Shillington Post 08—The Creative Women Issue

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06 // Interview: Make Room Zine 12 // Designing for Female Empowerment 14 // Advice from Female Industry Leaders

18 // Emily Comfort: Carving Out Time to Create 20 // Creative Boom: 13 Amazing Female Creatives 26 // Graduate Showcase



THE CREATIVE WOMEN ISSUE Cover Artwork // Olivia Chen

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Good design is good design, no matter who’s behind the tools. But—we can’t deny the stats. Design students are 70% female, but when you look ahead to creative directors—only 11% are female. Here at Shillington, we’re curious about that gap. As design education leaders, it’s important for us to get behind all efforts to create an inclusive, supportive and equal playing field for all graduates walking out our doors. Our team champions initiatives to improve gender equality in the industry like Jessica Walsh’s Ladies, Wine & Design, a global non-profit across 250+ cities, Typequality, a platform for discovering and sharing typefaces created by female designers, Never Not Creative’s commitment to calling out sexism in their Creative’s Manifesto and plenty more. In this eighth issue of the Post, we’re joining the chorus to celebrate creative women. Twelve female industry leaders give their advice for the next generation of designers—regardless of gender. Discover surprising stats about females in the creative industry. We interview three amazing Shillington graduates who launched their own zine. Emily Comfort shares a case study highlighting the behind-the-scenes of her design practice. Six teachers pay tribute to a woman who’s influenced them creatively. We explore the legacy of Margaret Calvert, the woman who was responsible for redesigning every single road sign across the UK in the late 1950s. And we recap on striking visual results from our recent International Women’s Day Creative Challenge. We hope this issue inspires all readers. Let’s work together for a future where success has nothing to do with your gender, and everything to do with your drive, initiative and bravery. That’s what matters most. Happy Reading! Andy Shillington Founder and CEO of Shillington

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Inspiration can be found through the creatives we admire and the design community at large. We asked six Shillington teachers to reflect on the female creative who has impacted them the most. The answers we received were broad, ranging from the work of illustrator Malika Favre to Veronica Ditting, Creative Director of The Gentlewoman, to inspiring big sisters, to the entire female “village” around them.

DAVE BIRD PART-TIME TEACHER, MANCHESTER “There are a few people that often spring to mind who I admire and that I think are doing great work, some of which are the big names in design, others are people I know as friends that are smashing it. I think the person that I feel I have admired the longest would be Malika Favre. I have followed her work since the mid 2000s, when she was first producing her super stripped back, stylish and elegant prints for the Airside Shop. It was the first time I had seen a design company champion the talents of its team so openly. Since then I have been following her freelance career and have loved to see how her style has developed and who she has been able to work with. Hearing her talk at Here London in 2016 was humbling and inspiring. How she approaches her work with such enthusiasm and balancing it with living her life is kind of what we all aim for, I think.”

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BEC HUMPHREY FULL-TIME TEACHER, BRISBANE “I take my inspiration from women everywhere—my family, my teachers, my bosses, my friends, the women who fought for equality before I was born... and after! And the women who work twice as long and twice as hard as guys in their respective fields and make a difference but aren’t (or are) recognised for it. One of my students from last term inspired me so much to take illustration back up again as I haven’t touched it in over 10 years! But I guess the woman that influences me the most is me. Sounds corny, but I hold myself so accountable and to a higher level, and that ends up driving me to be better and do better every day!”



“I had to give this question a good think before I answered it. There’s no one path to get to a particular career destination. I believe in the ‘it takes a village’ mentality. I look to many women, particularly black women in my industry, to see how they navigate spaces that often don’t have people that look like us.”

“In creative terms, there is a plethora of women that are storming ahead and breaking the stigma of male dominance that is still, unfortunately, a part of design. To name a few, Morag Myerscough and Camille Walala, who have become powerhouses in their own right, and Danielle Pender of Riposte and Penny Martin of The Gentlewoman, who are taking the lead with innovative and forward thinking magazine design and content.

JOHNNY BOARDMAN FULL-TIME TEACHER, SYDNEY “My older sister is my greatest female influence. Growing up she would protect me from the bullies at school whilst dishing out a healthy dose of ridicule and banter which still keeps me humble to this day. She taught me to stand up for myself and to have an opinion without taking myself too seriously. Qualities that I feel are very relevant in an industry rife with subjective criticism and differing opinions. Stand in front of the things you care about and believe in, but also bear in mind, when it’s all signed off and sent, it’s only design.”

