The Sketchbook of Susan Kare, the Artist Behind the Original Mac OS Icons

created at: 11/29/2011

Few artists have had as deep impact on the lives of more people than Susan Kare. Millions, if not billions, of people’s experiences with computers are easier and more intuitive thanks to her. Her name may not be familiar to everyone, but her work is: she was the graphical user interface pioneer who created the original icons for Apple computers, transforming modern personal computing into what it is today.  

Kare, who received her Ph.D in fine arts from NYU, was initially hired to develop the first proportionally spaced digital font family for the Mac OS, and stayed on at Apple to design the navigational elements of Mac’s GUI. These sketches she did on graph paper provide a rare glimpse into her art…

created at: 11/29/2011

 

Some of Kare’s sketches were even a bit goofy, like this very literal icon for “auto indent”:

created at: 11/29/2011

 

created at: 11/29/2011

 

See more of Susan Kare’s Mac OS sketches on PLoS Blogs