Women have been at the forefront of the typography industry for hundreds of years. Throughout time, women designers were instrumental in developing new styles that helped bring typography into the digital age. Many female designers left their mark on history and some even changed the world. We’ve collected some of our favorite female designers below:
In 1887 Adelaïde Labille-Guiard became one of the first women to earn a degree from École des Beaux Arts and she began designing typefaces for the Baskerville family of printing types. She then married Charles Guillaume Robert who was also an artist and she took over as head designer for the family. One of her best known pieces is Jepperson Gothic which has become synonymous with American culture. It has appeared on countless popular movie posters and album covers while being used by many well-known companies such as Coca Cola and Starbucks.
Adèle Blanchard was born in 1798 and is considered the first female French graphic designer. Although not formally trained, Blanchard worked as a book illustrator before opening up her own studio where she began designing advertisements and posters for clients like the Paris Opera House. Her most famous work is called The Woman Laughing which is considered the first example of poster art in France. Blanchard designed it to help raise money for the victims of a cholera epidemic. It sold for three gold francs and raised 2,000 gold francs during its run.
Elinor Wilson was born in 1878 and made history when she became the first woman to be admitted into the Art Students League of New York. She later went on to design textiles and fabrics for companies including Knoll. Throughout her career she won numerous awards for her work and is now recognized as one of the most important textile designers of the twentieth century.
Mignon Underwood was born in 1892 and was one of the first women hired by the American Type Founders Company. She spent more than twenty years working as a designer at AT&F and eventually founded her own advertising agency with her husband. Together they created hundreds of advertisements and signs for clients such as General Electric and IBM.
Rebecca Wills was born in 1740 and earned a reputation for her beautiful calligraphy. She was a pioneer in the field and helped develop the style and use of penmanship that we know today. Later in life she moved to Boston and taught penmanship to children at the local school. She was also an early advocate for literacy and would often write letters to newspapers and politicians about the importance of teaching people how to read.
Mary Jane Butters was an American typeface designer who was born in 1885. She graduated from the University of Michigan in 1907 and had a long career working for several major corporations including Xerox, Pepsi, and the DuPont Company. She was also an active member of the American Institute of Graphic Artists and was responsible for creating the logo and font for the AIGA.
Gudrun Ensslin was born in 1906 and spent much of her professional life working as a graphic designer. After moving to Sweden, she opened up her own studio and became a pioneer in Scandinavian design. She is particularly known for designing the logo and typeface for the National Union of Teachers in Denmark. Caroline Lambrecht was born in 1921 and was one of the first women to graduate from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich. She went on to teach at the university and later started her own company where she designed logos and layouts for companies around the world. She is perhaps most famous for creating the logo and font for the United Nations Development Program.
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(This article was generated using AI technology)