Susan Kare discusses icon design

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Dave Caolo
June 19, 2014 3:30 PM
Susan Kare discusses icon design

Macintosh Icons

Iconographer and graphic designer Susan Kare is a graphic designer and was a member of the original Macintosh team. Susan created -- if you'll forgive me -- some of the most iconic images in the history of personal computing, including the "Happy Mac," its companion the Sad Mac, the original Macintosh trash can and so much more, including the original Macintosh typeface.

Susan recently gave a talk at the eighth e.g. Conference, and shared some of her history. There's a lot to love for Apple fans, including the story of her five-minute interview with Andy Hertzfeld, which ended with him asking Susan when she could start, as well as the birth of the symbol on the Command Key. Unlike some others, that icon is still in use at Apple.

My favorite bit is her explanation for the Sad Mac and Bomb icons (above). "I designed them they way I did," she says, "because I was told they would never be seen by anyone." Well, not quite.

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It's a fantastic talk with lots of Apple history and thoughtful design, and definitely worth your time to watch.

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