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You might not recognize the picture of the woman in the photo above, but you definitely recognize the icons pictured below.The woman pictured above is Susan Kare. She has been referred to as “the woman who gave computing a face.” She designed these icons for Apple in the 1980’s.

Many of us will look at the icons Susan Kare designed and think they are simple and mundane. With the advancement of technology, the computer’s ability and functions have also progressed. The trashcans have become fancier, three dimensional, and even translucent. It is understandable how Susan Kares Icons could be overlooked.

Knowledge changes perspective. Susan Kares icons for Apple are the blueprint of interfaces we know and love today. As mentioned above, many of Kare’s original designs have gone through a number of changes but others are here to stay. Many of us have never seen, or touched a floppy disk in our entire lives, but we know what that “Save” icon on Microsoft Word is. That save icon is of a floppy disk. The Microsoft icon is almost identical to the one designed by Kare in the 1980’s.

The artist Stephanie Syjuco states; “digital culture is not neutral. Simply because there is a computer involved, does not mean that there isn’t human labor.” Remember this next time you hit that save icon on Microsoft Word.

Check out Susan Kare’s website and follow her Pinterest page for inspiration!


  1. sgahr wrote:

    The design field has come a long way of over the past decade! It’s amazing she set the paths for the icons we have today.

    Sunday, November 4, 2018 at 8:19 pm | Permalink
  2. jriley20 wrote:

    Something like this is often over looked by people of my generation including myself because of the privilege of growing up with so many innovations in technology. Learning about how something works for that reason gets me to really appreciate the technology that is available.

    Tuesday, November 6, 2018 at 8:22 pm | Permalink
  3. gebeling wrote:

    I really appreciate how you explained how the icons have evolved and their importance of being the way they were originally. I looked at the link to her website. It great to see how much work she has made that we have experienced through the years in our daily lives. It’s a good reminder to not overlook these simplistic icons.

    Wednesday, November 7, 2018 at 8:41 pm | Permalink