8 Intriguing Apple Facts

Susan Kare

Susan Kare
[Susan Kare - credit]
One of the least known, but very crucial early employees is Susan Kare. Andy Hertzfield of the Macintosh team hired his high school friend Susan Kare from suburban Philadelphia to design fonts for the Mac. The fonts were named after the stops on Philadelphia’s Main Line commuter train like Overbrook, Ardmore, and Rosemont. This was up until Steve Jobs decided to intervene on the naming process.

Jobs said the fonts were “little cities that nobody’s ever heard of.” He said “They ought to be world-class cities” like New York, Chicago, London, Toronto, and San Francisco.

Kare was also known for developing Apple’s icons like the trash can for deleting files. Kare and Jobs became close because they shared a desire for simplicity. He would come into her office at the end of every day including Sundays to see what was new. In one of her drawings of a rabbit, which could be used as an icon for speeding up the mouse click rate, Jobs rejected it because the creature looked “too gay.”

After Steve Jobs was fired from Apple, he hired Kare to become one of the original employees at NeXT as a Creative Director. Later on she became an independent graphic designer and her clients included Microsoft and IBM. She developed the card deck for the Windows 3.0 solitaire game. She also designed the icons for Notepad and Control Panels for Microsoft, which was used up until Windows XP was released.

Kare was hired by Facebook in February 2007 to produce icons for the “Gifts” feature for users to send to each other. The icon gifts costed $1 per icon and originally the gift sales were donated to the Susan G. Komen for the Cute foundation to fight against breast cancer.

Kare is currently the head of a digital design practice in San Francisco. She sells her signed prints at Kareprints.com.

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