RACHEL BROADERS FULL-TIME TEACHER, LONDON “Veronica Ditting, creative director of The Gentlewoman magazine, is probably my biggest female influence I would say, apart from my own mother. Especially in terms of my own career path and future goals. I saw her speak at a design conference in Dublin in 2015 and I was completely blown away, not only by her work, but her approach, her elegance and her vast and varied achievements in the design industry.”

In graphic design terms, Joy Nazzari (dn&co) and Frith Kerr (Studio Frith) are just two inspirational creative directors that run incredible studios. It’s way too hard to pick just one creative influence, so my answer is many. Also can’t forget my mum and nan—without a doubt.”

“ I take my inspiration from women everywhere—my family, my teachers, my bosses, my friends, the women who fought for equality before I was born... and after!”

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INTERVIEW // Make Room Zine

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INTERVIEW // Make Room Zine

Tell us about Make Room Zine. How it started and what its aims are?

Alex Francis, Nina Hamer and Katie O’Rourke met on the full-time course at Shillington Manchester in 2017. Forming a tight friendship group, they wanted to put their collective minds and creative skills together to create something— something on a topic they knew a lot about: women and their creativity. Like that, Make Room Zine was born. Launching with a sell-out issue in the summer of 2019, the zine is a celebration of female-identifying creatives and a chance for the Shillington graduates to explore their own creativity. We caught up with them to learn more about how Make Room started, the zine’s aims and what the future hold for this amazing project.

After Shillington we wanted to work on something together, and we’re all really passionate about celebrating women and their creativity, so it seemed like a natural fit. The more we were exposed to the creative industry, the more we realised that there was a real lack of women at the top—even though there are so many talented women out there doing amazing things. We wanted to celebrate these women working at every level. A zine seemed like an accessible and cheap way of approaching a personal project, and we’re all really big fans of printed media. We played with loads of different ideas for the name of the zine, but ‘Make Room’ just seemed to say it all—unapologetic, loud and direct in its message. Our aim is to celebrate femaleidentifying creatives, lift other women up and also have space to explore our own creativity. It’s still pretty new, so we’re sure it will evolve loads; moving forwards we really want to feature more women and their work. There’s some incredible content in Issue 1. We were particularly struck by ‘Period Play’—your menstruation board game. Can you explain how this came about? We wanted to do something to highlight ‘Every Month Manchester’, a brilliant charity in our home city which takes action to help alleviate period poverty. Also, the first issue has the theme of ‘beginnings’ and, as periods are a pretty integral part of our lives, we wanted to feature them in some way. Menstruation can still be a taboo topic, which is ridiculous as half of the population bleed, so we wanted to address it in a lighthearted way. We also thought it would be fun to make something a bit interactive! Issue 1 was riso-printed on to some gorgeous paper stock and bound by elastic. Can you tell us your processes and how it was made? How long have you got?! We were lucky enough to have the paper donated by the amazing Jane Crowther at GF Smith, so that was a great start. We looked around for a while and found a risograph printer to rent—which proved a little challenging! We had to teach ourselves how to use it—not the easiest, especially because the laptop we had to use was all in German (so we now know a bit of German printing terminology, useful). We developed a bit of a love-hate relationship with the risograph printer, which we nicknamed Rafael; he had some serious mood swings, with a tendency to get jammed and an outright refusal to print anything half of the time. We eventually saw sense and a little over halfway through the printing (and the best part of a year later) we got in touch with Marc the Printer in Salford, who kindly finished the job off for us and bound and trimmed it all for us. We still had to put the finishing touches on ourselves—including attaching the green and pink cover pages, adding in some postcards we designed and stamping the outer red envelopes. And well over a year after we started, we were finally ready to sell it!

