Quartz — The Apple icons you see today have surprisingly ancient roots

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By Sarah Todd

In the early 1980s, Apple asked a young artist named Susan Kare to design some graphics for its forthcoming personal computer, the Macintosh. Kare had never worked in the tech industry and didn’t have any experience with computers. But she had a background in a variety of art forms, from mosaics to needlepoint, and a PhD from New York University, having written her dissertation on the use of caricature in sculpture. As it turned out, this diversity of experience was exactly what Apple needed.

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