The first command key appeared on the Apple III in 1980. Its primary purpose is a modifier, allowing users to enter keyboard shortcut commands either through double or triple press combinations. Cmd + S for save; Cmd + C for copy; Cmd + Control + Power for forced restart. The original modifier key was, in truth, the control key: the original teletype systems that superseded telegraph used the control key plus another key stroke to exact any mechanical changes to the machine not related to typing.
Kare’s work for Apple, which she joined in 1982 charged with creating user interface graphics and fonts, continues to hold a powerful influence over software and web design. Her concise, often witty icons, buttons and tool cursors have seeded into the general psyche to such an extent that they appear omnipresent. The lasso, the paint bucket, the enigmatic dogcow, the spray paint can, the trash can and the endearing ‘Happy Mac’ are all Kare inventions, though you will now see variations of them across a wide range of products.