Tech Women: Meet Susan Kare, A Pioneer In Graphic Design

Susan Kare

How monotonous would working on computers and laptops be without those icons with vibrant colours? But ever thought who is the person to be credited with a lot of those designs? She is Susan Kare, an eminent American graphic designer who worked with some of the best companies of those times. She played an instrumental role in shaping the graphic designing sector.

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“The best icons are more like traffic signs than graphic illustrations,” – Susan Kare


Born in February 5, 1954, in New York, Susan Kare had a great proclivity for art since childhood. She would often immerse herself in the world of drawings, paintings and crafts. On growing up, she aspired to become a world-renowned fine artist but eventually dabbled into graphic designing.

Her career as a graphic designer

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In her successful career stint as a graphic designer at Apple, NeXT, Microsoft, IBM and many more, Kare created some indelible icons.

Icons by Susan Kare

Icons by Susan Kare
pic credits: famous graphicdesigners.org

The card deck for Windows 3.0’s solitaire game, icons and design elements for Windows 3.0,  Notepad and various Control Panels are all her creations.

In 2003, Kare was one of the founding team members of Glam Media, which is now called Mode Media.

Her designs are featured at The 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. Some of the icons are displayed in the ‘Gift’ section.

“I don’t use work from the past as a literal guide; rather, those artifacts reinforce a view that simple images can communicate with wide audiences over time. Icon design is like solving a puzzle, trying to marry an image and idea that, ideally, will be easy for people to understand and remember,” – Susan Kare

Kare is now leading a digital design practice in San Francisco with the name Kareprints.com where she designs and sells limited edition fine art prints.

Her indomitable spirit and passion for work is definitely an inspiration for us.

Read Also: Tech Women: Meet Mariam Astrulabi, The Woman Behind Astrolabes