Women of Graphic Design

When I was in design school and my first few years in the industry, I didn’t think much about my design career in terms of being a woman. There were plenty of women in my classes, and my peers and I were devoted disciples of designers like Jessica Hische, Dana Tanamachi and Jessica Walsh. I felt strong ties to what I suppose are more “feminine” takes on design: light, airy, intricate lettering, ornamentation, calligraphy.

Of course, I am very lucky that I didn’t have to think about it much. I was hired out of college here at Block Club where being a woman has never held me back or been a differentiator separating me and the guys. Still, it’s not lost on me that I am in a field dominated by men, and for many years I was, in fact, the only girl at Block Club. And when I think about it now I realize that although a vast majority of my favorite artists, creators, illustrators and designers of other varieties (jewelry, pottery, interiors) are women, fewer of them are graphic designers.

A few weeks ago I discovered Women of Graphic Design, a project dedicated to exploring gender equality in design education. The project began at RISD, where founder Tori Hinn realized that only six percent of the designers taught in graphic design history are women. Consider that: The near-totality of graphic design history—the very foundation of design inspiration for students all over the world—is the design of men. Since it’s impossible to rewrite gender inequality of the past, Women of Graphic Design is dedicated to the women practicing graphic design today in the name of creating a more balanced present, and a more balanced “history” for graphic design students of the future.

The designs above are by Valquiria Rabelo of Estúdio Guayabo. Find more inspiring designers at Women of Graphic Design.