• Rudy Sanchez

Ben Vessey's iOS Retro-Inspired Icon Set Made With Apple OG Susan Kare In Mind

Apple introduced customization options for home screens in iOS14, giving iPhone users the ability to personalize their home screens with widgets and swap out standard app icons with whatever they choose.


Immediately, iPhone users went to town, with so many creating airy, ethereal, and minimal home screens that the trend became known as the “iOS 14 Aesthetic.” An entire ecosystem of support apps and icon packs have popped up, and iOS users can break away from the standard-issued icons and something more personalized.


Longtime Apple fans, however, have always admired the firm’s first Graphical User Interface (GUI) debuting on the first Macintosh. Before the Mac, computer users interacted with the machine via typed commands. It was a clunky way to navigate through the system, files, and applications. The Mac made use of icons, graphics, and purpose-designed typography to bridge the gap between people and technology. Designer Susan Kare instilled that into the first Mac OS, and subsequent Apple interfaces utilized that same clarity, humanity, and playfulness.


It’s no surprise that when the opportunity arose to give the iPhone a retro 80s redesign, designer Ben Vessey went to work creating app representations with Kare's aesthetic. Vessey’s old school iOS consists of over 110 icons, six monochromatic wallpapers, and light and dark theme options. The set turns that nostalgia and faithfully imagines icons for apps that weren’t even a twinkle in its developer's eyes in 1984, like Spotify, Tinder, Twitter, Reddit, and Uber. Each symbol is made in the spirit of the first Macintosh and looks surprisingly at home on the shiny glass and metallic slabs that's the latest branch on the evolutionary Apple tree.

Those looking to give their iPhones some old-school cool can download the icon set at BenVessy.com, with the digital designer also offering a “gold pack” with five custom-designed icons not included in the full silver set.

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