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How Susan Kare Designed User-Friendly Icons for the First Macintosh!

Susankare

Susan Kare is an artist and graphic designer who created many of the icons and typefaces for the Apple Macintosh in the 1980s. She is receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award from Cooper Hewitt for her amazing work! Via Smithsonian Mag

If it wasn’t for needlepoint, the computer graphics we have come to know and love today might have looked a lot different. Pioneering designer Susan Kare was taught by her mother how to do counted-thread embroidery, which gave her the basic knowledge she needed to create the first icons for the Apple Macintosh 35 years ago.

“It just so happened that I had small black and white grids to work with,” she says. “The process reminded me of working needlepoint, knitting patterns or mosaics. I was lucky to have had a mother who enjoyed crafts.”

Kare’s breakthrough designs for the Macintosh, which included the smiling computer at startup, trash can for recycling and a computer disk for saving files, are now commonplace in the digital era. They are so recognizable that they are legendary.

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