Kare.com is the site of famed iconographer Susan Kare.

My work has continued to be motivated by respect for, and empathy with, users of software. I believe that good icons are more akin to road signs rather than illustrations, and ideally should present an idea in a clear, concise, and memorable way. I try to optimize for clarity and simplicity even as palette and resolution options have increased.

Some of her work from the 80’s:

kare 1

kare 2

kare 3

Icon designer strives for simplicity is a 1995 profile of Kare.

When Kare worked on the original Macintosh, which was shipped in 1984, her work was denounced by computer geeks as too cute and “a crib toy” for its whimsical graphics…

“Some icons are easy because they’re nouns — a calender, for example,’’ Kare said. “But verbs are hard to do. Undo is especially hard. I struggle year in and year out about undo.’‘

Execute, she said, is another difficult one. “Some people have guns for execute, which doesn’t seem good. I had dominoes falling over and have tried running shoes.’’...

“I feel much happier that people are looking at my icons every day than having my sculptures in five living rooms across the country,” Kare said.