New Book Celebrates 30 Iconic Years of Susan Kare

December 26, 2011, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

If you feel too attached to your iPhone, it’s nothing to be alarmed about. From a recent neuroimaging experiment, it’s been proved that the sounds from an iPhone can be instrumental in triggering emotions in the device’s user.

When we look into Apple’s historical devices, emotions can be seen as a part of the company’s products. Macintosh users of the past experienced a happy feeling when their machine booted up with the startup chime and the Happy Mac icon smiled.

The pixelated, black-and-white icons seen in the original Macintosh were the creations of designer Susan Kare. The Happy Mac, the trash can and the pudgy hand were Kare’s notable designs, which did play a small part in bridging the emotional connection between a user and his Macintosh.

Kare was looking to be a full-time artist, after gaining a Ph.D. in fine art from New York University. It was then when a high school friend called on her for creating designs on graphic paper.

The old friend, Andy Hertzfeld, was the Mac OS co-developer. He told Kare that he could digitize her creations, which Kare found to be interesting.

Three decades after the proposal, Kare’s icons still stand as hallmarks of the PC era and emotional design. In addition to Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, PayPal and a horde of other clients have sought her services.

A book, titled “Susan Kare Icons” was released recently. The book outlines 80 designs from 30 years of her past work.


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