We've mentioned Susan Kare and her work on the site before, but it's a story that's always worth repeating: She's the woman behind some of Apple's most iconic, well, icon designs. Kare was working as a curator at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco when her friend Andy Hertzfeld asked her to think about some graphical icons to be used in a computer interface, and as you can see on this great PLoS blog post, she jumped right into the project. In these great images from her sketchbooks, you can see her working on the first proportionally spaced digital fonts used, and then progress up into bitmaps of both famous Mac icons like the Trash Can, the Cmd key, and the smiling Mac.
There are even some really great but not used icons like a symbol for "Auto Indent" that actually shows an automobile leaving an indentation in a tree. What amazing work. She has published a book of her work, and you can even get it signed if you buy it directly from her website.
Don't forget, too, that not only was Kare designing these icons for the Mac, but this was for the first major computer graphic interface, which means many of the standard icons we know today (the little speaker for audio controls, or the hand on screen for moving things around or even clicking through Internet links, were first originated by Kare and her peers. Really amazing stuff.
[via The Mary Sue]