Typography Poster- SUSAN KARE





Susan Kare


Susan Kare is one of the notable contemporaryAmerican graphic designers. During 1980s, she developed many of the interfaceelements for the Apple Macintosh. She worked as a creative director for thecompany NeXT that Steve Jobs founded after leaving Apple.


In 1954, Kare was born in Ithaca, New York.The intelligence and creative genius runs in the family as her sister JordinKare is an aerospace engineer. She received her formal education from HarritonHigh School (1971). Later she attended Mount Holyoke College and in 1975 earnedher Bachelor of Honors, summa cum laude, in Arts. In 1978, she was awarded theDoctor of Philosophy from New York University. Afterwards she relocated to SanFrancisco and did a stint at Museum of Modern Art.

In the early 1980s, Kare received a callfrom high school friend Andy Hertzfeld, upon which she joined Apple Computer.She was a member of the original Apple Macintosh design team. The companyprimarily hired her into Macintosh software group and she was assigned the jobto design user interface graphics and fonts. Soon after, she was promoted tothe post of a Creative Director. She worked under the Director of thatorganization, Tom Suiter in Apple Creative Services. For the Macintoshoperating system, Kare designed many typefaces, original marketing material andicons. The modified and revised versions of her original ground breakingdesigns are still present in many computer gra-phics tools. For instance, heringeniously designed icons such as the Lasso, the Grabber and the Paint Bucketare still used with some modification.

After completing her tenureat Apple Computers, Kare accepted the job offer as a designer for NeXT. Thereshe served the clients such as Microsoft and IBM. Working with Microsoft shemanaged the card deck for Windows 3.0’s solitaire game project. She alsodesigned multiple icons for the Windows 3.0. Quite a number of icons shedesigned for Microsoft remained unchanged until Windows XP, such as Notepad andvarious Control Panels icons. She contributed iconography to the Nautilus filemanager for Eazel and IBM sought her icon designing expertise for theirinterface. Moreover, stationery and notebooks featuring her designs are used atThe Museum of Modern Art store in NYC. The popular social networking site,Facebook requested her to design the ‘Gift’ icon for their site in 2007. Someof the icons displayed in ‘Gift’ section are also featured in Mac OS X.


Kare’s most notable works from her time withApple are the Chicago typeface. It was the most prominent typeface for the userinterface, applied not only in Classic Mac OS but also the first fourgenerations of Apple iPod interface. Another one of her recognizable creationswere the original monospace Monaco typeface and Geneva typeface.

Besides, her long list oforiginal creations include the symbol on the Command key on Apple keyboards,the welcome screen icon the Happy Mac that greeted the users when the machineis turned on and Clarus the Dogcow.

Moreover, stationery and notebooks featuring herdesigns are used at The Museum of Modern Art store in NYC. The popular socialnetworking site, Facebook requested her to design the ‘Gift’ icon for theirsite in 2007. Some of the icons displayed in ‘Gift’ section are also featuredin Mac OS X.

According to Susan Kare, good icons should bemore efficient like road signs rather than mere illustrations. They should beeasily comprehended and keep the users from getting confused by extraneousdetails. She is of the view that out of million colors all the colors don’tneed to be incorporated in the icons and that once a well-crafted andmeaningful icon is designed it doesn’t need to be resigned frequently.


Susan Kare isconsidered a pioneer of pixel art and of the graphical user interface, havingspent three decades of her career "at the apex of human-machineinteraction". She is celebrated as one of the most iconic technologists ofthe modern world alongside Ada Lovelace, Grace Hopper, Mae Jemison, Steve Jobs,and Doug Englebart.

I like to think that good icons areinstantly recognizable—even if someone's never seen it, you can ask them whatit does, and they get it—or it's so easy to remember that if someone tells youwhat it is once, it's easy to remember when you look at it. I think that's alot to ask of a symbol, that if you tested it everyone would all have the sameone-word response as its function. But I think I had then, and still have, moreof a common sense than a scientific approach to that kind of thing. It'ssolving the little puzzle of making an image fit a metaphor. It's fantasticwhen an icon becomes meaningful shorthand, when you can create a pothole-freeenvironment for users. After all, who wouldn't rather see an icon of a lightswitched on instead of the words 'lights on'?"

— Susan Kare


Contents :









Base Grid

Base on the eight column grid on 12 x 18 inch size poster. 




Trial 1 

Trial 2

Trial 5













Using Format