WOMEN GRAPHIC DESIGNERS Sílvia Matias
WOMEN GRAPHIC DESIGNERS Segunda metade do século XX
Sílvia Matias 4797
WOMEN GRAPHIC DESIGNERS
Emigre Fonts & Magazine
• Excerpt from essay by Ellen Lupton from Pat Kirkham, ed. Women Designers in the USA, 1900-2000. London: Yale University Press, 2000 • “Underground Matriarchy in Graphic Design,” essay by Laurie Haycock Makela and Ellen Lupton, published in Eye magazine, 1994. • VIT, Armin, Women of Design: Influenced and Inspiration from the Original Trailblazers to the New Groundbreakers, F&W Publications Inc., 2008 +EXPOSITION • ELLES@Centrepompidou Artistes and Designers femmes dans les collections du Musée national d’art moderne http://www.centrepompidou.fr/Pompidou/ Manifs.nsf/0/44638F832F0AFABFC12575 290030CF0D? http://www.eyemagazine.com/review. php?id=168&rid=876
•HELLER, Steven, Design Literacy: Understanding Graphic Design, Allworth Press,U.S.A, 2004. • FARRELLY, Liz, April Greiman: Invention and Experiment, Thames & Hudson Ltd, 1998 • HELLER, Steven, Design Literacy: Understanding Graphic Design, Allworth Press,U.S.A, 2004. • POYNOR, Rick, No More Rules - Graphic design and postmodernism, Yale University Press, New Haven, 2003 SITES: • sítio oficial: http://aprilgreiman.com/ • blog oficial: http://blog.aprilgreiman.com/ • AIGA: www.aiga.org/content.cfm/ medalist-aprilgreiman • MAXBRUISMA “THE WAY OF THE MOUSE” http://maxbruinsma.nl/index1.htm
• VANDERLANDS, Rudy, “Emigre” No. 70 the Look Back Issue: Selections from “Emigre” Magazine 1-69. Celebrating 25 Years of Graphic Design, Gingko Press, Inc, USA, 2009 • HELLER, Steven, Mertz to Emigre and Beyond: Progressive Magazine Design of the Twentieth Century, Phaidon Press Ltd, 2003 INTERVIEWS: Étapes magazine (France). Publishedzin 2010.Interview conducted between 2007-2009 by Pascal Béjean SITES: • sítio oficial da revista: wwww.emigre. com • sítio oficial das fontes: www.emigre. com/fonts • Critical Conditions: Zuzana Licko, Rudy VanderLans, and the Emigré Spirit by Michael Dooley http://www.aiga.org/content.cfm/ medalist-zuzanalickoandrudyvanderlans
SHEILA LEVRANT DE BRETTEVILLE
• ARMSTRONG, Helen, Graphic Design Theory? Princeton Architectural Press, 2009 • LUPTON, Ellen, Thinking with type: a critical guide for designers, writers, editors and students, Princeton Architectural Press, USA, 2006. • LUPTON, Ellen, Mixing Messages, Princeton Architectural Press, New York, 1996 • MEGGS,Philip B.,History of Graphic Design , John Wiley and Sons Ltd, 2006 • McCoy,Katherine, McCoy, Michael, CRANBROOK DESIGN: THE NEW DISCOURSE, Rizzoli, 1991 • HELLER, Steven, Design Dialogues, Katherie McCoy on Design Education, York: Allworth Press, 1998. INTERVIEWS: • Katherine McCoy: After Cranbrook, interview with Rick Poynor, published in Eye magazine nr16, 1995 SITES: • Expanding Boundaries By Lorraine Wild http://www.aiga.org/content.cfm/meda listkatherinemccoy?searchtext=katheri ne%20mccoy
• Looking Closer 3: Classic Writings on Graphic Design, edited by Michael Bierut, et al., p. 238-245. New York: Allworth Press, 1999. • LIVINGSTON, Isabella, Dictionary of Graphic Design and Designers, The Thames & Hudson, London, 2003. • Sheila Levrant de Bretteville: Dirty Design and Fuzzy Theory,” interview with Ellen Lupton, published in Eye magazine, 1992 • Brumfield, J. “Sheila Levrant de Brettevill (interview with Yale’s new director of the graduate program on graphic design).” Graphis v. 47 (March/ April 1991) • “Good Design Is Feminist Design” Sheila L. Bretteville with Jessica Svendsen, Yale, April 2009 www.broadrecognition.com/arts/gooddesign-is-feminist-design-an-interviewwith-sheila-de-bretteville VIDEO INTERVIEW: • Sheila Levrant de Bretteville 1990 Stanford University, Los Angeles, California www.lib.stanford.edu/women-artrevolution/sheila-levrant-de-bretteville-1990 _ • Woman’s Building History: Sheila de Bretteville (Otis College) | http://www. youtube.com/watch?v=AGJUbYc5O98& feature=player_embedded • Woman’s Building http://womansbuilding.org • “Woman’s Building Turns 15.” High Performance , Fall 1988, p.8