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INTERVIEW // Make Room Zine

How has the first issue been received? We saw you got it into some local shops! We’ve been really pleased with how it’s done! We printed about 80 copies and they’ve all sold, which is amazing. It’s been lovely being tagged on Instagram by people who’d bought a copy and found something in it to relate to. Getting the zine into Magma was an especially surreal moment! We contacted them on the off-chance because it was always our aim to sell it there, but when they agreed to sell it we were pretty shocked! It also sold out in Rare Mags in Stockport and Steep & Filter in Skipton. What can we expect for the future of Make Room Zine? Well we’re getting started on Issue 2 as we speak! The main aim is to get more people involved and celebrate more amazing female-identifying creatives. We want to move into different expressions of creativity beyond our own skill sets—which is where the collaborations will come in. We’ll be on the lookout for writers, poets, photographers and more to work with. We’re planning on having the theme of ‘mistakes’—mostly a nod to the amount of things we did wrong/went wrong of their own accord during the first issue! But we think it’s a theme that everyone will be able to relate to, especially in the creative industry. What’s it been like collaborating with fellow Shillington graduates on the zine? What makes a successful collaboration? We came out of Shillington really good friends, so it seemed natural to work together. We’re close enough to be really honest with each other; it’s no holds barred, and no one’s afraid to voice an idea or have it shot down if it’s not quite right. It’s been such an enjoyable process, even when it hasn’t gone to plan. And that’s mostly down to the fact that we don’t take things too seriously and we’ve never let it become a stressful thing. Weeks, and sometimes months, have passed where we’ve all been really busy and haven’t been able to dedicate much time to the zine; but we’re all really understanding of this and support each other regardless. Can you offer some advice to other graduates who want to start an awesome side project like this? Just go for it and don’t overthink it too much. Collaborating on a project with other people makes a massive difference—you can split the workload, and the ideas you come up with together are usually going to be way better than if you go it alone. It’s natural when you start a side project for it to go through highs and lows and to feel a bit defeated when things don’t go to plan, but if you have other people on your team it’s so much easier to persevere and pick yourself up.

Huge thanks to Alex, Nina and Katie for sharing their incredible project with us! We can’t wait to see how Make Room develops— follow them on Instagram @makeroomzine for updates.

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“ We wanted to work on something together, and we’re all really passionate about celebrating women and their creativity, so it seemed like a natural fit.”

INTERVIEW // Make Room Zine

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STATISTICS // Gender Imbalance in the Industry

We can’t deny it­—the creative industry struggles with gender imbalance. So we decided to dig deeper into the facts to get a clearer picture. And not surprisingly, the numbers give us a glimpse into the bleak statistics around the gender disparity in the creative field. But here at Shillington, we’re hopeful. In the years to come we plan to encourage, support and celebrate positive changes.

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STATISTICS // Gender Imbalance in the Industry

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Deva Pardue is a New York based designer originally from Ireland. She’s currently design director at The Wing and previously worked at The Museum of Modern Art and Pentagram.

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INTERVIEW // Deva Pardue

We talked to Deva about her creative journey, the importance of being part of a creative community and founding For All Womankind, an initiative for female empowerment. Since starting in 2016, the company has been committed to raising money for not-for-profit organizations to advance women’s rights and equality. Tell us a bit about your creative journey, influences and how you got to where you are now? My dad was a designer when I was growing up so I’ve been around design my whole life. That said, I never really considered design as something I wanted to pursue—perhaps because of the familiarity—until I was two years into a psychology major and realized that it wasn’t really what I wanted to do with my life. When I made the shift to graphic design I decided to transfer to the School of Visual Arts and move to New York. I wanted to take Paula Scher’s class and to work at Pentagram—two dreams I somehow made come true. I spent five years at Pentagram and it was like going to grad school, I learnt so much! What are some of your proudest career achievements to date? Landing a job a Pentagram was definitely a proud moment. My dad had always really admired the company too so I was proud to have made him proud! The success of For All Womankind also made me very proud. It’s super cool to have created something that so many people around the world could identify with and use to express their passion and emotions around a subject that’s so important to me—it’s very rewarding to see something you put out into the world make such visibly vast and positive impact. Speaking of For All Womankind, you founded the initiative as a result of the 2016 election. What were your goals when you launched? I launched with just a few posters for sale right after the 2016 U.S. presidential election with the goal of raising money for the Center for Reproductive Rights and Emily’s List. A couple of months later, around the time of the Women’s March in January 2017, I put up free downloads of the Femme Fists illustration for the march. Thousands of people were downloading them, and within three days my Instagram went from 700 followers to 12,000. Then Rihanna grammed it and it just sort of snowballed after that. Since then, I’ve made lots more merch and have been able to raise more than $25,000 for organisations I believe in!

