Holy Cow! It happened again. I discovered another member of the original Macintosh Team. You will recognize her work, immediately. And it is on the eve of Macintosh’s birthday I want to celebrate her significant contributions.
First, her name is Susan Kare. She began working with the Mac Team in January 1983. She designed most of the icons AND fonts for Macintosh (see I told you she is a member of the Mac Hall of Fame). She also helped craft the overall look and personality of the system.
The whole point of a Graphical User Interface is so the user can point and click. Pictures (icons) provided instructions and direction. Susan designed these icons.
Her profession is in User Interface Graphics- an understatement really, because she is like the Mother of User Interface Graphics…literally. Her work probably more than anyone else’s made Macintosh friendly as a result of the warm and personal images she designed.
“There are too many Apples on the screen It’s ridiculous! We’re taking the Apple logo in vain. We’ve got to stop doing that!” Steve Jobs telling the Mac Team to create another symbol instead of the Apple logo to be used as the ‘command’ key.
With that Susan created the command key still used on all Macs today. For this symbol she decided on a floral design used on Swedish maps to indicate an interesting feature or attraction. Interestingly, her website describes the story behind each of her famous icons.
One of her first assignments after coming on board with Apple was to develop fonts for the new computer (the Macintosh!). Back then, computers used typefaces called monospaced- all letters were allotted the same amount of space resulting in crammed jammed letters. But the Mac was the first computer designed with proportionally spaced digital font family and Susan designed it! (Steve Jobs changed the names of most of them from the names she assigned though).
Then she went about designing the visual elements-instantly comprehensible signs-on Macintosh and boy, did she!
Susan published her famous icons. Susan Kare ICONS. Get it. I did!