Susan Kare's Limited Edition Macintosh Icon Prints

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These prints are a one/two punch square in my art/design and Macintosh obsessions at the same time—so insanely cool I can't stand it. Susan Kare, the designer who created these original Macintosh icons, has released an edition of art prints featuring the famous icons. There are a few sizes of each ranging from 8.5" x 11" (edition of 200) to 30" x 40" (edition of 100) - all are signed and numbered. If this was pre-dotcom bubble era 1.0, I'd totally buy every single one at the largest size and get them framed for my excessively large office. Alas, we're many years past that, and I need to be more conservative with my funds. That 30"x40" spray can one is killing it though (hint hint). [Thanks to Tim Shey for the heads up]

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  1. Is anyone else really bothered that several of these don’t have their proper names? That is a Happy Mac icon, and has been called nothing else, ever, in reams of Apple and ex-Apple documentation. That’s not Fill, it’s the paintbucket. Even (ok, this is a stretch) Dogcow is one word and has been since he was named at Apple Developer Technical Support in the 80s.

    Also? At least some and maybe all of these are certainly trademarked. MacPaint, for sure. is there the idea that not calling them by their correct names mitigates that?

    But they are great. First choice Dogcow, second choice Bomb.

    1. Also? At least some and maybe all of these are certainly trademarked. MacPaint, for sure. is there the idea that not calling them by their correct names mitigates that?

      This irks me, too. So much so that I would never purchase one of these… I’d rather make my own ‘pirate’ copies because, as far as I am concerned, that is pretty much what Kare is doing. Who the hell can’t blow up a monochrome icon and dropper tool the background colour? Didn’t Apple pay her to make these the first time around?

      P.S. I dont mean to rain on anyone’s parade, just encouraging discussion – I like some of her icons, too.

  2. Oh Man! These are so cool!

    I just wish the prices were more reasonable… I wonder if she has any plans to sell un-numbered versions at MUCH lower prices…

    I MUST HAVE a giant Dogcow print!

  3. $89 prices me out of the market. Still I really want a bomb print.

    Brings back so many (not-so-)fond memories of System7, aptly, or perhaps ironically, codenamed “Big Bang”.

  4. Oof. Sorry, folks, but this aesthetic right here was what turned me off to Macs in the first place.

    I say it with all the love in the world for you, ’cause I know most of you grew up with these icons and love them like I love the title card for Land of the Lost, which I’d actually pay a few bucks to be able to hang on mine own wall.

    But damn… to my philistine eye these were hideous then, are hideous now, and paying hundreds to get them on 90-year archival paper… Christ, in fifty years will 20th-Century-Enthusiasts shell out for a bronze statue of the Cottonelle puppy?

    My knee-jerk negative response to these should not be taken as a lack of appreciation for Kare’s work. Obviously, her design won over the folks at Apple, and became beloved as literal and figurative icons for Mac users worldwide. So they work. They do what they were intended to do.

    But blowing them up to poster-size to be stared at on purpose, all day, every day? If I took the iconic image I spent the most time staring at during the nineties and turned it into a poster, this is what would be hanging on my wall.

    I say again: Oof.

      1. Yeah, I know, I know. To Sean and so many others they’re “insanely cool.”

        I’m also the only person with whom I associate who really kinda hated the Coens’ Fargo.

        At long last… the failing, it must be mine.

        1. They are “insanely cool” because of the nostalgia. When I was a kid using my first Mac that had this icons they weren’t cool, they were simple graphic renditions of something – the best the computer could do. Current Macs don’t use this, they use current graphics. They weren’t crappy icons when they were in use, and the prints are showcasing that.

  5. Looking at Dogcow now I got a sudden inspiration for where he came from. In college, Kare and I both loved a black and white cow marionette with loads of personality that was owned by our charismatic sculpture professor, Leonard DeLonga http://bit.ly/genmVN When DeLonga was sick one time, he let the two of us share Cow, and we would visit him in the hospital and make Cow dance for him. Cow was the best marionette I ever knew. I’m sure Kare remembered him too.

  6. Looks to me this is a reminder of the time Apple wasn’t so full of themselves and so self-important but more humble and “cute”, and just made quality computer products at the corresponding higher price for the quality, because that’s something just worth doing.

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