After the now-iconic Femme Fists illustration went viral it was appropriated and used without credit by various fashion brands and corporations. How did you deal with this blatant plagiarism of your work? It’s been a somewhat draining experience that’s resulted in me learning a lot about intellectual property and copyright laws! You know, it’s somewhat expected for images of protest to enter the zeitgeist, take on a life of their own, and inspire similar iterations—that’s kind of how you know it’s made a big impact and to a certain extent, it’s OK, even a good thing. But when a major corporation or fashion brand appropriates the design and uses it to make a profit without getting permission and giving credit it crosses a line—they’re making money off of something that I’m selling in order to raise money for non-profits and that feels really crappy. You’re currently the Creative Director for The Wing, a network of work and community spaces for women. Tell us about that. I worked on The Wing’s branding while at Pentagram and under the direction of Emily Oberman. It was a really fun project from the getgo, the founders had a great vision and the team we had working on it was amazing. When I went freelance I continued working with The Wing on a project by project basis, I was a member at that time so I got to experience it from that perspective which has proven to be really valuable. When they asked me to come on full time it just felt really right—I was connected to the brand both personally and professionally and I really loved the identity we’d created. The opportunity to help shape and evolve that over time seemed like a really great challenge with a lot of potential. It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, I’ve grown so much in the two years I’ve been full time. I’ve learned how to grow and manage a team of creatives, how to walk the line between staying on brand while keeping things interesting and fresh at the same time. The Wing does so many things—environmental design, advertising, experiential, retail, editorial, brand partnerships, etc.—there’s so much variety in the work and we produce so much so it’s very creatively satisfying. Do you think it’s important for women creatives to be part of communities like The Wing, The Yellow Collective, Freelancing Females and Ladies, Wine & Design? I think it’s important for people to have support systems and communities that they can lean on and that help empower them to reach their full potential and that means different things for different people. For me, that manifests in my tight friendship group of women creatives as well as at The Wing.

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“ I think it’s important for people to have support systems and communities that they can lean on and that help empower them to reach their full potential and that means different things for different people.”

INTERVIEW // Deva Pardue

ADVICE // Tips for New Designers

The shameful statistic that only 11% of creative directors in the design industry are female should never take away from the fact that there are a lot of incredibly talented women working in the industry —from those who have just graduated to industry leaders.

We asked twelve well-respected female industry leaders one piece of advice for fresh graduates. Hopefully their leadership, guidance, and encouragement can help shift the stats for our next generation. 1. Kate Galle Creative Director, Design Bridge “Seek advice from people in the industry, go to talks and events, sign up for portfolio reviews, then listen to what you get told and act on it. Try not to be too precious with your work—you’ll likely become too close to your own work to be able to judge it objectively. In interviews you need to sell yourself as much as your work, so let your personality come across. Your work got you through the door, now they want to get to know the person who created it.” 2/3. Melissa Deckert & Nicole Licht Co-Founders, Party of One Melissa—“Pay attention to the things you find yourself revisiting in your work and hone those instincts. If you enjoy making things by hand, are drawn to coding and UI or love retail and understand how to sell products, don’t fight the feeling. Practice and build a portfolio that reflects those interests. With that, you’ll be in great shape to find a job that won’t make you hate Mondays, or start your own freelance career/business with a really strong voice.” Nicole—”I feel most comfortable straddling art, illustration, and design. This has made my career thread less linear. For a young aspiring designer, my advice would be to not worry so much about your path or title, you most likely will change course several times over the next few years, working in mediums and with technology you could not have predicted. I am all for goals but also an advocate for being open to unexpected opportunities. Ultimately, there’s no real concrete finish line to race towards.”

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ADVICE // Tips for New Designers

4. Tea Uglow Creative Director, Google’s Creative Lab

8. Alex Naghavi Executive Creative Director, Josephmark

“I don’t know what is going happen. None of us ever do. Even when you’re in charge.

“Embrace what makes you different. Why compete to do the same thing as everyone else, when you can find your niche and totally own it? For women and people from minority groups— particularly in this industry—we have the advantage of a different voice and perspective. Embrace that. Speak up. Be seen. And create work that challenges the status quo.”

