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Susan Kare Honored with AIGA Medal

Susan Kare, who designed the icons and some of the fonts for the original Macintosh, has been awarded the prestigious AIGA medal. Previous recipients include design legends like Paul Rand, who Kare brought in to NeXT to develop the company’s distinctive logo.

To celebrate Kare’s achievements, the New Yorker has published a profile of Kare, who has designed icons for Microsoft, Facebook, and Pinterest, where she is now a creative director. Her designs also appear on the cards for the iconic Windows Solitaire game of the 1990s.

While all Mac users have seen Kare’s work — she was responsible for the Command symbol in Mac menus and on Apple keyboards — you can also see a few select pieces in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art in New York and SFMOMA in San Francisco.

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Comments About Susan Kare Honored with AIGA Medal

Notable Replies

  1. “she was responsible for the Command symbol”

    Maybe for using it, but that symbol was a standard infographic in widespread use around Europe at the time.

  2. Still is in use. I came across it on several signs in Finland last year where it is used to indicate a place of interest.

  3. And don’t forget the smile, the trash can, the dog cow, grabber hand, and the (arrrrrrgh) dreaded bomb. Or Chicago, San Francisco, New York, Cairo, Monaco, London, etc. - bitmapped, low res fonts that were so beautifully readable, scalable, modern and clean.


  4. Yes, that’s why I used the specific wording I did, since she didn’t (and never claimed otherwise) create it. But it’s one of the most recognizable symbols still left from the early days.

    That said, I still miss Clarus, the dogcow! See The History of Clarus the Dogcow – 512 Pixels


  5. Utilizing an eclectic pool of sources ranging from pirate lore to ancient hieroglyphics, Kare then conceptualized the jargon into a digestible visual metaphor. The command symbol, for instance, was conceived when Kare pored through old symbology books for hours and saw the Saint Hannes cross, an ancient symbol also used by Scandinavians in the 1960s to mark locations of cultural interest.


  6. The only tattoo I would ever consider getting.

  7. I miss Clarus too, especially the animated one bellowing MOOF
    Speaking of old times, yesterday I was in San Francisco and happened to drive by what used to be the restaurant that was the go to for the Netter’s Dinner.

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