“If you’re lucky, people will get the message”*…
From the early 80s to today, a graphic look at “The History of Icons.”
Special bonus: browse through the sketchbook of pioneer Susan Kare.
* “If you look at that blank canvas and say, ‘Now I’m going to create a masterpiece’ — that’s just foolhardy. You just have to make the best painting you can, and if you’re lucky, people will get the message.” – Susan Kare
As we point and click, we might send mercantile birthday greetings to John Vansant Wanamaker; he was born on this date in 1838. A gifted merchant who helped define the modern consumer era, Wanamaker’s flagship store in Philadelphia– an enterprise that helped define the “department store”– was designed by famed architect Daniel Burnham, featured a pipe organ, an art gallery and a 2,500-pound bronze eagle that became a favored meeting place for Philadelphians.
Wanamaker was a committed innovator: he was the first to use electric arc lighting in a retail setting (in 1878); and starting in 1910, sensing its potential as an advertising medium, he used his stores as a base for experimentation with radio– starting a radio broadcast station in the store in 1922 to initiate radio receiver sales.
Wanamaker served as Postmaster General in the late 19th century, introducing the first commemorative stamp and laying the groundwork for Rural Free Delivery. And in the early 20th century, he helped establish Mother’s Day as an observance.
An aggressive advertiser and promoter, Wanamaker is credited with the famous observation, “half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.”