• McQUISTON,Liz, Women in Design: A Contemporary View, Rizzoli International Publications. • Head to Hand: Reading the Book Designs of Lorraine Wild, by Andrew Blauvelt, Emigre 45: Untitled, edited by Rudy Vanderlans, Winter 1998 INTERVIEWS: • Otis MFA Graphic Design Lecture: Lorraine Wild: http://www.youtube. com/watch?v=7JFkTBPWx60 Interview, Lorraine Wild with Ellen • Lupton, July 1, 1994. An edited version of this interview appears in the book Mixing Messages: Graphic Design in Contemporary Culture. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 1996. SITES: • http://www.aiga.org/content.cfm/ medalist-lorrainewild • http://www.greendragonoffice.com/ • http://www.designobserver.com/
MIXING MESSAGES WOMEN GRAPHIC DESIGNERS 07
WOMEN GRAPHIC DESIGNERS In contrast to the 1910s, the women’s movement of the 1960s and 1970s viewed itself as a counterculture phenomenon, appearing within the context of the battle for Civil Rights, the protest against the war in Vietnam, the international student upheavals of 1968, and the sexual revolution. Feminism’s “second wave” unfolded within-and sometimes against-the anti-Establishment freedoms promoted by these movements. Posters, buttons, and bumper stickers, carrying such slogans as “Women’s Liberation is the Revolution” and “Women Are Not Chicks” suggest that feminism was its own battle within the broader counterculture. During the last quarter of the twentieth century, women played a central role in building the discourse of graphic design. During this period the profession came of age both as a recognized business and as a field of study in university art and design programs, including at the graduate level. Women were no minority among the educators, critics, editors, and curators who defined the theoretical issues of the time. Schools and museums provided accessible platforms from which women could influence the direction of graphic design.
A current retrospective at the Pompidou in Paris proposes a remarkable a l t e r n a t i ve . Called ‘Elles@ centrepompidou’, it features the work of 200 women artists worldwide, among them some of the graphic designers included in Women of Design, such as April Greiman and Irma Boom, and some that are sorely missing: Lella Vignelli, Zuzana Licko and Lorraine Wild. Centro Pompidu
In the mid-1980s, the insistence of something called subjectivity wedged open the tight rightness of “good” design. The radical efforts of renegade modernists such as April Greiman, Sheila de Bretteville, Lorraine Wild, and Katherine McCoy, however different from one another, created, for a moment, a powerful underground matriarchy that upended formal constraints and validated personal content and gesture. Ten years ago, “good” design still meant objectivity, obedience, cleanliness, and correctness. Into that impossible modernist environment, these women placed the concept of subjectivity. Messy, permissive, full of idiosyncratic logic, and essentially feminist in nature, subjectivity is at the heart of the explosive avant-garde in American graphic design today. The book, a physical artifact and a medium of communication, offers an appropriate opening for a survey of women graphic designers. Today, women are among the most influential designers of American books, having forged key paradigms in the exterior packaging and internal architecture of jacket and page. Across the twentieth century, women found opportunities to work in the publishing world‹as editors and authors as well as designers. Many of the women already discussed in this essay as key practitioners also were influential educators, including Cipe Pineles, who taught during the 1960s at Parsons School of Design; Lorraine Wild, a professor at California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, California; and Sheila Levrant de Bretteville, who in 1990 became director of the graphic design program at Yale University School of Art. De Bretteville’s appointment at Yale signaled changes and rifts within the design world. Since the late 1950s, the Yale program had been entrenched in high modernist theory, associated in particular with the work and philosophy of Paul Rand, a legendary corporate designer and stalwart defender of modernist ideals of direct communication and simple form. De Bretteville arrived at Yale advocating a more socially oriented, critical approach to design that would address the needs of multiple audiences.