Certainty. Stability. Security—these are desirable in your life, but also unnatural. You have to work so hard for them and you will never really know if you have them. Whereas if you can embrace uncertainty and work with it, everything becomes much easier. No one really knows much after all.” 5. Paige Hanserd Designer, Philadelphia Museum of Art

9. Shannie Mears Head of Talent, The Elephant Room

“Trust your gut and try and not fit into a mold of what you perceive a good designer is. Your creativity is unique to you and it’s what will take you far!”

“There’s so much noise in this world, but you have to remember you’ve got superpowers—all the things that make you different. Be proactive, never think anything is the end destination, work smart and be a nice person to the people you meet, because you never know when you might need them.”

6. Cat Burgess Strategy Director, Frost* Design

10. Lauren Hom Freelance Lettering Artist, Illustrator and Designer

“Women are often credited with having better intuition than men. I’m not sure if that’s true, but I’m a big believer in trusting your instincts. When you have a feeling about an idea that’s super strong, throw yourself into it one hundred percent and don’t hold back. Belief is contagious and when you really believe in something others will too. The same is true for developing your own confidence. Be truly expert in what you do because that way you will never doubt yourself and can be confident you’re giving good advice. Too many people these days want to cut corners and rise up the ranks too fast. It’s important to stay humble and inquisitive without being a wallflower or self-deprecating, which are behaviours we are often taught as women. I heard Julia Gillard say recently that ‘men are judged for their potential, but women are judged based on what they have done before’. So be sure to build the experience that takes you where you want to go­— and then don’t hold back on putting yourself forward.”

“Follow your gut and make sure you follow through on it! If there’s something that interests you, try it. If you have an idea for a weird project, make it. If you don’t like something, change it or remove yourself from it. Try, learn, refine, repeat. You’ll grow the most by doing not thinking, worrying or dreaming. Never forget that you are in the driver’s seat of your life and career.”

7. Verena Michelitsch Freelance Designer, Art Director and Illustrator “Be open to keep on growing, iterating and learning. Listen carefully to feedback from all sides and filter out the most valuable points. Also, create boundaries and have a strong foundation and reasoning behind the work you present. These days it’s not that hard to make things look good quickly and on a superficial level. The work that I find most interesting reflects the inherent character of a brand/product/matter in a particular way. As a woman, there’s this expectation to be perfect which is put upon us from a young age, while men/boys were/are inherently given more liberty to fail. I definitely carry a bit of an imposter syndrome and still feel I’m not good enough at times. But the reality is that perfection limits creativity and failure is what you can learn from most!”

11. Amanda Ngozi Ogeah Business Director, The Champion Agency “There’s so much pressure on students to have a fool-proof plan for the future post-graduation—with teachers, parents and friends all chipping in with their thoughts and advice on how best to do this. In reality, it’s false to assume that what may have worked for them from a career progression perspective will work for you. Purely because we’re all so different in terms of our own individual passions, drivers and motivators. So I guess my advice is to not listen to my advice (or anyone’s for that matter), but instead to make decisions based on what you think is right for you at that moment. And most importantly, to make this decision with your heart as well as your head.” 12. Maud Passini Creative Director, Maud Passini Studio “Everything takes more time than you think. May it be reaching the goals that you’ve set yourself, or wrapping up a presentation you’re about to show, you have to be patient and give yourself time.”

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CASE STUDY // Carving Out Time to Create

Shillington New York teacher Emily Comfort shares her inspiration and creative process for collages.

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CASE STUDY // Carving Out Time to Create


