Susan Kare, the woman behind the Apple Macintosh’s smiling computer icon, has lent her decades-long visual expertise and creative savvy to a new cafe located inside Pinterest’s San Francisco headquarters.
Kare, a UI and graphic designer, has worked for Pinterest since 2015. She also sits on the design team of the newly-opened cafe called “The Point. “
Business Insider caught up with Kare and what went into opening and designing The Point. Take a look inside:
Welcome to The Point Cafe.
It’s located in the lobby of Pinterest’s headquarters in San Francisco.
The cafe is basically brand new: Its opening day was February 19.
The Pinterest building that houses the cafe was also recently opened in December.
The Point’s design team was comprised of a group of Pinterest employees — all women.
That team includes Susan Kare, the legendary graphic designer responsible for creating interface icons and typefaces for the Apple Macintosh in the 1980s.
We have Kare to thank for the original smiling Macintosh icon, as well as the trash can and other graphics.
Her career spans three decades across multiple tech companies, including Steve Jobs’ companies Apple and NeXT, as well as Microsoft, Facebook and Digg. She was hired on at Pinterest in 2015 as a product design lead before transitioning into a more overarching creative director role.
building a time machine for the express purpose of going to 1985 and marrying the woman who invented the trash icon for macs because OH MY GOD pic.twitter.com/s5CODxzqi6
— Daniel Mallory Ortberg (@evilmallelis) January 15, 2018
Kare designed The Point cafe’s logo with her signature no-nonsense, to-the-point design style.
The Point’s logo is an iteration of Pinterest’s button used on the site to save, or pin, a post. She said she revamped the thumbtack, examining the proportions and rounding out the edges a bit, for the cafe and the site itself.
“The Point” refers to the point of the thumbtack in the logo.
“It’s just so great to have a metaphor that’s meaningful and is in the name,” Kare said.
Kare’s handiwork is sprinkled throughout the cafe, including on the coffee mugs and cups for customers.
The Point sells coffee mugs adorned with Kare’s logo, as well as other items from San Francisco vendors.
These little sticker guys sell for $US1 each.
None of the merchandise is available on an online site though: It can only be purchased at the cafe’s location.
Kare designed these enamel pins for the cafe, her favourite being inspired by the habit Pinterest users develop of being drawn into content on the platform for longer than they planned. Kare said people sometimes hop onto the site with a few minutes of perusing in mind, only to find that they’d gone down the metaphorical rabbit hole of boards and inspiration.
Kare said her trademarked typefaces — Chicago, Monaco, and Geneva — weren’t used in the menu. But her graphics designed for the cafe adorn the menu board.
Kare said it’s nice to see her work in a physical, tangible form. “As much as I love working on the screen, there’s something about off the screen and into your hand,” she said.
Kare said she has plans to make new merchandise, including skateboards one day.
She’d also like to have red pencils with The Point’s logo on them. “You can kind of be indulgent a little bit in the pun of it and the creativity of it,” Kare said.
She also wanted to make something red, perhaps neon, to decorate this wall.
In true Silicon Valley fashion, The Point customers order through an iPad.
The cafe’s baristas went through two weeks of training to learn the ins and outs of the coffee world, said Kare, who know them by name.
Kare said she’s tried latte art, she even has a Pinterest board devoted to learning about it, but has yet to master it. She said she’ll leave that to Dennis and Tiffany, pictured here.
The Point includes food on its menu as well, which the chef rotates monthly.
This month, the menu includes a caprese salad, a Thai beef salad, and a ham and cheese sandwich.
And what’s a San Francisco cafe without cold brew and Kombucha?
Kare said she’s an avid Kombucha drinker, though there are too many tasty flavours at The Point for her to pick her favourite.
This is the first coffee shop Kare helped design. As a coffee lover and someone who likes trying new things, she said she enjoyed the project.
Kare and the design team decorated everything in and around the cafe using inspiration from Pinterest content.
Succulents, marbled backsplashes and trendy knickknacks abound.
The cafe also features typical Pinterest-esque sayings, like these words of wisdom on the shelf.
Kare advocated to include this little guy amongst the cafe’s shelves. It’s a 1950s Walter Bosse creation in the form of a hedgehog, whose many pins Kare said seems fitting to the space. “It just seemed like it ought to be here,” she said.
As for as her day-to-day activity as a creative director at Pinterest, Kare said “the icon process is never-ending.” Refining Pinterest’s 70-icon collection and designing an icon for the site’s “Shop the Look” feature is also on her plate.
Kare designed these sticker sheets for Pinterest’s university recruitment programs.
Outside of Pinterest, Kare says she is happy and enjoys surfing in her spare time; as someone who’s lived in California since 1978, this isn’t too surprising. But Kare refuses to disclose her favourite surfing spots: “It’s one of the most egregiously terrible things you can do as a surfer,” she said.
But Kare isn’t giving up graphic design anytime soon. She was recently awarded a medal by AIGA, the prestigious design organisation.
Kare says she’ll continue developing an image-based language for the digital world.
“Where would we be without a smile face?” Kare said.
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