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The Genius of Susan Kare: The Creative Mind Behind Apple’s Iconic Designs

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The Genius of Susan Kare: The Creative Mind Behind Apple’s Iconic Designs

In the 1980s, Apple released a revolutionary computer that would shape the landscape of personal computing for years to come. The Macintosh, as it was called, was a major hit with people all over the world. And while there were many factors that contributed to its success, one of them was undoubtedly the work of Susan Kare.

Most people have never heard of Kare, but anyone who has used a computer in the last three decades has almost certainly seen her work. As the primary icon designer for the Macintosh, Kare was responsible for creating some of the most recognizable images in the world of computing.

From the little face that popped up when you booted up your Mac, to the icons for the trash can and the folder, Kare’s designs were simple yet powerful, whimsical yet functional. They were the perfect expression of Apple’s design philosophy: elegant, intuitive, and accessible to everyone.

But Kare’s contributions to the world of design go far beyond just the Macintosh. Over the years, she has worked on a variety of projects for a range of clients, from designing gift cards for Starbucks to creating the interface for Facebook’s virtual reality platform.

Kare’s success as a designer is due in large part to her ability to think outside the box, to create images that are both visually striking and emotionally resonant. She has an intuition for what works and what doesn’t, and she is constantly pushing herself to come up with new and innovative designs.

One of the most interesting aspects of Kare’s work is her use of metaphor. Many of her icons are based on real-world objects, but with a twist. For example, the folder icon on a Mac looks like a file folder, but it has a little tab on the top that’s been folded over, indicating that it’s open. Similarly, the icon for the trash can is a bin with crumpled-up paper inside, suggesting that this is where you throw away your digital refuse.

Kare’s work is a great example of the power of design to communicate ideas in a clear and compelling way. By using metaphor and other visual cues, she is able to create images that are instantly recognizable and easy to understand, even if you’ve never used a computer before.

In conclusion, Susan Kare is a true genius of design. Her work has had a profound impact on the world of computing, and her influence can still be seen today in the way that we interact with our devices. Whether it’s on a Mac, a PC, or a smartphone, we owe a debt of gratitude to Kare for making our digital lives just a little bit more beautiful and a little bit more functional.


1. What other iconic designs did Susan Kare create for Apple?
-Kare also designed the fonts used on the original Macintosh, including Chicago, Geneva, and Monaco.

2. What other projects has Susan Kare worked on besides icon design?
-Kare has worked on a variety of design projects, including branding for companies like Microsoft and Facebook, as well as designing gift cards for Starbucks.

3. How did Susan Kare get her start in design?
-Kare studied art at Mount Holyoke College and then went on to receive a PhD in fine arts from New York University. She got her start in graphic design working for Rolling Stone magazine in the 1980s.

4. What is Kare’s design philosophy?
-Kare’s design philosophy is all about creating images that are simple, elegant, and intuitive. She believes that good design should be accessible to everyone, regardless of their level of technical proficiency.

5. What advice would Susan Kare give to aspiring designers?
-Kare has said that the most important thing for aspiring designers is to have a strong work ethic and a willingness to take risks. She also recommends getting as much experience as possible, even if that means working on projects that you might not be totally comfortable with at first.

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