Rand resigned after de Bretteville’s appointment and convinced other key faculty to do so as well. In an angry manifesto published in the AIGA Journal of Graphic Design, Rand railed against the violation of modernism by screaming hordes of historicists, deconstructivists, and activists. Katherine McCoy, co-director of the design program at the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, from 1971 to 1995, promoted ideas of postmodernism
Behind each of these challenges to modernism stood a powerful woman: behind historicism was Paula Scher, behind deconstructivism was Katherine McCoy, and behind activism was Sheila L. de Bretteville. and critical theory in relation to typographic practice. She developed pedagogical exercises that converted modernist grids and letterforms into vehicles of personal expression, grounded in vernacular, rather than universal, forms. She and her students developed a model of “typography as discourse,” drawing on post-structuralist literary theory, that posited the reader as an active participant in the communications process. Designers at Cranbrook employed layers of texts and images to create complex, deliberately challenging compositions. McCoy’s 1980 poster “Architecture Symbol and Interpretation,” created with Daniel Libeskind, shows how the theory of postmodernism that was gripping the architectural community was finding its own life in the field of graphic design. Neoclassical forms are deployed in an unsettlingly Surrealist manner and are titled with letters that are modernist in their individual form yet willfully disconnected in their spacing Many of McCoy’s Cranbrook students became prominent teachers and practitioners. Lucille Tenazas, working in New York and then San Francisco, was a student at Cranbrook in the early 1980s. Her 1986 brochure for Springhill engaged neoclassical geometry, photographic imagery, and flat, decorative patterns.
MIXING MESSAGES WOMEN GRAPHIC DESIGNERS 09
Nancy Skolos is a Boston-based designer whose 1987 poster “Fonts,” produced with photographer Thomas Weddell, plays elaborate games with space, pattern, and dimensionality . Laurie Haycock Makela and P. Scott Makela created the poster “Sex Goddess” as a student project in 1989, revealing the turn towards more harsh direct imagery that took place at Cranbrook at the end of the 1980s. The Makelas succeeded Katherine McCoy as co-directors of the school’s two-dimensional design program in 1997. Since Scott Makela’s death in 1999, Laurie Haycock Makela has filled the post on her own. When Lorraine Wild arrived from Houston in 1985 as the new chair of the visual communications program. Soon after, two more Cranbrook graduates—Jeff Keedy and Ed Fella—joined the faculty. Within a year, the fires were set. nformed by theory and history, Lorraine set a tough standard for critiques that often mocked conventional design standards of meta-perfection and problemsolving. The students’ formal and critical skills developed within an authentic and radical contemporary art environment. The rigorous exchange between Cranbrook and Cal Arts and the emerging influence of Emigre magazine (and Zuzana Licko’s typefaces) all helped create a dizzying centrifugal force for our times, a virtual supernova in design evolution. All the while, Eric Martin and Scott Makela presided like magicians over the MacLab, introducing one and all to the wonders of new design technology. The success of Sheila’s approach depends on keeping a serious distance from stylerelated design trends. Her students shun design competitions as the irrelevant beauty pageants they tend to be. She distrusts pure form-making without commitment to a larger issue. For some designers, however, the bigger issues can only be expressed in abstract, formal terms. April Greiman often criticized for creating an “empty” kind of beauty—wraps her talent around global themes: the overlapping of science, technology, and spirituality. “I am not a feminist”April Greiman (...) Rebeca Mendez is another designer who built a remarkable career while working
within an institutional setting. Born and raised in Mexico City, she studied design at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California.23 While serving as the school’s design director from 1991 to 1996, she created numerous publications and posters for the school and other institutions. Mendez combines typography and photographs in delicate, permeable layers, exploiting the possibilities of digital production in ways that engage the physicality of surfaces. A very different exploration of technology is witnessed in the career of Muriel Cooper, who founded the Visible Language Workshop, part of MIT’s Media Lab, in 1975. While Cooper’s untimely death on May 26, 1994, is a profound loss for the community of designers, her work will be carried forward by the institution that she created and the people she inspired. I was fortunate to spend time with Cooper and her students less than two weeks before her death, none of us imagining how short her future would be. She was a brilliant designer and a generous person whose ideas have a long life ahead of them. Muriel Cooper: “I would like to see systems with enough intelligence and with enough rich graphical vocabulary that a designer could interact with technology in an empowered way.” The modernist design establishment has never been a solid edifice it was always threatened from without by consumerism and mass culture, and pressured from within by the vanguardist obsession with individualism and novelty. In recounting the rise of subjectivity in design, it’s important to remember that men as well as women opened the back doors of the discipline. Wolfgang Weingart, Dan Friedman, and Gert Dumbar fueled the unleashing of typographic form in the 1970s and 80s, often working side by side with the “matriarchs” heralded in this essay. The current fascination with radical personalities (male or female) continues a long lineage of avant-garde confrontations that traditionally have been led by men.
