15 Most Famous Female Graphic Designers
While the world of technology was initially male-heavy, over the years, the tides have shifted, bringing a bit more equality aboard. We live in a diverse place and all the existing industries need to reflect this.
Graphic designers are crucial to today’s society and in particular, to those businesses looking to advertise their brands and extend their reach.
Graphic Design is an industry that continues to stay relevant and needed in this modern-day world. That's why it's so important to shed light on those who are making the biggest impact in this area.
While there are plenty of famous graphic designers that are male, female graphic designers have been making their mark on the world for a while now as well.
That's why we’ve decided to put together a list of some of the very best and most influential female graphic designers that will hopefully continue to inspire future generations of graphic designers to come.
Here are fifteen of some of the most famous female graphic designers on earth!
Carolyn Davidson became one of the most recognizable female graphic designers after creating the iconic Nike Swoosh on their logo. The design was created in 1971 and has since remained a huge part of Nike’s branding.
Initially dabbling in journalism, she switched to design after taking a design course. This inspired her to head in a new direction, firstly working for Blue Ribbon Sports, Inc. where she would create charts and graphs for their Japanese footwear executives.
Phil Knight and his co-founder of Blue Ribbon Sports, Inc. needed a logo for a new line of running shoes and Davidson offered up five different designs, one of which was the chosen Swoosh. Interestingly, it resembles a wing and refers to the Greek Goddess of Victory, Nike.
Suffice to say, the footwear brand Nike had a lot of success with this logo, which has become a household brand in today’s society.
She earned the name of ‘The Logo Lady’ and the Nike word was removed, leaving the Swoosh to stand alone as the brand’s logo. As a female graphic designer, she certainly paved the way and inspired women to take interest in graphic design.
Born in 1929, Jane Davis Doggett was a graphic artist and designer of way-finding and graphics systems for airports. She established her own artistic identity whilst taking influence from Josef Albers (a notable colorist) whose principles of color perception, piqued her interest.
Her first innovation came with the development of a standardized font at the Memphis airport back in 1959.
This became her trademarked ‘Alphabet A’ and such, became a font that was used in many other airport projects due to its readability from long distances.
What makes her a most impressive graphic designer is that she helped design way-finding systems for 40 other major airport projects. That is more than any other designer in the world and her signage and graphics still help many airplane passengers find their way through the airports today.
Jane's designs helped to achieve a lot over time and she has plenty of other notable graphics and design projects.
These include Madison Square Garden, Niagara Falls International Convention Center, and the Whitney Museum of American Art. She is a true innovator, having created something so influential in airports that they still exist in a forever-changing world.
3. Paula Scher
Described as the ‘master conjurer of the instantly familiar’, Paula Scher’s work navigates the line between pop culture and fine artwork.
Paula's work in typography became highly influential. She made her landmark identity in the mid-1990s for The Public Theater and from this, managed to fuse a new symbology for cultural institutions.
Her most recent architectural collaborations have also managed to re-imagine the urban landscape creating a dynamic environment with her graphic design talents.
Paula has a plethora of recognized and reputable brands in her portfolio of work including Tiffany & Co. and Saturday Night Live to name but a few.
4. Susan Kare
Susan Kare is best known as an artist and graphic designer for her interface elements and the typeface contributions she made to the first Apple Macintosh from the years of 1983 to 1986.
After leaving Apple in 1985, Steve Jobs set up NeXT in which Susan Kare worked as a Creative Director. She’s also been a design consultant for Microsoft, Sony Productions, Facebook, and IBM.
Currently at Pinterest, she’s a graphic designer who has been a prominent figurehead of online social media platforms and technology in general. Susan has been celebrated as one of the most significant technologists when it comes to the modern world.
At the tender age of 11, Jessica Walsh was already making headway in graphic design, beginning with coding and designing websites.
Jessica went on to study graphic design later at the RISD. She would begin an internship at the design firm Pentagram and turned down a job at Apple for it.
She worked as an associate director at Print magazine and has had her work featured in the New York Times and the magazine edition as well.
Jessica's experience at Print magazine helped to develop her personal style blending handcraft, photograph, painting, and digital design.
Jessica mainly focuses on branding, typography, website design, and installations. Her daring and surrealistic flourish that’s bold, emotional and provocative, has helped her work with the likes of Levi’s and Adobe.
Gail Anderson was the creative director of Design at Spot Co between 2002 to 2010. This NYC advertising agency helped to create some of the fantastic artwork for Broadway and institutional theater.
Gail's work during her time at the Rolling Stone magazine involved being a designer for the publication and a deputy art director.
Her work is extremely colorful, vibrant, and captivating. And as such, she’s managed to receive a number of awards for her work from major design organizations that include the Society of Publication Designers. Gail's work and lectures have influenced many around the world.
