Susan Kare


A post for Ada Lovelace Day, “an international day of blogging to draw attention to women excelling in technology.”

Susan Kare was, and still is, a graphic designer specialising in user interface graphics. Facebook users may recognise her gift icons but her earlier work is even more familiar to Macintosh users since it was her job at Apple in 1983 to design the icons for the first Macintosh interface. Many of the original black & white images have been phased out or replaced by higher-resolution equivalents but some still remain, in particular the pointing hand, the stopwatch (which became an hourglass in Windows) and the Command symbol which was based on a map icon for Swedish camping grounds. She also designed some of the fonts used by the first Mac OS including Geneva—still a web standard—and Chicago which was the primary Mac font for many years. In a field overly-dominated by men, her work lies at the heart of technology we’re using today, right down to the Mac keyboard on which I type these words.

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