MATRIARCHY invokes the values associated with feminine culture(...) cultivating instead of conquering, nurturing instead of selfpromotion.
APRIL GREIMAN (1948) Aluna de Armin Hoffman, Wolfgang Weingart e Weingart e pelo Estilo Internacional.
ZUZANA LICKO (1961) Fundou a revista Emigre com RudyVanderlands e criou a Emigre Fonts.
KATHERINE MCCOY (1945) Designer, educadora, conhecida por seu trabalho como co-presidente do programa de pós-graduação de Design de Cranbrook Academy of Art . SHEILA LEVRANT DE BRETTEVILLE (1940) Artista, designer e educadora, fundou o “Woman’s Building”. É designada como Feminista.
LORRAINE WILD Canadian-born American graphic designer, writer and instructor.
ESCOLA DE BASILEIA KUNSTGEWERBESCHULE EMIL RUDER ARMIN HOFMANN WOLFGANG WEINGART Desconstrução na Tipografia e no Design Gráfico
“April Greiman levou as ideias desenvolvidas em Basileia para uma nova direcção particularmente no uso da cor e da Fotografia. Tudo é possível nos EUA.”
University of California at Brekeley
FLUXUS BOOK INDUSTRIAL DESIGN SOCIETY OF AMERICAN ESSAY ID MAGAZINE
JAYME ODGERS - Fotógrafo
Assistente de Paul Rand
LAYERS OF MEANING TIPOGRAFIA EXPERIMENTAL PIONEIRA NA CONSTRUÇÃO DIGITAL - XEROX |DIGITAL |MACINTOSH DESIGN QUARTELY VIDEO
RUDY VANDERLANDS EMIGRE MAGAZINEY Edição nº 3 marca a diferença
FONTES BITMAP EMPONER OQKLAND MATRIX MODULA
PROJECTO GRÁFICO DE ALUNOS
MICHELE MCCOY MCCOY & ASSOCIATES MCCOY
CRANBROOKY Cartaz de divulgação do Curso
visual intuitive holistic simultaneously IMAGE
COMUNICAÇÃO DIGITAL DAVID FREJ ED FELLA ALLEN HORRI
READ verbal rational linear following TEXT
Durante o último quartel do século XX, a tecnologia electrónica e a informática avançaram a um ritmo extraordinário, revolucionando muitas áreas da actividade humana. O Design Gráfico foi irrevogavelmente transformado pelos computadores e o consecutivo avanço tecnológico. Design auxiliado e influenciado pela tecnologia.
USA _ SEC.XX
SHEILA LEVRANT BRETTEVILLE
LORRAINE WILD “More than afew questions about Graphic Design Education”
THE WOMAN’S BUIDINGY THE DIGITIAL JOURNAL IN 1983 GRAPHIC DESIGN IN AMERICA GRAPHIC DESIGN: LOST AND FOUND
ENSINOY TEORIA DO DESIGN Y
TED Talk MEDIA LAB VLW BAUHAUS Book
IDENTITY DESIGN PACKAGING DESIGN PUBLICATION DESIGN ENVIRONMENT GRAPHICS
DESIGN DE INTERFACE
PRINT and GRAPHIS Magazine
IRMA BOOM BOOK DESIGN
APRIL GREIMAN American graphic design has come so far in the last few years that it is hard to recapture what it was about April Greiman’s work that made it so startling to viewers in the late 1970s. The devices she made her signature - the complex pictorial spaces, mysterious details, and dense layering of elements - have been seen so often in other people’s work that very little of their shock value remains. By comparison with the typographic experiments of a more recent generation of designers, Greiman’s early, postBasel innovations look modest, while her emphasis on feeling, emotion and exploring her own “personal agenda” has evolved among those who followed her into an extreme subjectivity of content and form. The technology she was one of the first graphic designers to endorse and explore - the Apple Macintosh - is everywhere now.
Today, Greiman is one of the profession’s most celebrated figures and even the elder statesmen who once viewed her work with bafflement have come round to her cause. Greiman’s term for such designs is “hybrid imagery”. This encapsulates both the collaging process which is the basis of all her work and the fusion of related technologies (photography, Xerox, video, or Macintosh) to make a single design. Greiman’s approach is essentially additive. She doesn’t refine and simplify her message until she reaches some unambiguous essence. Instead, she layers together a set of possibilities or options, then leaves the viewer to sort them out “Am I making a more meaningful message by reducing and simplifying it,” she asks, “or am I making a more meaningful message by throwing it all in?”
