June 14, 2013
There's no denying that iOS 7 constitutes a radical departure in design from what we've come to expect from Apple. In particular, there's no denying that part of what makes it so different from all of the past versions of iOS is its new set of stock app icons, which has proved to be quite divisive. Well, prompted by the schism that seems to have emerged following the launch of iOS 7, Network World thought about asking someone who knows a thing or two about icon design. And that someone is none other than Susan Kare. Herself an "icon" in the representative sense of the word, Kare is the graphic designer behind many of the icons, typefaces, and marketing material for the original Macintosh operating system. Approached for her opinion on iOS 7's icon design, Kare responded with the following comment:
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.If you can’t see the video embedded above, please click here. Evidently, Kare approves of the new look and feel of the stock app icons in iOS 7. But her use of the word "generally" is worth noting as it suggests that, as Cult of Mac puts it, "there’s room for some improvement." Her use of the descriptor "meaningful" is also telling in that it points to the kind of design solutions that she values. In an interview with Path, for which she released an "Iconic Bites" sticker pack last April, Kare said:
Paul Rand is my design hero, and I try to follow what he practiced: create solutions to design problems that are meaningful and memorable.Yesterday, it was reported that Jony Ive, Apple's SVP of Industrial Design and head of Human Interface, tapped Apple's marketing team, rather than its design team, to create the new icons. It was also pointed out that iOS 7 is "firmly a 'work in progress." Like it or hate it, iOS 7, including its controversial icons, is here to stay and hopefully improve over time.