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Susan Kare (born February 5, 1954) is an artist and graphic designer who created many of the interface elements for the Apple Macintosh in the 1980s. She was also one of the original employees of NeXT, the company formed by Steve Jobs after leaving Apple in 1985, working as the Creative Director.[1]

Susan Kare
Born (1954-02-05) February 5, 1954 (age 64)
lthaca, NY
Occupation Graphic designer
Known for Contemporary American Design
Notable work Chicago typeface, Monaco typeface, Geneva typeface, The first three iPods, The happy Mac



Kare was born in Ithaca, New York, and is the sister of aerospace engineer Jordin Kare.[2][3] She graduated from Harriton High School in 1971, graduated summa cum laude with a B.A. in Art from Mount Holyoke College in 1975, and received a Ph.D. from New York University in 1978. She next moved to San Francisco and worked for the Fine Arts Museums.[2][4] She is married and has 3 children.

Apple Computer Inc.Edit

Mac fonts designed c. 1983-1984 by Susan Kare

Kare joined Apple Computer after receiving a call from high-school friend Andy Hertzfeld in the early 1980s.[1][2][4][5] A member of the original Apple Macintosh design team,[6] she worked at Apple Computer starting in 1982 (Badge #3978). Kare was originally hired into the Macintosh software group to design user interface graphics and fonts; her business cards read "HI Macintosh Artist". Later, she was a Creative Director in Apple Creative Services working for the Director of that organization, Tom Suiter.

She is the designer of many typefaces, icons, and original marketing material for the original Macintosh operating system. Descendants of her groundbreaking work can still be seen in many computer graphics tools and accessories, especially icons such as the Lasso, the Grabber, and the Paint Bucket. These designs created the first visual language for Apple's new point-and-click computing. [7]An early pioneer of pixel art, her most recognizable works from her time with Apple are the Chicago typeface (the most prominent user interface typeface seen in Classic Mac OS, as well as the typeface used in the first four generations of the Apple iPod interface), the Geneva typeface, the original monospace Monaco typeface, Clarus the Dogcow, the Happy Mac (the smiling computer that welcomed Mac users when starting their machines), and the symbol on the Command key on Apple keyboards.[2][4]

After AppleEdit

After leaving Apple, Kare joined NeXT as a designer, working with clients such as Microsoft and IBM.[4][8] Her projects for Microsoft included the card deck for Windows 3.0's solitaire game,[8][9] as well as numerous icons and design elements for Windows 3.0.[1] Many of her icons, such as those for Notepad and various Control Panels, remained essentially unchanged by Microsoft until Windows XP. For IBM, she produced icons and design elements for OS/2;[9][10] for Eazel she contributed iconography to the Nautilus file manager.[11]

In 2003 she became one of the founding team of Glam Media (now Mode Media).[12]

The Museum of Modern Art store in New York City carries stationery and notebooks featuring her designs. Beginning February 7, 2007, she has produced icons for the "Gifts" feature of Facebook.[13] Initially, profits from gift sales were donated to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation. After Valentine's Day[when?], the gift selection was modified to include new and limited edition gifts that did not necessarily pertain to Valentine's Day. One of the gift icons, titled "Big Kiss" is also featured in some versions of Mac OS X as a user account picture.[14]

In August 2012, she was called as an expert witness by Apple in the company's patent infringement trial against industry competitor Samsung.[15]

In 2015 she was hired by Pinterest as a product design lead.[16]


As of 2010, Kare heads a digital design practice in San Francisco and sells signed prints at[17] Here she designs limited edition fine art prints available for purchase.


  1. ^ a b c Wolf, Ron. "The mother of the Mac trash can". San Jose Mercury News. Archived from the original on 2007-07-01. Retrieved 2007-08-15. 
  2. ^ a b c d Alex Soojung-Kim Pang (2001-02-19). "Interview with Susan Kare". Making the Macintosh. Stanford University. Archived from the original on 2010-03-11. Retrieved 2007-08-13.  External link in |work= (help)
  3. ^ "The Monell Connection, Winter 2003" (PDF). Monell Chemical Senses Center. 2003. p. 9. Retrieved 2007-08-13. 
  4. ^ a b c d Janet Tobin (2001). "Designer Susan Kare '75 Gives Pixels Personality". MHC Vista, Summer 2001, volume 6, number 1. Mount Holyoke College. Retrieved 2007-08-15. 
  5. ^ Hamish Mackintosh (2003-06-12). "Technology: Talk Time". Guardian Unlimited. Guardian News and Media Limited. Retrieved 2007-08-15. 
  6. ^ Lemmons, Phil (February 1984). "An Interview: The Macintosh Design Team". BYTE (interview). p. 58. Retrieved 22 October 2013. 
  7. ^ Gonzalez, Robbie. "Iconic Designer Susan Kare Explains How ⌘ Came to Be". WIRED. Retrieved 2017-04-21. 
  8. ^ a b Susan Kare's personal site
  9. ^ a b [1]Laurence Zuckerman (1996-08-26). "The Designer Who Made the Mac Smile". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Archived from the original on 2007-08-12. Retrieved 2007-08-15. 
  10. ^ Craig Bromberg (1997). "I.D. Forty/Susan Kare". I.D. Magazine, Jan/Feb 1997. Retrieved 2007-08-15. 
  11. ^ Nautilus File Manager
  12. ^ "Susan Kare", Bloomberg Businessweek
  13. ^ "Buy a virtual cupcake for breast cancer, on Facebook". CNET. Retrieved 2018-01-17. 
  14. ^ Jared Morgenstern (2007-02-07). "Give gifts on Facebook!". Retrieved 2007-08-15. 
  15. ^ Joel Rosenblatt (August 7, 2012). "Former Apple Designer Kare Testifies at Samsung Patent Trial". Businessweek. Bloomberg LP. Archived from the original on 9 September 2014. Retrieved February 7, 2016. 
  16. ^ "Pinterest hires early Apple designer Susan Kare". The Verge. Retrieved 2018-03-10. 
  17. ^ Susan Kare Design (2010). "Susan Kare LLC". Retrieved 2010-10-04. 

External linksEdit