MIXING MESSAGES WOMEN GRAPHIC DESIGNERS 13
[Hybrid Imagery: images that have been put through a series of technological ‘seeves’ becomming alienated by the proces: paradoxical forms of technology-bitten images and of technology-become-image - this way incorporates a level of content that doesn’t result in directly readable information, but nevertheless is of eminent importance to Greiman’s work]
“The more I enlarged and blew up those sharp-edged structures, the more the program would break them up into more and more beautifull little colored buildings! That was the architecture of the computer! So I asked the paintbox operator to save this image and he said that he couldn’t do it; this was precisely what the program according to its design was forbidden to do! It was designed to show no pixels or sharp edges. So I had a photo made - a photo of the monitor image!”
‘Is a landmark not only in technical terms, but as a selfauthored, cosmological statement that depended on electronic tools for its conception and realization and exuberant uncompromised digital sensibility!’ Rick Poynor
Poster Snow White + the Seven Pixels, 1986, April Greiman
I think I am a unique bridge between two generations: my whole education came from teachers of the Swiss School, and after graduating I went to Basel. So among other things I’ve learned to handset type... To embrace, comming from such a craft-like education, the Mac is at first sight quite shocking! (Greiman is an important inspiration to young ‘New Wave’ designers, through educational activities at CalArts and Cranbrook. But her fame is not exclusively connected to the computer; Typical of her work are the evocative layerings of images and reproduction techniques, and the combinations of images and texts from very divers sources. Though such a working method is easier to handle on a computer than with cutting, pasting and photographing, it’s not exclusively tied to digital imagery - it’s more about a way of seeing and speaking, that is encouraged by the tool: not 2-d and static, but 3-d and dynamic.) “The computer is the first tool that mimics our consciousness. It reveals itself through its own language and thereby it encourages creative dialogue, and assists intuition and chance.“When I bought my first Mac I thought I’d bought a tool, but now it has develloped I realise I didn’t buy an instrument, but I bought myself into a process! This is an important metaphore: we’re moving in the direction of a processoriented approach.”
With Greiman, American graphics began to repair its broken relationship with art Her legacy can be seen in the work issuing from CalArts, where she was director of the visual communications programme from 1982-84, and in the experimental graphics produced by students and graduates of the Cranbrook Academy of Art If Greiman’s work has sometimes been dismissed, discounted or just misunderstood, it is more a measure of its originality and piercing X-ray eye on the times than of its failure as “design”.
Video and early computer resolution were looked down upon by the industry, it was found course and hard and cold. But I wondered if this texture couldn’t be of value after all... “For a time I did my best to show the natural language of this instrument, so that you can see how different the texture of this medium is, how different it speaks to you. I made it a point to show these differences in texture, in the language of the tool. “
MIXING MESSAGES WOMEN GRAPHIC DESIGNERS 15
Design Quarterly n133 (1986) was no ordinary magazine. Although disguised as a common
G REIMAN USUALLY PR EF ER S TO CONCENT RAT E ON TH E
thirty-two pages magazine format, upon open- TECH NICAL MEA NS BY WH I C H ing the issue unfolded accordion style until, A DESIGN WAS ACHI EV ED; S H E when finally extended and opened, it meta- IS UNUSUA LLY MET I C U L OU S, I N morphoses into a sigle-page poster. mesur- FACT IN H ER DOCUM EN TATI ON ing approximately two by six feet. Edited by OF T H ESE P ROCESS ES (TH E Mildred Friedman, in 1985, Design Quarterly DESIGN QUA RT ERLY POS TER , invited April Greiman, a pionner of computer generated design, to design an issue of the magazine about her work. Steven Heller
FOR INSTANCE, H A S EX TEN S I V E PRODUCTION NOTE S ).
ZUZANA LICKO One of the pioneers of the new fontography is Zuzana Licko, who started designing typefaces in 1985 for use in Emigre, the homespun culture tabloid founded in 1983 by her husband Rudy VanderLans, a former page designer for the San Francisco Chronicle. Designing on the early Macintosh before the advent of sophisticated page-layout programs, WYSIWYG, and HyperCard was itself a feat of ingenuity, but seeing beyond computer limitations required a vision born of that proverbial mother necessity. Licko’s plunge into the design of coarse-resolution type was prompted by a need to overcome the conformity of Mac default faces and to create a distinct identity for the fledgling magazine (not, at that time, recast as the clarion of postmodern graphic design, which is its legacy today). What Emigre became for graphic design culture is underscored by Licko’s contribution to the history of digital-type founding; the Emigre venture proved trailblazing on two fronts. Lickos early designs—including her initial typefaces (c. 1985) called Emperor, Universal, Oakland, and Emigre—further helped launch the unique type business Emigre Graphics (later Emigre Fonts), which spawned today’s indy digital-type industry.
