Original Macintosh Icon Designer Susan Kare on iOS 7 Icons: ‘Generally a Good Direction’

Posted in Apple, iOS on 14/06/2013 by Chris Hauk


Since its unveiling at WWDC 2013, iOS 7 has been described as: confusing, cool, horrid, beautiful, amazing, childish… You get the idea. Such reactions are a given when a company changes an iconic product. (See “New Coke.”) However, one observer has given her opinion of the changes to Apple’s OS, and one would think her opinion would have to carry just a little more weight that the average observer.



So I reached out to Susan Kare, who, in case you’re unfamiliar, is something of an Apple legend and icon guru. While at Apple in the early-mid 80s, she designed a number of memorable, if not timeless, icons. From the flower symbol on the command key to the original icon of a Mac computer, Kare is inextricably tied to the Apple that millions of Mac fans grew up with.

After leaving Apple in 1986, Ms. Kare has designed thousands of icons for numerous clients. She was also called as an expert witness during last summer’s Apple v. Samsung trial.

Ms. Kare seems to approve of Apple’s new icon direction re: iOS 7. Her response was:

“Generally a good direction–am a fan of simple, meaningful symbols that fill a space, such as Music and Weather. It’s better — more iconic, less illustrative.”

While not a ringing endorsement, Ms. Kare’s comment definitely counts as a pro-iOS 7 icons statement. Just in case you’re keeping score at home.


Chris Hauk

MacTrast Senior Editor, and self-described "magnificent bastard," Chris Hauk owns Phoenix Rising Services and writes for everyone's favorite "bad movie" website, Big Bad Drive-In.

His first Apple product was an iPod Classic 9 years ago, and he has since added a MacBook Pro, a number of iPads, iPhones, and multiple Apple TVs to his collection.

He lives somewhere in the deep Southern part of America. Yes, he has to pump in both sunshine and the Internet.