With the onset of the use of technology in various fields, the designing market has also undergone a massive revolution. The evolution of the graphic designing industry took place and is continuing to do so at the hands of multiple graphic designers.The contributions of these designers have provided great art inspirations found on sites like 4vector, vectorstock etc. Be it posters, typography, albums, calendars, every immaculate that you lay your hands on these days, a lot of them must be credited to a number of talented women who are part of the Graphic Design Industry.
Taking every industry by a storm and claiming their space over the years, women have also heavily influenced the graphic design industry. Before the formalisation of graphic designing as a profession, fields related to designing such as art or the fashion industry were heavily overpowered and dominated by men. However, the suffragette era saw the rise of women standing up on various issues owing to the voting rights they rightfully deserved and fought for. The women started talking to multiple forms of art and also poster making to place their point in a more emphatic manner.
An important woman who needs to be mentioned when talking about women in designing concerning the suffragette movement is artist Hilda Dallas. She made multiple posters in support of the Suffragette movement following the Art Nouveau style which was extremely popular around that time.
We have a list of a few women across centuries who have made an immense impact and have influenced the graphic design industry.
Despite the design industry being essentially male-dominated, most of the target customers for the products that were being advertised through the use of various graphic designing were mostly women. Many women had to struggle always to gain a position in the industry that was working towards advertising products that were being manufactured for them!
Cipe Pineles becomes an important figure when one begins to talk about the contribution of women in the graphic design industry. Born in Austria, she is famous for her works in magazines such as Seventeen, Charm and Mademoiselle. Her work was in direct contrast to the style that was adopted by her predecessor in the same field. Her approach to design was a more modernist oriented approach. Her work not only focussed on the design but also changed how the women in various magazines were represented. Rather than being passive figures and object of the gaze, women in magazines that were being designed by other women, and here, by Austrian born Pineles, made women a more active focus in the contents of the magazines she worked for.
Popular as one of the pioneers of what is known as computer-based iconography, Susan Kare began working with Apple in the 1980s. She used to work as the screen graphics and digital font designer for the original Macintosh computers. It was only during her work that the graphics and the features and the design of the user interface that we see today came into being. The museum of MoMA acquired her archive of graph paper drawings that portray her ideas for the Macintosh computers’ user interface. Her works have been exhibited in various shows and also by the aforementioned museum of MoMA. She brought about a computer revolution in graphic designing through her contribution to Macintosh computers.
Even though Cipe Pineles was one of the first few influential female graphic designers, there was a gradual increase in the number of women who began to join the industry and create a revolution in the work that was initially being produced by their predecessors. The 1950s and the 1960s with the rise in the second wave feminist movement, also saw many women claiming the space that was initially male-dominated. As somebody who began her career as a print designer, Muriel Cooper, became the design director of MIT Press. She adapted the Bauhaus style and also explored it in multiple engaging ways that earned her huge laurels. She was amongst the first to set up the MIT Media Lab.
Most of the graphic design work that we see today is done and undertaken mostly for commercial purposes. However, there are a few, who continue to use their skill in graphic designing to further and help various social causes. Sylvia Harris has often been referred to as the Citizen’s Designer. Sylvia Harris was the principal of communications agency Citizen Research and Design. Her social approach to the work that she does in direct contrast to the commercial approach that most designers undertake. She undertook multiple large people’s projects in public places such as schools, hospitals, airports and universities.
Her difference in approach is believed to be influenced by her experience desegregation while she was brought up in Virginia in the 1960s.