Steve Jobs may not have been Italian, but he clearly had a strong affinity for Italy. Though Kare had little experience in computing she drew inspiration from her deep knowledge of art history. Historian Eric Hintz describes how the “1984” ad and the introduction of the Apple Macintosh were key milestones both in the history of computing and the history of advertising. I made this one [the bomb] really irreverent because I was told ‘nobody will ever see this icon!’”, “Simple images can communicate with wide audiences over time. These friendly designs helped new users overcome what Rolling Stone’s Steven Levy called the "FUD principle: the Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt” that had prevented many potential users from purchasing a personal computer.8 Instead, Kare’s work gave the Mac a “visual lexicon that was universally inviting and intuitive” and “set the standard for how computers could appeal to a broad group of nontechnical people.”9, Kare also created a family of new proportional fonts for the Macintosh. Kare’s icon designs were intuitive, but they also had a playful, whimsical quality; think of the smiling “Happy Mac” that greeted users at startup or the ticking bomb that represented a system error. Hertzfeld needed some images and typefaces for the new Macintosh and asked if Kare would be interested in interviewing for a graphic design job.2 There was only one problem: Kare had never worked in computer graphics and she admittedly “didn't know the first thing about designing a typeface.” Undaunted, Kare went to the Palo Alto public library and checked out a number of books on typography. In this sketchbook, which was recently acquired by New York’s Museum of Modern Art, we can discern Kare’s design process. She began with the bold operating system font, originally called Elefont, and decided that “it might look cleaner if the lines were only ever horizontal, vertical, or at 45 degree angles." “I didn't have any computer experience, but I had experience in graphic design.”4, An original sketch for a “Danger” icon from Susan Kare’s sketchbook, about 1983. Kare appears on Season 1, Episode 18 (29 March 1984) of The Computer Chronicles, a public television program that aired on KCSM in San Mateo, CA; see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D7nIVrNGApw, accessed 1 December 2017. Kare also experimented with more avant garde fonts, such as Ransom (later San Francisco), whose characters looked like the newspaper cutouts from a kidnapper’s note, and Cairo, which appropriately looked like a set of modern hieroglyphics. "I went into it totally green." In the back of the book, it said it was for an ‘interesting feature’ at Swedish campgrounds. Copyright 2020, Smithsonian Institution, All Rights Reserved, exhibitions_places-of-invention-ROTO-exhibit-pics-silicon-valley.jpg, inventors-kare-susan-dangersksketchbook-ckare-750-inline-edit.gif, inventors-kare-susan-sv-1983-00-00-selectionofapplemacintoshicons-fromkaredotcom-portfolio2-450-inline-edit.gif, inventors-kare-susan-original-mac-fonts-wikimediacommons-cdavidremahl-450-inline-edit.gif, inventors-kare-susan-sv-1983-00-00-macpaintscreenshotwithjapaneselady-fromkaredotcom-portfolio1-750-inline-edit.gif, https://www.newyorker.com/culture/cultural-comment/the-woman-who-gave-the-macintosh-a-smile, http://web.stanford.edu/dept/SUL/library/mac/primary/interviews/kare/trans.html, http://www.fastcodesign.com/3038976/what-every-young-designer-should-know-from-legendary-apple-designer-susan-kare, http://priceonomics.com/the-woman-behind-apples-first-icons/, http://blogs.plos.org/neurotribes/2011/11/22/the-sketchbook-of-susan-kare-the-artist-who-gave-computing-a-human-face/, http://www.fastcodesign.com/3043312/moma-recognizes-susan-kare-the-designer-of-the-macintoshs-original-icons, http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/the-birth-of-the-mac-rolling-stones-1984-feature-on-steve-jobs-and-his-whiz-kids-20111006?print=true, http://technical.ly/philly/2011/01/14/susan-kare-regional-rail-and-the-original-macintosh-fonts/, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AY1-UYnaBm8, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D7nIVrNGApw, http://www.fastcodesign.com/3049313/design-moves/pinterest-hires-mac-design-legend-susan-kare, http://www.fastcodesign.com/3050038/design-moves/qa-susan-kare-on-why-pinterest-feels-like-apple-in-the-80s, https://web.archive.org/web/20141017185556/http://www.kare.com/design_bio.html, Invention Hot Spot: Silicon Valley and the Beginnings of the Computer Revolution in the 1970s. "5 As instructed, Kare went to the University Art supply store in Palo Alto, picked up a $2.50 sketchbook, and began experimenting with forms and ideas. Courtesy of Susan Kare and kareprints.com, Hertzfeld told Kare “to go to the stationery store and get the smallest graph paper I could find and color in the squares to make images. Too little and the audience can no longer see themselves in it. In a nod to their old neighborhood, she and Hertzfeld named them after the commuter train stops on Philadelphia’s Main Line—Overbrook, Merion, Ardmore, Rosemont, and Paoli. Graphic designer Susan Kare is the “woman who gave the Macintosh a smile.”1 She is best known for designing the distinctive icons, typefaces, and other graphic elements that gave the Apple Macintosh its characteristic—and widely emulated—look and feel. In 1982, Kare was living in the Bay Area and working as a sculptor. Today marks the 30th anniversary of Apple’s famous “1984” television ad that aired on January 22, 1984 during the third quarter of the Super Bowl XVIII between the Los Angeles Raiders and Washington Redskins. “Bitmap graphics are like mosaics and needlepoint and other pseudo-digital art forms, all of which I had practiced before going to Apple,” recalled Kare. "I even brought them to my interview to prove I knew something about type, if anyone asked!" Like proto-emojis, the Cairo font set was composed of several miniature images—including a palm tree, a crescent moon, and a skateboard—and allowed users to easily embed miniature images within their text.11, A selection of Kare’s Macintosh fonts, named for “world class cities,” 1983-1984. She was working on a commission—“welding a life-size razorback hog” for an Arkansas museum—when she received a phone call from Andy Hertzfeld, an old high school classmate from the Philadelphia suburbs. 