone remember changing the sounds of functions like emptying the trash? In the early '90s, I had Oscar the Grouch singing "I LOOOOOVE trash". For another, can't remember if it was the error noise or new mail, I had Arnold Schwarzenegger saying "Your clothes, give them to me, now!". So much fun!
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Casiotone Avatar
119 months ago
No mention of Clarus the Dogcow?


Moof!
http://clarus.chez-alice.fr/ENGLISH/history.html (http://clarus.chez-alice.fr/ENGLISH/history.html)
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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