5 Women Type Designers

I recently wrote a blog post about struggling to be able to name 5 Women Graphic Designers, which has inspired to continue researching women who may have been overlooked in the history of graphic design. I have decided to turn this into a series of blog posts highlighting different groups of women within the world of graphic design. I hope you enjoy following along, but most of all I hope it inspires you to seek out and appreciate female designers.

Typography must be the MOST male-dominated area of graphic design, so here are 5 women type designers:

1. Zuzana Licko

Zuzana Licko with her husband Rudy VanderLans. Image via

Zuzana Licko with her husband Rudy VanderLans. Image via

Ever since I was first introduced to graphic design, I heard everybody say how bad digital type looked and how it was impossible to make it look any better. This really intrigued me. Whenever anybody makes a statement like that, I have difficulty agreeing.
— Zuzana Licko

Zuzana Licko (pronounced Litchko), was born in Bratislava, Czechoslovakia and emigrated to the U.S. in 1968. She earned an undergraduate degree in graphic communications from the University of California at Berkeley. When Rudy VanderLans, her partner, launched the graphic design journal Emigre, Zuzana became their resident type designer contributing bitmap fonts she created herself using public domain software. EmperorEmigre and Oakland appeared in the magazine and were soon advertised for sale when VanderLans and Licko co-founded the Emigre foundry. She went on to design other well-known typefaces, my favourite being Mrs. Eaves, a classical serif font that was a reinterpretation of Baskerville and Bodoni. 

Left: Oakland font, Right: Mrs Eaves, both designed by Zuzana Licko. Image via

Left: Oakland font, Right: Mrs Eaves, both designed by Zuzana Licko. Image via

 

2. Jessica Hische

Photo by Edyta Szyszlo.

Photo by Edyta Szyszlo.

I'm sure a lot of you are already familiar with Jessica Hische and her beautiful work, so I don't feel like I need to give her much more of an introduction! Jessica is a letterer, illustrator and type designer with a drop dead gorgeous portfolio. Here are some of the typefaces she has designed:

 

3. Freda Sack

Image via

Image via

Freda Sack is a British type designer and typographer, and one of the principals of The Foundry type design partnership. She has fonts included in the Letraset, International Typeface Corporation (ITC), and Linotype libraries. 

Paddington by Linotype

Paddington by Linotype

Stratford EF™ by Elsner+Flake

Stratford EF™ by Elsner+Flake

 

4. Emanuela Conidi

Image via

Image via

As someone who has read – and still does – some typography-related history, I can safely say there are more women in type design today than ever before.
— Emanuela Conidi

Italian Emanuela Conidi was the first female type designer at fontsmith, a London-based independent type design studio. I couldn't much else about her online, but here is an interview with her with more examples of her work.

FS Blake, Emanuela Conidi's first published font

FS Blake, Emanuela Conidi's first published font

I never experienced any difficulty or discrimination. Neither did I ever feel held back nor was my opinion taken less seriously because I was the only female designer. And quite frankly I wouldn’t have expected it either.
— Emanuela Conidi, on working at fontsmith
FS Albert Arabic

FS Albert Arabic

 

5. Fiona Ross 

Image via

Image via

Dr Fiona Ross, is a typographic consultant, typeface designer, lecturer and author, specialising in non-Latin scripts. She worked for Linotype Limited (UK) from 1978-1989 where she was their first female manager and was responsible for the design of their non-latin fonts and typesetting schemes, in particular those using Arabic and Indic scripts such as Devanagari. Typefaces designed personally by Ross (such as the Linotype Bengali) or by her team remain among the most widely used typefaces in the relevant parts of the world, they're equivalents of Times and Helvetica. She is currently an Associate Professor in Non-Latin Type Design at the University of Reading and Curator of the Department’s Non-Latin Type Collection. Most recently, Ross was presented with the SoTA (Society of Typographic Aficionados) Typography award at TypeCon 2014 in DC.

Adobe Thai

Adobe Thai

Linotype Bengali

Linotype Bengali