Susan Kare designed the icons for the first Macintosh. A high school friend of software wizard Andy Hertzfeld, she studied art history in college, and received a Ph.D. in fine art from New York University in 1979. She joined the Macintosh project in 1983, and was responsible for many of the details that gave the Macintosh its distinctive appearance.
Kare later worked as creative director at NeXT, and then embarked on a prolific career as a graphic designer and consultant. She designed the icons, buttons, and screen appearance of Microsoft Windows 3.0; the fonts and screen images for General Magic's Magic Cap software (a company founded by fellow Macintosh veterans Bill Atkinson and Andy Hertzfeld); and has worked with Farallon, Intuit, Logitech, Radius, Sun, and other companies. This extensive portolio earned her the title "the queen of look and feel" in a Forbes ASAP profile, while a New York Times article called her "the Betsy Ross of the personal computer."
In this interview, Susan Kare talks about her training and work before joining Apple; her experiences on the Macintosh project; the creative process behind her icon designs; her other work for Apple; the role women played in Apple; influences on her work; and the experience of working with Steve Jobs.
The interview was conducted by Alex Pang on 8 September 2000 at Susan Kare's home. The interview was transcribed and edited by Alex Pang, and reviewed by Susan Kare. A final version of the transcript was generated on 19 February 20001
The original recording (a cassette tape) has been deposited with Stanford University Library's Department of Special Collections.
The transcript has been broken up into several pages, each of which deals with a particular subject. A full transcript is also available that contains the same content, but presents it on a single page.