Women of Design

by Fred Showker

Women of Design ... designing women More than half of the graphic designers in the U.S. are women, yet they are less likely to be invited to speak at conferences or to offer expert opinions to the media. Their award-winning work is seen everywhere, but with few exceptions, they are not celebrated in the same way as their male counterparts.

I love this book. It's not only beautifully designed and produced -- it's beautifully researched and documented. The texts are some of the most interesting reading I've seen in a compendium like this -- because they are surrounded by eye-popping, luscious art, typography and design. My only complaint is the contributor's contact and web site info was shoved to the back, making you jump back there to dig up the web sites. Some didn't have web sites, (understandably) but others have glorious web sites. I contacted several to participate in "Designing Women" but none responded, or the email / websites were dead. But at least I have the book! It is glorious.

Nagi Noda was a famous fashion layout designer
Nagi Noda was a famous fashion layout designer... recently passed away

Women of Design explores this contradiction while at the same time shining a light on the work of women designers, both industry veterans and influential newcomers. By asking the handful of female design stars to identify other talented women, then asking those women to suggest more still, Women of Design creates a web of influence and excellence that proves these women are worthy of attention.

The works of Barbara Kruger
Barbara Kruger, collage and layout designer "Women of Design"*

The immense body of work produced by graphic designers around the world is astoundingly varied, rich and widely celebrated. Yet in publications, conferences, judging panels and other public realms, women designers tend to be outnumbered by their men counterparts whose appearances, work and achievements are constantly in the spotlight-luckily, it's a reversing trend. While Women of Design does not attempt to relieve the imbalance, it does bring full attention to the wonderful work, careers, and contributions of women designers, writers, teachers and entrepreneurs around the world.

The fabulous work of April Greiman, designer, space designer
a spread about the works of April Greiman *

The women in this book have been divided into three groups, representative of the time in which their influence was most heartily felt: Groundbreakers, Pathfinders and Trailblazers. These three generations have helped shape the modern landscape of design. Included are interviews with April Greiman, Deborah Sussman, Louise Fili, Ann Willoughby, Ellen Lupton, Jennifer Sterling, Debbie Millman, Paula Scher, Jessica Helfand, Margo Chase, Luba Lukova, Petrula Vrontikis, Sharon Werner, Paola Antonelli and Marian Bantjes.

Explore the work, ideals and ventures -- all at the helm of these women -- that have helped define the last 50 years of the graphic design profession, as represented by the women who helped establish design's relevance, importance and impact and the ones that carry their tradition into new territory.

Women Of Design:
Influence And Inspiration From The Original Trailblazers
To The New Groundbreakers

Bryony Gomez-Palacio and Armin Vit
Paperback: 256 pages Published by How Books.

Bryony and Armin

Born and raised in Mexico City, Bryony Gomez-Palacio and Armin Vit are co-founders of UnderConsideration, a growing network and enterprise dedicated to the progress of the graphic design profession and its practitioners, students and enthusiasts. Since 2002 UnderConsideration has launched four web sites -- Speak Up, Brand New, Quipsologies, and The Design Encyclopedia -- that have been part of the growing dialog in design, and in 2007, they formed its Department of Design to serve clients, as well as to develop their own design requirements.

The bottom line: If you appreciate exquisite graphic arts ... if you enjoy thumbing through wonderful typography, environmental design, print design and all kinds of visual arts ... if you would like to discover some of the undiscovered treasures of women in history -- BUY THIS BOOK. It will give you hours and hours of entertainment, inspiration and enjoyment. Now, let me warn you. This book will become out of print pretty soon. And, HOW's accountants usually say; don't reprint. If you want it, buy it now!. Don't wait.

Thanks for reading

Fred Showker

Don't forget ... we encourage you to share your discoveries and favorites with other readers. Just comment below, discuss it in the Design Cafe, send an email, or give me a tweet at Twitter/DTG_Magazine

Bryony and Armin are the authors of
The Word It Book: Speak Up Presents a Gallery of Interpreted Words and
Graphic Design, Referenced: A Visual Guide to the Language, Applications, and History of Graphic Design (2009).
Slideshow: Nine Smart Ways to Showcase Your Creative Work
Slideshow: The Secret Design History of 12 Famous Brands

Bryony and Armin each have a decade of experience in various disciplines including corporate and brand identity, annual reports, business collateral, web design and programming, packaging, as well as magazine and book design.
      For Bryony, life seems like one endless trip. Having lived in Mexico City, Atlanta, Chicago, New York and now Austin you can usually spot her as the one with the camera and the multiple questions. Curiosity, determination and passion are what define her work and her unique approach. Creativity and the brain being key interests, she lectures and conducts workshops on the subject around the country. She is co-founder of UnderConsideration and the notorious Speak Up, The Design Encyclopedia, Brand New and most recently Quipsologies. Currently, she divides her time running UnderConsideration's Department of Design, writing books, and pursuing her own ventures. All of this while taking care of daughter Maya. (more)

27th Anniversary for DTG Magazine