Thirty years ago, an Apple designer helped define the future of personal computers with three iconic icons.
Apple user or not, chances are you’re familiar with the “Sad Mac,” “Happy Mac,” and ticking watch icons, the original symbols of the Macintosh operating system. Those unforgettable digitized pictures were created by Susan Kare, who in 1982 helped reframe the computer as an accessible tool for the individual rather than a data-processing machine suitable only for big business.
Kare left Apple in 1986 and established her own design studio three years later in San Francisco. Though she has since designed thousands of icons and logos, like a recent one for MIT Media Lab director Joi Ito, her mantra remains the same: “I always err on the side of simplicity, and try to create icons and logos that mean something as opposed to images that are primarily decorative.”