The Face of Macintosh: Susan Kare’s Sketchbook


You know all about Steve Jobs. He was the face of Apple, iconic black shirt and all.

But who gave us the first actual face of Apple — that iconic grin?

It was Susan Kare.

PLoS Blogs had a very interesting look at her contribution to the Macintosh GUI.

Here are some pieces of pixels you may recognize:

Susan Kare designed the first proportionally spaced font family that was much different than the monospace fonts that dominated the scene.

mac font

Kare was put to task to design the Mac’s GUI, but since no app had been created for designing icons, she headed to the art supply store and grabbed a $2.50 sketchbook and began to create the Macintosh interface:

Pretty cool, right?

Kare’s approach to icon creation is something we can all learn from. She didn’t think of an icon as an illustration, but as a symbol of communication, much like a street sign.


I’m sure you recognize this one:

This is actually a Saint Hannes cross or Saint Johns arms. In fact, it can also be seen on Swedish road signs marking places of interest. 😀

It’s inspiring to see how these icons were birthed, all from a $2.50 sketchbook. It can be easy to think we need just the right app or download the perfect plugin to make all the difference in our media communication. We can see from here, that’s got nothing to do with.

Just create.

[via Plos Blogs]


Eric Dye

I am a blogger, business owner and lover of coffee. I spend most of my time as Programs Director for Open Church, but you'll also find me as a writer and editor for ChurchMag, as well as working on Live Theme and ChurchMag Press. All while enjoying my family and sipping espresso in Italy.

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  1. Terry says

    Our creativity and ability to solve problems is part of what it means to be made in God’s image. Thanks for sharing this neat example of someone creatively filling a need which I gather is a big part of what your magazine is about. Of course it all points us to God filling our greatest need in the glorious gospel of Christ. Again thanks for sharing.


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