MIXING MESSAGES WOMEN GRAPHIC DESIGNERS 17
“As it turns out, bitmap fonts were the perfect place for me to start learning about type design because I love the buildingblock approach” She continues: “As graphic designers, we enjoyed the newfound ability to test and implement the faces direcdy within our design work.” Of course, the results were primitive and decidedly of the moment. Yet, at the moment, few could predict whether or not Mac-generated bitmap type would slowly wear thin. Eventually, a new standard emerged.
Working with the newly invented Macintosh computer and a bitmap font tool, Licko began creating fonts for the magazine. Emporer, Oakland, and Emigré were designed as coarse bitmapped faces to accommodate low-resolution printer output. They were used in issued two, and, after several readers inquired about their availability, she began running ads for them in issue three. 1987, Licko contsructed more fonts with bold, simple geometry, such as Matrix and Modula. “It’s funny: when I look back on my work over the last twelve years, I realize that at first I had trouble getting people to take my work seriously, while now I have trouble getting them to stop copying my work.”
“ For those who experienced firsthand the digital-type revolution that began in the mid1980s, it was nothing short of liberating. At first the I characters made for the computer screen were blocky and bitmapped, as if they were boxes inked on graph paper, which indeed they were in the digital sense. The constraints imposed by nascent computer software, seventy-twodot-per-inch computer screens, and dot matrix printers gave rise to letterforms that were both functional and aesthetically limited. Nonetheless, the very idea that designers could compose and create their own type spurred an initial frenzy for custom alphabets that ranged from sublime to ridiculous. “
Emigre was originally intended as a cultural journal to showcase artists, photographers, poets, and architects. The first issue was put together in 1984 in an 11.5” by 17” format by VanderLans and two other Dutch immigrants. Sincere there was no budget for typesetting, the text was primarily typewriter type that had been resized on a photocopier.Working with the newly invented Macintosh computer and a bitmap font tool, Licko began creating fonts for the magazine. Emporer, Oakland, and Emigré were designed as coarse bitmapped faces to accommodate low-resolution printer output. They were used in issued two, and, after several readers inquired about their availability, she began running ads for them in issue three. 1987, Licko contsructed more fonts with bold, simple geometry, such as Matrix and Modula.In 1989, the fonts had become enough of a commercial success that Licko and VanderLans gave up freelancing and concentrated exclusively on their own business. Emigré, which had been published erratically, settled into a quarterly schedule.In 1995 Emigré reduced its page size to more conventional magazine proportions and adapted a relatively staid, conservative appearance. Licko’s ascendance in a primarily male-dominated profession and her bypassing of traditional training have been an inspiration to a generation of font designers with access to computer technology. The market has been deluged with knockoffs of her style.
R e s p e c t e d typographers now publicly acknowledge the legitimacy of Licko’s font designs. Matthew Carter, a 1995 AIGA gold medalist, commented, “Two ideas seem to me to stand behind the originality of Zuzana’s work: that the proper study of typography is type, not calligraphy or history, and that legibility is not an intrinsic quality of type but something acquired through use.” Licko’s ascendance in a primarily maledominated profession and her bypassing of traditional training have been an inspiration to a generation of font designers with access to computer technology. The market has been deluged with knockoffs of her style.
MIXING MESSAGES WOMEN GRAPHIC DESIGNERS 19
WHAT IS YOUR PROCESS WHEN YOU DESIGN A TYPEFACE? WE UNDERSTAND THAT YOU DON’T WORK BY HAND? I do virtually all of my design and production directly in the computer. I’ve been using Fontographer since the beginning. Today I use RoboFog, a special version of Fontographer, which is scriptable with the Python programming language. The scripting allows the type designer to customize functions and streamline repetitive tasks.While I work primarily on screen, sometimes I begin with rough thumbnail sketches, which may give me an idea of the proportions or a detail of a character. Twhen I start by trying out various shapes and serif details directly in the Fontographer drawing window. Usually, the only hand drawing wI do is on laser printouts, to mark areas that need adjustment, or to sketch alternate forms. Then I eye-ball the corrections on screen. You designed your first font (the Yes, but it was more about learning how to greek alphabet) on a computer, be- use a computer than about the design. This fore your experience on the Mac? was before I started studying design, so I didn’t know anything about letterform design. From the top of our heads, we can only list a handful of women font designers - Susan LaPorte, and uh... that’s it. Do you know some others? Do you think being a woman is an issue, or a handicap in this men’s practice? Do you think design has a gender? Do you have the feeling you brought a specific feminine touch to type design ?