I have always been drawn to old magazines, postcards and photos. My collage work is a product of me interacting with objects and images that interest me—mostly American magazines from the ‘60s and ‘70s. Collage gives me a reason to collect and spend time with these things. Themes I think a lot about the power of media to influence our values and perspectives, a power which extends across multiple generations. Femme Maison refers to Louise Bourgeois’s paintings of the same name, which examine the home as an essentially female place for women to explore ideas about female identity. For decades, mass media has told young women how to (among many other things) decorate their homes and they have subconsciously passed these expectations onto their children. By weaving images of women into the fabric of the idealized rooms advertised in mass media, I’m visualising the lasting impressions of our mothers­—and of their magazines. I think it would be wise for us to occasionally pause and consider how the media we passively consume (or create!) might affect the next generation. Inspiration In 2015 my husband and I were on a long road trip around the U.S., and along the way I started grabbing free magazines, pamphlets and small town newspapers. One day, on a whim, I decided to try collaging with some of this stuff I had collected. Later I realised that I had been missing a solid creative outlet for a few years. When I was in school I did a lot of painting and drawing outside of the time I spent designing on the computer, and when I started my career I accidentally fell out of the habit. Now I prioritise my personal creative time. I’m inspired by many things­—going to museums, being in nature, talking with my friends, personal memories, current events, politics, music, photography and history. When I want to create something but I don’t have a specific idea in mind, I turn to music as inspiration. I have a playlist of songs that give me a certain feeling. I play a song on repeat while I work, until I have made something that feels connected to the song. Process I start by flipping through my magazines looking for anything that catches my eye. After I get an idea of the images I like, I either cut them out or bookmark them until I’m ready to cut. Some images feel so precious that I have a difficult time cutting them out, but I’m aware of how abundant all of this junk is, piling up in antique stores and basements all over the world. I have to remind myself that I am recirculating these images to people who otherwise would have never seen them, and I am presenting them in a context that hopefully stirs some thought and reflection, which helps me move forward. I repeat this process many times, cycling through my stack of magazines before I start grouping things together in piles or possible compositions. Sometimes I glue things down right away, sometimes years pass before I commit to glueing them down. When I’m ready to share or reproduce a piece, I photograph it and do some basic photo editing. Occasionally I experiment with Photoshop techniques to further expand on an idea. Over the years my work has evolved to involve other people. Collaging started as a creative outlet for me outside of my day job as a designer. Now I work on freelance projects that sit somewhere in that blurry area between art and design, which I think is a really interesting space to explore.

Find out more about Emily Comfort’s work and stay up to date on her collage and design projects at

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INSPIRATION // 13 Amazing Female Creatives

If you work in a creative discipline, it’s important to check out the work of others


in your field, to help you get inspired and generate new ideas of your own. Earlier in the year, to celebrate International Women’s Day, we teamed up with Creative Boom to put together a selection of awesome female graphic designers and illustrators who are worth following. Our list covers a wide range of disciplines, different approaches and levels of experience, but everyone here has a knockout portfolio that’s well worth checking out.



1. Jane Bowyer @bowyerjane

2. Daniella Ferretti @daniella.ferretti

Jane Bowyer is a graphic designer and illustrator based in Manchester, UK. Previously senior designer at Raw Design Studio, she now works as an independent designer, illustrator and consultant. Her practice balances playfulness with purpose, to deliver work that is both beautifully crafted and leaves a lasting impression. She is also the curator and creator of Women in Print.

Daniella Ferretti is a Chilean illustrator who currently lives and works in Barcelona. Represented by Anna Goodson, she has a colourful, conceptual style of illustration that mixes digital shapes with organic textures and is inspired by nature, travels and daily life.

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INSPIRATION // 13 Amazing Female Creatives




3. Petra Eriksson @petraerikssonstudio Born in Stockholm and based in Barcelona, Petra took a journey via Dublin and Malta on her way to becoming an illustrator. Working mainly in Adobe Illustrator, she creates bold imagery that’s awash with bright colours and anchored with strong compositions.

4. Gabriella Tato A graduate of Shillington New York, Gabriella Tato is now working as a designer in the city. Although her primary focus is UI design, she also has a background in UX, front-end development, and journalism. Winner of both AGDA and GDUSA Awards, she’s currently working as a product designer at MoneyLion.

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5. Magda Ksiezak @okaykiosk Born in Poland but raised in Australia, former Shillington teacher Magda Ksiezak is a graphic designer and illustrator based in Melbourne. She’s best known for her papercraft wizardry, and she has created intricate paper-based sculptures and animations for clients including Dulux, Perrier, Pizza Hut, Starbucks and The Melbourne Museum.

INSPIRATION // 13 Amazing Female Creatives





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INSPIRATION // 13 Amazing Female Creatives


6. Anastasiia Vinnichenko @art.vinni

9. Estefi Panizza @estefipanizza

Anastasiia is a graphic designer with illustration and animation skills, based in Manchester. An AGDA 2018 award winner and Shillington graduate, she’s currently working at Toy Fight design agency whilst continuing to pursue self-initiated projects.

Estefi Panizza is a graphic designer from Buenos Aires who’s now living in East London. Before studying full-time at Shillington London, she founded her own studio, Cascabel, which works in the field of music, advertising and cultural programming. She now works in her first post-graduation position at Design Bridge.