3 Quotations from John Brownlee, “What Every Young Designer Should Know, From Legendary Apple Designer Susan Kare,” Fast Company, February 2015, http://www.fastcodesign.com/3038976/what-every-young-designer-should-know-from-legendary-apple-designer-susan-kare, accessed 1 December 2017; Hertzfeld, Revolution in the Valley, xxiii; Pang, “Interview with Susan Kare;” Zachary Crockett, “The Woman Behind Apple’s First Icons,” Priceonomics, 3 April 2014, http://priceonomics.com/the-woman-behind-apples-first-icons/, accessed 1 December 2017. 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 data. After a short presentation by Kare, she and I will talk about her fascinating career, followed by Q&A with the audience. A MacPaint screenshot featuring Kare’s artistry, 1983. After the program, guests will have the opportunity to examine some relevant objects from the museum’s collections and enjoy a light reception. Susan Kare's career has always focused on fine art. “I was just not sure what a ‘feature’ looked like … so I was thumbing through a symbol dictionary and I came across this symbol (⌘). For several summers during high school she interned at the Franklin Institute for designer Harry Loucks, who introduced her to typography and graphic design while she did phototypesettingwith "strips of type for labels in a dark room on a PhotoTypositor". Then a few years ago, someone emailed me from Scandinavia and said ‘You know it really isn’t abstract, it’s a castle seen from above and those are the turrets’. Hertzfeld worked at Apple Computer in Cupertino; he had been recruited by co-founder Steve Jobs to serve as the lead software architect for Apple’s latest product, the Macintosh personal computer. Notice the icon menu at left and the Chicago system font used for the pull-down menus. Susan Kare, Apple’s “Macintosh Artist,” relaxes at her desk in 1984. This month Susan Kare was awarded an AIGA medal, putting her in the company of design greats like Paul Rand, Charles and Ray Eames, Milton Glaser and Saul Steinberg. Steve Jobs decided that there were too many logos in the interface, so Kare was asked to come up with an icon to represent a “feature” instead. ‘I used to say if you like needlework, you’ll love bitmap design!’ because it really is analogous.”, “The happy Mac came from my love at 14 years old of those buttons with the smiley face. Eventually Hertzfeld coded an icon editor for the prototype Mac. “Bitmap graphics are like mosaics and needlepoint and other pseudo-digital art forms, all of which I had practiced before going to Apple. The AIGA award celebrates a career spent searching for the right amount of simplicity and abstraction. Kare began with an idea, metaphor, or command instruction she was trying to represent pictorially; for example, her individual sketchbook pages have titles like “boot,” “jump,” “debug,” “auto indent,” and “danger.” Kare used a ruler to block out a 32 x 32 square of graph paper; then, using a pencil or colored pens, she filled in (or left blank) those 1024 miniature squares to create images. Visitors learn about Susan Kare and design their own icons in the Silicon Valley section of the Places of Invention exhibition. Using a mouse, Kare toggled the bits on and off, and the application generated the hexadecimal code underlying the grid.6 With these simple drafting tools, Kare began to “master a peculiar sort of minimal pointillism” as she turned “tiny dots on and off to craft instantly understandable visual metaphors for computer commands.”7, A selection of Kare’s Macintosh system and application icons, 1983-1984. Kare designed this woven blanket for the Jacquard loom, an early example of computer-controlled machinery, operated with punched cards and invented by Joseph Jacquard in 1801. Susan Kare’s icons and fonts for the original Macintosh were revolutionary. Courtesy of Susan Kare and kareprints.com. I thought it was maybe a little abstract, but it worked.”, “Years later I went to Sweden … it was awesome to be on the ride form the airport and to see the Command key all over the place!”, “The thing is I always thought it was maybe a little too abstract. Right: The spirit of Kare's "Happy Mac" lives on in Apple's Face ID. “It’s easy to forget how rudimentary the tools were. In July 2015, Pinterest announced that Kare would be joining the social bookmarking site as the product design lead. It was a huge asset that it automatically generated the hex values because before that I was taught how to look at each group of four pixels and write down each of those hexadecimal numbers. Kare also contributed substantially to the Mac’s rollout campaign; she posed for magazine photo shoots, appeared in television commercials, and demonstrated the Mac on TV talk shows.12, Incredibly, Kare’s seminal user interface work had occurred during just one intense year. Left: Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud. © Norman Seeff. That was part of the brief. 416, 1 March 1984, online at http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/the-birth-of-the-mac-rolling-stones-1984-feature-on-steve-jobs-and-his-whiz-kids-20111006?print=true, accessed 1 December 2017. 1 Alexandra Lange, “The Woman Who Gave the Macintosh a Smile,” The New Yorker, 19 April 2018, https://www.newyorker.com/culture/cultural-comment/the-woman-who-gave-the-macintosh-a-smile, accessed 30 April 2018. If I got some graph paper I could make small images out of the squares and transfer those onto the computer screen.”, “Andy Herzfeld wrote an icon editor and that let you see magnified what you were working on and also as you turned the bits on and off you could see it real size. In it little and the audience can no longer see themselves in it drew inspiration her! Particular who ’ s first full-time, salaried job in thirty years.13 when something ’ s on. 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