Well, there’s Sibylle Hagmann, whose typeface family Cholla was released by Emigre. And there are other women working in type design. But maybe women are taught to be less pushy than men, and are therefore not as adept at self promotion. Maybe it’s not as important for them to always be in the spotlight. And maybe women’s careers get compromised when they take time off to make families. But I’m just guessing. You can ask yourself, whose fault is it that you know of only one female designer? (..)
What do you feel about Emigre fonts and Emigre magazine’s impact on design? Now that the magazine has released its final issue, things seem to be more quiet. Do you think it was more of a “flavor of the decade” thing, or did it have a deeper influence? We have our answer, but what’s yours?
Emigre magazine ran for 23 years. That’s more than just a decade. And history will judge what Emigre’s influence on design was. I think Emigre magazine is a time capsule of an exciting time in design’s history that we were privileged to experience and participate in. But it’s difficult to address such questions about the value of our body of work because we’re still working. We haven’t retired. We are still full of energy, we’re looking into the future, and our days are filled with new, exciting projects and creative challenges of all kinds.
Étapes Magazine Interview
KATHERINE MCCOY “Experience design branding applies user experience and scenario building to create powerful branded charater “ After 24 years one of America’s best known design educators is leaving Cranbrook Academy of Art Katherine McCoy was born in Decatur, Illinois, in 1945. She studied industrial design at Michigan State University before joining Unimark International in 1967. She went on to work at Chrysler Corporation and Omnigraphics Inc. In 1971, McCoy became co-chair, with her husband Mike McCoy, of the design department at Cranbrook Academy of Art, which they continued to direct until 1995. By the 1980s, their sometimes controversial programme had established itself as one of the most innovative in American design education, producing a stream of graduates who have gone on to make their own mark in the profession. Their company, McCoy & McCoy, has worked on two- and three-dimensional projects for Formica, Xerox, Unisys, MIT Press, Philips, Tobu Stores Tokyo and other clients. McCoy is a past president and fellow of the Industrial Designer’s Society of America and an elected member of the Alliance Graphique Internationale. She served on the Design Arts Policy Panel of the National Endowment for the Arts and chaired the Design Arts Fellowships Grant Panel. In 1994. the McCoys were jointly awarded a Chrysler Award for Innovation in Design. ‘Cranbrook Design: The New Discourse’, an exhibition of work by McCoy, her students and graduates, wtravelled to New York and Tokyo in 1991. She has written widely about design and education, and her teaching methodology has featured in many international publications; including Eye (no. 3 vol.1). .‘The complewxity I’m interested in is complexity of meaning. I’m not so much interested in the layers of form as the layers of meaning’
MIXING MESSAGES WOMEN GRAPHIC DESIGNERS 21
“ The McCoys were free to reinvent the programs in 2-D and 3-D design however they wanted. Katherine recalls that she combined the “objective” typographic approach that she knew through professional practice with an interest in the social and cultural activism that was in the air in the late ’60s. One early recruitment poster for the program features text that describes the goals of the design program in almost completely Utopian terms, combined with a collage that reproduces fragments of provocative design from both the professional and avant-garde design traditions of the twentieth century. THE BEGINNING OF THE MCCOYS’ PROGRAM AT CRANBROOK CAN BE SEEN AS PART OF A WAVE OF ACTIVITY IN U.S. DESIGN PROGRAMS THAT WAS DIRECTED TOWARD MORE HIGH-LEVEL EXPERIMENTAL WORK.
Over the years Katherine designed a lot of material for the Cranbrook educational community, quarterly magazines, catalogues, and posters, along with other projects that she and Michael produced as McCoy & McCoy. Within the tradition of the atelier there were many opportunities for students to collaborate with Katherine on the design of works that were actually realized.(..) And Katherine’s ongoing work outside of Cranbrook, Cranbrook, with its orientation toward public education, such as the Design Michigan project of 1977, the Colorado Native American Heritage poster project of 1978, or the Fluxus book of 1981 constantly set the example of work that worked, both formally and conceptually, for its audience.
