Six Inspiring Women from the World of Design

The theme of this year’s International Women's Day is 'Be Bold for Change', and we can think of so many women who fit this description, especially in the design realm — a field which myself and Jeeves are hugely passionate about.

International Women's Day celebrates the social, economical, cultural, and political achievements of women. Here’s a selection of some of the female designers who inspire and influence us on a daily basis:

1: Kate Moross

Since learning about Kate Moross in college, we’ve been completely obsessed with her style and attitude towards design. If you're a fan of her work, are trying to make it as a graphic designer, or just fancy an inspirational read, check out her book, Make Your Own Luck.

Her design is just as colourful and crazy as her personal style, with bright typography and vivid illustrations, set out in strong blocks of colour and often packed with intricate details.

Some of Kate’s best-known work includes a billboard campaign for Cabdury, a signature clothing range for Topshop, a music video and album artwork for Disclosure, illustrations for Vogue Magazine, and speeches at many arts conferences.


2: Paula Scher

Even if you don’t know her name, you’ll know Paula Scher’s work. Logos include Windows 8, the New York Philharrmonic, the The Metropolitan Opera, Citibank, The Public Theater, and Tiffany & Co.

Paula was the first female principal at renowned design firm Pentagram, has created 150 album covers (including Boston’s self-titled record), developed her own typefaces inspired by Russian constructivism and art deco movements, and has revolutionised the way the design world thinks about identity. Among her posters for The Public Theater is the Hamilton poster below. We’re endlessly driven by her work and her passion.

Want to know more about Paula? Perfect timing. There’s an episode of Abstract, Netflix’s recently-released design-focused documentary series, centred on Paula’s story and the work she’s done by herself and at Pentagram.


3: Carolyn Davidson

Getting paid a meagre $35, the original designer of Nike’s ‘Swoosh’ logo was Carolyn Davidson.

A student at the time, Davidson designed one of the world's most recognisable logos for a pittance, but was later given 500 shares in Nike when the company enjoyed exponential growth, which now amounts to $643,000.

Many designers have jobs they look back on and wish they’d charged more, but weren’t really in the right place to do so. Carolyn’s story is immensely relatable.


4: Susan Kare

A true pioneer of icon and user interface design. Susan Kare created hundreds of symbols for global companies, from Apple and Facebook to Microsoft and PayPal. She’s renowned for designing the original Apple Macintosh’s UI in the 1980s, fonts included.


5: Sara Soskolne

Canadian-born designer Sara Soskolne is one of the most iconic contemporary typeface creators out there, credited with the likes of Gotham (Obama’s 2008 campaign), Chronicle, and Tungsten (The Walking Dead, anyone?).

It’s not just her design: it’s how she teaches about design, doing so in many schools and colleges, and writing about the evolution of type.


6: Roxy & Phoebe

These women are two of the top signwriters around, and absolute queens of hand-lettering. They go by the name ‘Drunk on Lettering’, and offer constant inspiration as they travel around the world painting murals and working in their sketchbooks, while producing a podcast through which they celebrate other talented designers.