The Story Behind Apple’s New Finder Icon

Yosemite New Finder Icon

Yosemite New Finder Icon.

In September 1994 Apple hired AlbenFaris, a California design firm—that from 1985 onward worked on interface designs and brand marketing for several tech companies like Netscape and Hewlett-Packard—to create the MacOS logo. Though the icon was finally revealed in 1994, it wasn’t actually used to brand the MacOS system until the next year, in March of 1995, when version 7.5.1 of the operating system was released to the public.

Black and White Finder Icon

The first black and white Finder icon ever created.

The icon was constructed to create—according to AlbenFaris—a play between a squared computer screen and  the face of the computer user in order to foment a more connected user experience. It was designed in such a way to create a sense of friendliness, easy of use, and to humanize technology to draw more people in and popularize the platform.

Apple's Finder Evolution

The evolution of the Finder icon over the years.

The icon has been constantly updated and changed many times over the years. It was revamped in 2001 with a glossier appearance in order to reflect the enhanced capability the system developed for 3D video, but the basic form—the squared face with the divider down the middle—remained the same until just a few months ago when Apple removed the divider to create a much happy-looking icon for its new operating system Yosemite.

In 2014 we’ve come to the 20th anniversary of this well-known icon, and even though it has changed over time, much of it remained the same. Twenty years later the icon has become an iconic symbol seen by countless millions of computer users all over the world.