• 2023

  • Susan Kare’s sketchbooks

  • From Jenny Brewer of It’s Nice That:

    Susan designed the icons for the Macintosh’s graphical user interface. At the time, the notion of a GUI was revolutionary: just a few years prior to the Mac’s release, people could only interface with a computer through arcane commands written in code. By providing an image-based way to execute computer commands, the Macintosh made computers more intuitive and less intimidating. 
    As part of the original Mac team, Kare created some of the first digital fonts, the UI for MacPaint and some of the most persistent icons in computing such as the trash can/bin, the save disk and the smiling Mac. Kare added to the UI an element of friendliness and emotion. The icons that she designed were playful and simple enough to be recognisable to users around the world. 

    I am particularly taken by this image from Kare’s sketchbooks. A beautiful icon. Strikingly simple, yet infinitely complex. An icon that gave birth to thousands if not millions more since.

  • 2022

  • Adobe set to acquire Figma for $20B

  • Big news yesterday in the tech world. Adobe likely minted a few millionaires with this deal. Figma was snatched up by Adobe for $20B

    For years, Figma stood headstrong in its’ resolution that collaboration in design tools begins and ends on the web — and they’re right. Productivity tools such as video creation, document collaboration, email, and even cloud storage (Dropbox) have had tremendous growth.

    Adobe’s humble beginning began way back in the 1980’s at Xerox PARC long before Tim Berners-Lee’s proposal on the web in 1989 was published. Ever since Sketch entered the market, the design tool market is becoming increasingly crowded. Adobe was once was a Goliath organization. A looming tower so large that no one dare take them on. Well, Figma gave them a really good run for their money.

    Chances are, Adobe was forced to make such a ludicrous offer, the board (and the founders) couldn’t refuse. For years, Figma has been eating Adobe’s lunch. They’ve been on buying spree building a moat around their Creative Cloud garden. Make no mistake, this deal will be bad for knowledge & design workers in the long-term, as design tool choices begin to dry up, and users are forced into Adobe’s suite of creative tools. If past is precedent, Figma will be slowly rolled into their brand and ecosystem and we’ll all be worse off for it. They’ll slowly raise the pricing, and lock us into expensive yearly plans to get access to Figma’s effortless product.

    How is the design world feeling about this? Well, this kind of hits the nail on the head:

    This won’t be the last we hear about Adobe + Figma. For now, pricing will remain unchanged, and educational account will continue to be free.

    This won’t be the last acquisition we’ll see from Adobe, but it might be last one that tops $20B.