7. Marcea Decker @_badpenny Marcea Decker has spent the last few years in New York working with small ad agencies, digital media companies and start-ups. However, the majority of her experience comes from designing within the nonprofit world. She’s also a musician and artist and does incredible line in hand painting with bleach on t-shirts and other textiles. If you want to learn more from her, she’s a teacher at Shillington New York.

8. Jennifer Yoo @jenkyoo


Born in Korea, raised in Hawaii and currently living in Brooklyn, Jennifer Yoo graduated from Shillington New York last year and was selected by Jessica Walsh as one of the winners of the TDK Awards 2018. Walsh described Yoo’s portfolio as: “Unexpected, fun and experimental, I love how different each project was. Jennifer’s folio is well executed, and she shows off each brand nicely without overdoing it.”

10. Shyama Golden @shyamagolden Shyama (it rhymes with llama, and the Y is silent) Golden is a visual artist currently based in Brooklyn. Oils are her preferred medium, but she also works digitally on the iPad Pro, which allows her to create seamless patterns and looping animations.

11. Leila Bartholet @leilabartholet Recent Shillington graduate Leila Bartholet works as a graphic designer for Chandelier, a creative, media and branded entertainment agency based in New York. She also does freelance work including album designs, brochures, posters, and gifs and recently worked on a political project for Austin City Limits.

12. Eleanor Hardiman @eleanorhardiman Eleanor Hardiman is an illustrator and designer from Bristol. With a distinct, modern and clean illustrative style, she has worked on a variety of national and international projects including magazine editorial pieces, book covers, promotional materials, packaging and illustrated windows.

13. Camila Pinheiro @illustratorcamilapinheiro Camila Pinheiro is an illustrator, artist, and mother living in São Paulo, Brazil. She studied fashion and design in São Paulo and worked for Dior and several agencies before opening her own studio. Her influences range from Magritte, Matisse and Mondrian to Alexander Girard. She’s just created the illustrations for So Here I Am, a new book by Anna Russell and dedicated collection of seminal speeches by women from around the world.



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LEGACY // Margaret Calvert: Read at Speed

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LEGACY // Margaret Calvert: Read at Speed

Can you name something you see every day? Road signs? They’re seemingly so mundane that it’s easy to forget that they’re one of the most used pieces of graphic design in the world—and designing them is an incredibly ambitious project. Who designs these road signs? In the UK, the job was given to Margaret Calvert, a fresh graduate at the time who went on to become arguably one of history’s most important designers. Her work in the ‘60s for the British government is one of the country’s biggest and most successful graphic design jobs ever— and has continued to influence designers ever since. Planes, Trains and Automobiles Calvert started off studying illustration at London’s Chelsea College of Art—and was actively dissuaded by her professor from learning typography. She excelled and constantly impressed her teachers, but she really wanted to be a designer so added commercial art to her studies. In the 1950s, graphic design wasn’t something you could study. Luckily that professor left and was replaced by Jock Kinneir, who had worked for the influential Design Research Unit before opening his own practice in 1956. Kinneir’s practice was hired in the 1960s to design the signage for the extension of London Gatwick Airport. He turned to one of his fresh graduates, Margaret Calvert, for assistance despite her never having actually designed anything before. Calvert’s first brush with information design, and indeed graphic design itself, led to, after extensive research, the iconic black type on yellow directional and information signs used across the airport. Calvert’s signs are still used at Gatwick today and widely emulated at many other airports across the world—from Newark to Abu Dhabi. Kinneir quickly snapped Calvert up for a position at his firm. Signs of the Times Calvert became keen on lettering, working for British companies P&O Ferries and the now defunct Milk Marketing Board, before embarking on one of Britain’s biggest design jobs of all time. A bit of background: In 1957, the Anderson Committee was formed to review the signage for the country’s growing motorway system and, six years later, the Worboys Committee did the same for all road signs across the country. They decided every single road sign across the UK—from tiny country roads to the new M1 motorway—had to be redesigned. These signs had to be uniform, be easily readable from a car and be easy to read at speed. Kinneir’s firm at this point became Kinneir Calvert and Associates— as the two worked together to completely redevelop the system of signs. Calvert designed three major elements for the new signs: pictograms and two typefaces. The pictograms had to be able to convey a message or warning without using words, so effortlessly understandable symbols were key—this meant white on black, framed by a red border. And, there was a lot of them: Calvert designed signs for, but not limited to, trains, people at work, motorbikes, left turns, right turns, frogs, helicopters, falling rocks, tanks, old people and, of course, cows. Nice little add-on—Calvert’s cow is designed after Patience, her favourite cow growing up.

