Iconic Icons from Susan Kare
Iconic Icons from Susan Kare
Written by David Conrad   
Friday, 25 November 2011

You may not know the name Susan Kare but you will recognize her work. She designed many of the icons that dominate the personal computer world.

Icons are universal symbols that we all recognize as if they had been on the planet since man began banging rocks together. However, the truth of the matter is that they have to be designed and this isn't easy. If you don't know this for a fact then you have never tried to create something that looks good with Visual Studio's icon editor. Mostly they turn out to look like fuzzy blobs with a poor choice of colors. And as to what  they might mean - well it is usually anyone's guess.

Susan Kare is the artist responsible for a lot of the classic Mac icons we all know and love and her work is far from the fuzzy blob end of the spectrum. Her work is artistic and now you can purchase it as art or in a book. It's perhaps just the personalised geek-gift you were looking for.

You can argue that her icons were not only part of the Mac style, but they also managed to burn they way into the psyche of many a programmer - even if they didn't use a Mac! Who can forget the crash bomb or the happy and sad Mac symbols even if only seen once?

Now you can by a book of her best known works - Susan Kare ICONS book. Its a soft cover 7 x 7 inch book with 160 pages and costs $39.95.




This book provides a curated look at 80 of Susan Kare's favorite icons created between 1983 and 2011. A zoomed-in view allows the reader to see how many icons are crafted pixel by pixel and notes by the artist accompany selected images. The book also features an introductory essay by Steve Silberman.

If you really love icons then you can also buy limited edition prints, signed and numbered in various sizes. The prices range from just under $100 for a 8.5 x 11 inch print to $499 for a 30 x 40 inch print.




Being limited to 100 or 200 signed prints of archival quality there is every chance that these will appreciate in value over the years. But don't worry about such things; this is not the reason to buy - who wouldn't want a smiling computer icon on their wall?




More Information

Susan Kare book and prints

The Sketchbook of Susan Kare - an essay by Steve Silberman.

All illustrations are copyright Susan Kare.


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