7. Sarah Boris
An award-winning graphic designer and art director, Sarah Boris has managed to gain many notable projects under her belt. She’s also managed to work with some of the very best in the arts and culture venues in London including the Tate, the Barbican Centre, and many more.
Sarah's work is certainly vivid and eye-catching with her designs also being featured in many books and magazines. These include "Types We Can Make", "Designers from Around the Globe" by Stefan Bucher and Natalia Ilyin, and "Made in Bunch."
Sarah specializes in editorial design and identity, which has helped her to refine a very clean, sharp, and colorful design in her work.
8. Ebony Bižys
Ebony Bižys, otherwise known as Hello Sandwich, is an artist, designer, photographer, and blogger based in Tokyo. Bižys worked at Vogue magazine for eleven years and as a Deputy Art Director at Vogue Living.
Since her move to Tokyo, Bižys has managed to art direct books, host solo exhibitions, and was commissioned by Vogue Japan to make artworks for their own publications.
Ebony was featured in many books and magazines whilst also releasing three books that have been translated into six languages. She has certainly managed to show that graphic design can be used across a variety of formats.
Sydney-based designer and AFX artist, Supriya Bhonsle enjoys illustrating and animating characters and has a keen interest in bringing stories to life. Working on a variety of projects, she’s managed to create music videos, television shows, and branded content.
Supriya's works offer a very playful and unique approach to graphic design and her work has allowed her to teach at the UTS Design Summer School as well.
As a storyteller, her designs invoke a feeling of familiarity and comfort. The work is certainly thought-provoking and is a great look into graphic designers and the future.
10. Sylvia Harris
An advocate of good design for real people, Sylvia Harris lived her passions and as such helped to set in motion plans for large-scale public design programs. She worked with many architects and in broadcast media that helped her to eventually build a new design practice.
Handling larger and more complex projects, Sylvia's relentless efforts to explore the tools in a designer’s tool kit never wavered.
She’s most notable for creating groundbreaking work in digital consumer banking systems for Citibank. This set an early standard when it came to human-centered automated customer service.
11. Irma Boom
A Dutch graphic designer, Irma Boom specializes in bookmaking. With over 300 books created, her bold and experimental approach is what makes her work so unique. It often challenges the convention of traditional book designs as well as the printed content.
Irma's been noted as one of the youngest recipients to receive the Gutenberg Prize which recognizes outstanding advancements in the book arts. A selection of her books can be found at MoMA, which is quite an achievement in itself.
Her book-making is certainly an eye-catcher, which is good when there is so much competition to be seen on a bookshelf!
12. Leta Sobierajski
Leta Sobierajski is an independent designer and art director in NYC. She combines traditional graphic design elements and mashes them in with photography and art to style unique visuals.
Leta's work is also incredibly diverse, which goes to show that you don’t have to stick to just one niche area when it comes to graphic design.
From branding, art direction, installations and video, her graphic design experience has been recognized by many and she has worked with the likes of Google, Gucci, the New York Times, and Refinery 29.
13. Adrianne Walujo
Adrianne Walujo is a motion designer and illustrator. She has worked with award-winning animation studios like Jumbla and Creativa.
Inspired by 3D motion, Walujo is working towards 3D motion design to help with her well-thought-out concepts and story-telling talent.
Specializing in design, pre-production, motion design, and illustrations, her hopes are to go into art directing.
Adrianne's work is calming and is seen as something that translates across many languages and generations.
Adrianne is certainly an exciting graphic designer to look out for now and in the future.
14. Marian Bantjes
Working internationally, Marian Bantjes has had plenty of success as a designer, typographer, writer, and illustrator. Her later work is what she has been most notably and internationally known for.
Marian's art and design cross the boundaries of style, technology, and time. She’s detailed and obsessive, and her work emphasized the organic and fluid nature of our world.
Her work has been published in more than 100 books and magazines around the world. Marian has also played a part in many awards as a judge, whilst continuing to do solo exhibitions of her work.
15. Louise Fili
Louise Fili is an award-winning graphic and digital designer. She specializes in strategic brand development and packaging for food products. Over the years, she worked with plenty of famous clients, from Tate’s Cookies to restaurants like the Mermaid Inn and Mermaid Oyster Bar.
As an expert in Italian visual culture, a lot of Louise's work is certainly influenced by the colors and traditional designs of Italian branding.
This, however, has been adapted to work across many contemporary brands, creating a unique and new mix of graphic design. Her work is available at the Library of Congress and Bibliothèque Nationale.
In any career path, we always desire to have someone to inspire us. With that said, these fifteen women have all managed to achieve incredible things that have contributed to the world of graphic design over the decades.
Who knows what tomorrow’s female graphic designers will bring to the table? We can only hope that there is a bright and diverse future ahead for graphic designers across the world. Male, female, and everyone in between. 👩🏽🦳 🧑🏻🦰 🧑🏿🦱