[T]Do you feel a responsibility to contribute to something bigger than yourself?
[J]Definitely. The kinds of projects I’m drawn to working on are projects that have some kind of usefulness to them—if not a direct utility, then some way in which they help other people in the process of living. I love the idea of gift-giving, and I like to think of the projects I make as little gifts for the world that somehow carry a seed that other people can use.
That’s been important to me, but in terms of directly improving the world, I don’t try to do that. When you try to solve a problem by introducing something new, what you actually end up doing is changing the system in which the problem exists. You may “solve” the problem you set out to solve, but in doing so, you invariably introduce new problems. You can’t just change things; you make things more complex, which increases both the good and bad parts of the system. That’s the way of life.
Instead, I try to make things that can wake up something in me or in others. I think most true solutions are internal and have more to do with changing individual perception than with changing external reality.Jonathan Harris responsibility to contribute to something bigger than the self.
A snippet from an interview with Susan Kare, the iconographer for the Macintosh System Software1.0’s original icons.
As it was such a new discipline at that point, was there any previous skill or experience that helped you? Was the lack of previous work in that area a help or a hindrance?
“I had a fair amount of experience in traditional graphic design so was able to build on that, plus common sense. Yes, a new medium but in another sense there is nothing new under the sun. I joke that if you can do needlepoint, you can design bitmap graphics.”
Like Gmail’s tag fading out detail.