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Calvert also designed two typefaces for the new road signage system—Motorway and Transport, both of which were developed so that they could be easily read at speed and to eliminate confusion between characters. Motorway, the first to be designed, comes in two weights—Permanent (standard weight) and Temporary (heavier) and had a limited character set: the numbers 0-9, the capitalised letters [M, A, B, N, E, S, W] a comma, an ampersand and ‘Toll’ (expressed as a single character). Transport similarly has two different forms, Medium and Heavy, the second of which is a boldfaced version of the other—used depending on the colour of the sign. It contains both capital and lowercase letters, all numbers and a limited number of symbols. Calvert also created a new spacing system for her two typefaces, which improved the appearance and readability of the typefaces to drivers. Conquering the World Despite criticism from Traditionalists and rigorous legibility testing, Calvert’s designs for the UK’s road signage were incredibly successful. Her typefaces and pictograms remain in use on every road sign in the UK to this day and Transport has been adopted for road signs in countries around the world. To name a few, Greece, Hong Kong, Ireland, Tanzania and Portugal. Middle Eastern countries, including the UAE and Kuwait use the typeface for any latinised words on their signs. Denmark and Norway both use modified versions of the typeface, Vejtavleskrift and Trafikkalfabetet respectively. And, finally, James Montalbano’s Clearview Highway, a typeface used on road signs in around 30 U.S. states, was heavily influenced by Calvert’s Transport. Calvert’s designs have become so ubiquitous, not only across the UK but on a global scale, that it’s easy to glaze over just how ambitious and influential the project was and remains to be. It was a redesign for every road sign across the UK, all British Overseas Territories and some Commonwealth states—Calvert, who had only been out of college for a few years, designed a typeface and pictograms that were going to appear on literally thousands of signs. Calvert and her designs defined a country’s travel network, especially if you consider she also designed the Rail Alphabet which was used across British Rail’s and Sealink’s, the former British ferry company, entire networks. She made her very literal mark on information design the world over. On top of this, less than half a century after women’s suffrage in the UK, Calvert was designing one of the biggest graphic design projects in the world at the time—working at the forefront of an industry that was male-dominated and, in some respects, continues to be. Calvert was a trailblazer, as both an information designer and a female designer and this should never be understated.


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GRADUATE SHOWCASE // Oyinkan Karunwi

Oyinkan Karunwi came from Nigeria to study as a full-time student at Shillington New York. She has a background in business advisory and corporate law and now runs her branding and design studio, Aseda, with the goal of helping companies form connections and create impact.


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GRADUATE SHOWCASE // Carolyn Hawkins

Carolyn Hawkins studied printmaking at university before coming to study part-time at Shillington Melbourne. She is a multidisciplinary creative— an artist, illustrator and designer who also works as an art technician and runs her illustration practice, while finding time to play in two bands.


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GRADUATE SHOWCASE // Juliette van Rhyn


Juliette van Rhyn studied in London as a part-time student. Prior to Shillington she worked as a textile designer for many years before deciding to transition to graphic design. She now freelances and has collaborated with her Shillington teacher George Simkin.


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SHOWCASE // The Future is Female



For International Women’s Day 2019, we set a challenge for our Shillington graduates and teachers to design something to celebrate and raise awareness for gender equality. We encouraged everyone to think outside the box and loved their concepts and execution. Ranging from bold illustration to striking custom lettering and photo collage—they really took on the challenge. Here, we’re excited to share some of the amazing results from our


graduates and teachers.

1. Shanti Sparrow, Shillington Teacher @shanti_sparrow

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2. Jimmy Muldoon, Shillington Teacher

SHOWCASE // The Future is Female





3. Lorik Khodaverdian, Shillington Graduate @lolokhod

4. Sydney Ligouri, Shillington Teacher @sydneyligouri

5. Mary Lin, Shillington Graduate @mary_m_lin

6. Alexandra Francis, Shillington Graduate @alexefrancis

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7. Alan Barba, Shillington Teacher @alan_barba_


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