The designer of Apple’s iconic dingbats font recreates Cairo as a throw rug


The designer of Apple’s iconic dingbats font recreates Cairo as a throw rug
Can you spot Clarus the DogCow?
Photo: Susan Kare/Areaware

If you’re an old school Apple fan, you may well remember the Cairo font. Cairo shipped with every version of macOS from 1984 through System 7.1. It was computer history’s first “dingbats” font in computer history, meaning a font in which letters are represented by seemingly unrelated graphics.

Now Susan Kare, the iconic Apple designer who created the fonts and icons for the original Mac, has resurrected Cairo as the basis for a new limited edition throw rug design. Searching for the perfect geeky rug design for your office? Look no further.

If you’ve been an Apple fan for a while, the most memorable aspect of Cairo is probably the inclusion of the dog icon. Nicknamed Clarus the DogCow, the icon was the mascot of Apple developers from the 1980s through OS X. You can get more (I mean, like, way more) information about Clarus here.

Kare’s official website describes the new Cairo dingbats throws as follows:

“Taking its name from the hieroglyphics of ancient Egypt, each symbol was drawn by hand using the bitmap grid. A few notable symbols lived on into later operating systems including the cursor and watch.

Kare designed this woven blanket for the Jacquard loom, an early example of computer-controlled machinery, operated with punched cards and invented by Joseph Jacquard in 1801.”

Cairo dingbats throw comes from an iconic Apple designer

Kare is one of the most important figures in computer design history. Millions of people have seen her iconic designs. Even decades later, Apple still pays tribute to her designs in its present day operating systems. (See the FaceTime design, for instance.) Alongside typefaces and icons, she also designed the infamous pirate flag which flew outside the original Mac offices.

Kare’s new 100% cotton Cairo dingbats throw design costs $135, and measures 70 x 50 inches (178 x 127 cm). It’s available black/white, gray/yellow, and green/pink color options.

Source: Areaware