from ITALY

' susan kare is the queen of icons '

susan kare’s designs have become an integral part
of the computer culture.
she is a 2001 recipient of the chrysler design award.

kare, who’s office is based in san francisco,
designed most of the distinctive icons, typefaces and
other graphic elements that gave the original
macintosh computer its characteristic appearance.

some of her most famous icons
the trash can (for discarding files),
the watch (which means the computer is busy and
can't be used), and the portrait of a computer with
a sly mona lisa smile (which means the machine is

‘I do every job myself because I think of it as an art’.
with the icon and font work, she wants to help counter the
stereotypical image of computers as cold and intimidating.
‘my work has continued to be motivated by respect for,
and empathy with, users of software’, she said,
kare began to master a peculiar sort of minimal pointillism
and spent her days designing understandable visual
metaphors for computer commands.

unlike earlier computers, the macintosh featured a
‘bit- mapped’ display in which each point of light,
or pixel, on the screen was individually controlled by
a single ‘bit’ of computer data.
it was a matter of deciding which bits to turn on and turn off.

the macintosh icons consist of a grid 30 pixels by 30 pixels.
900 dots in all...

[ read more ]

back to the newstand

some icons © susan kare

the international newsstand will be updated monthly.
for more information on the contributing sites, please click on their logos.

the international newsstand is a designboom production.
© 2000-2001 core 77 / chinadesignonline / designaddict / designboom / / designreport /
designmp / modern postmodern / newdesignmagazine / all rights reserved.