Susan Kare. Graphic icon sketch. 1982–1983

Susan Kare Graphic icon sketch 1982–1983

  • MoMA, Floor 1, 1 South

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
Medium
Pencil and ink on gridded paper
Dimensions
11 x 8 1/2" (27.9 x 21.6 cm)
Credit
Gift of the designer, jointly owned by the Museum of Modern Art, New York and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
Object number
113.2015.11
Copyright
© 2023 Susan Kare. Used by permission.
Department
Architecture and Design

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