Susan Kare, an early Apple designer behind some of the company’s early typefaces and icons, has joined Pinterest.
She’ll be part of Pinterest’s creative team as a product design lead, according to the company. Kare designed many of Apple’s famous original icons, like the Lasso and Paint Bucket, and worked for Steve Jobs at NeXT as creative director. She’s also behind the Chicago typeface, which was used in many of the early iPods.
And as Pinterest head of engineering Michael Lopp told TechCrunch, designers are “the voice of the users.” Good design, after all, ensures that Pinterest is engaging, which in turn means users will come back over and over and spend more time on the site. That means that those users can more readily be monetized, and Pinterest can continue to make money — which it can then re-invest in bringing in new talent.
This is another designer that Pinterest has added to its barracks. But it’s important for the company to keep recruiting not only experienced designers, but high-caliber engineers and product managers. Pinterest’s teams are organized in such a way that all three roles work closely together and mesh well.
Pinterest has been aggressively building out not only its business with new products like Buyable Pins, which allow users to purchase things directly through Pinterest, and also new marketing tools. It also earlier this year began opening up to third-party developers, a long-awaited move that — again — can make Pinterest more engaging, which in turn can drive its business.
At Pinterest, Kare will be one of the leads responsible for Pinterest’s interface on its apps and website. She doesn’t have any specific projects yet, but some examples of projects would be designing things like Buyable Pins or App Pins.
Kare graduated from New York University with a Ph. D. in fine arts and prior to Apple worked as a curator at an art museum. She joined Apple in 1982 designing fonts and other graphic elements for the Macintosh before following Jobs to NeXT. Since then, she’s had a graphics design practice called Susan Kare Design, where she’s designed icons for clients like Mirosoft and Facebook.
Kare started this week and reports to Bob Baxley, the company’s head of product design — who also came from Apple.