Narberth-Native Designer Named Original Mac Fonts after Local Montco Towns

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Susan Kare, a Narberth typeface and icon designer, originally named the first set of Macintosh typefaces after several stops on SEPTA’s Regional Rail R5 line. Image via Technically.

While they are today known under the names Chicago, New York, and Geneva, the first set of typefaces for Apple’s original Macintosh computer originally bore names from several local towns, including Rosemont and Ardmore, writes Julie Zeglen for the Technical.ly.

The fonts were created by Susan Kare, a Narberth native and prolific typeface and icon designer, in the early 1980s. Kare was on the team tasked with creating the operating system’s original fonts.

To honor their local roots, Kare and a colleague, Andy Hertzfeld, also from Narberth, named the fonts after stops on the SEPTA Regional Rail’s R5 line.

Then Steve Jobs stepped in.

“Jobs thought that our idea of city names was fine, but suggested that ‘world class cities’ would be better than suburban towns,” said Kare.

Those fonts are not Kare’s only iconic designs. Her works also include the design for Microsoft’s Solitaire, the Happy Mac icon, and the obscure Swedish symbol used by Apple for its Command key.

Today, Kare has her own firm, Susan Kare Design.

“We’ve done work recently for Facebook, Fossil, Thompson Reuters, PayPal, and AOL,” she said.

Read more about Susan Kare at the Technical.ly by clicking here.

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