Susan Kare. Graphic icon sketch. 1982–1983

Susan Kare Graphic icon sketch 1982–1983

  • Not on view

To design the icons for the Macintosh System 1, Apple’s first computer-operating system, Kare used the decidedly analog method of pencil and pen on graph paper, with each square representing a single pixel. Her icons are perfect translations of various word-processing and operating functions—a pair of scissors for cutting text, a trash bin for deleted files. These pictograms were designed to be a language intelligible to users in any country—a fully intuitive graphic user interface (GUI) whose influence remains evident in today’s devices.

Gallery label from Never Alone: Video Games and Other Interactive Design, September 10, 2022–July 16, 2023
Pencil and ink on gridded paper
8 1/2 x 11" (21.6 x 27.9 cm)
Gift of the designer, jointly owned by the Museum of Modern Art, New York and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
Object number
© 2023 Susan Kare. Used by permission.
Architecture and Design

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