ART/ SCIENCE; MYTHOLOGY/ TECNOLOGY; PLURAL/ PLURALISMO; VERNACULAR/ CLASSICAL
O departamento de design de Cranbrook Academy of Arts, em Michigan, cuja direcção foi compartilhada pela designer Katherine McCoy com o seu marido, o designer de produtos Michael McCoy, de 1971 a 1995, tornou-se um íman para pessoas interessadas em expandir as fronteiras da área. Na época uma pequena escola de pós-graduação, com 150 alunos em nove departamentos, a Cranbrook sempre enfatizou a experimentação, ao mesmo tempo que rejeitava a uniformidade na filosofia e metodologia adoptadas. O corpo docente incentivava os alunos a buscar seus próprios caminhos e a interagir com outros envolvidos em pesquisas similares. Katherine comparava a Craanbrook a “uma comunidade tribal, intensa e envolvente”. Durante os 24 anos de Katherine na Cranbrook, o currículo evoluiu de uma abordagem racional e sistemática influenciada pelo Estilo Tipográfico Internacional, passando pelo questionamento dos limites expressivos desse estilo. O cartaz que fez par a Cranbrook desafiava as normas dos impressos de divulgação da faculdade e demonstrava uma complexidade de forma e significado. Rompendo com as noções vigentes, simples e reducionistas da comunicação. McCoy sobrepunha diferentes níveis de mensagens visuais e verbais, exigindo que o público deecifrasse.
Cranbrook Academy of Art tornou-se um centro de ponta do design experimental dos anos 1970 ao ínicio de 90. Katherine desenvolveu o modelo de “tipografia como discurso” na qual o designer e o leitor interpretam activamente o texto de um autor. Ao redefinir a tipografia como “discurso”, a designer Katherine McCoy implodiu a tradicional dicotomia entre ver e ler. Imagens podem ser lidas (analisadas, decodificadas, isoladas) e palavras podem ser vistas (percebidas como ícones, formas e padrões). Valorizando a ambiguidade e a complexidade. O seu método desafiou os leitores a produzirem os seus próprios significados, procurando elevar o status dos designers no processo do autor.
MIXING MESSAGES WOMEN GRAPHIC DESIGNERS 23
Katherine McCoy Cranbrook Academie - poster 1989
Muitos foram os programas de formação com base em nas escolas de arte e universidades - com referência em Cranbrook - que se tornaram importantes para a redefinição da disciplina por meio do discurso teórico e da experimentação com a nova tecnologia.
Rick Poynor: In
the 1980s theoretical ideas assumed considerable
importance at the Academy. How did that come about? We always encourage students to read. It is an unstructured programme so we have never had courses with official reading lists. Instead, because of the personal nature of each student’s programme, they independently construct their own focus. Part of the students’ goal for the two years is to develop their own conceptual strategies as designers.
We encourage them to capitalise on their strengths, to become aware of their natural abilities, but also to incorporate external ideas for conceptualising. We are continually looking for additional theories. Also, in the 1970s we brought the structured planning processes developed at Illinois Institute of Technology into the design department.The department is fortunate to have a really good fine art photography programme next door to us in the same building, where they are also very interested in visual theory. Fine art photography was the first field to apply post-structuralism to visual media, such as the idea that you can read a photograph and decode it. In the mid to late 1970s there was a move away from minimalism, but it was mainly a formal investigation influenced by people like Weingart and April Greiman.
SHEILA LEVRANT DE BRETTEVILLE Graphic designer and teacher concerned with visual presentation of social issues, particularly relating to women. Graduated in art history from Bernard College, New York, 1962. She created the first design PROGRAMME for WOMEN at California Institute of the Arts (1971) and founded the women’s
The Woman’s Building” (1973), a centre
Graphic Center at “
for female culture in Los Angeles.
MIXING MESSAGES WOMEN GRAPHIC DESIGNERS 25
WOMAN’S BUILDING http://womansbuilding.org
DE BRETTEVILLE HAS BECOME AN OUTSPOKEN DESIGNER AND EDUCATOR
As a feminist who participated in the rebirth of the women’s movement in the 1970s and its critical refinement in the 80s, de Bretteville believes that the values culturally associated with women are needed in public life. She wants designers to begin listening to different voices, and to forge more attentive and open structures that provide opportunities for others to be heard. She wants to move design toward proactive practice instead of focusing solely on corporate service. ... De Bretteville has been met largely with support and hope. While most faculty and alumni have affirmed her inclusive definition of design, others have been outraged. Paul Rand, who had been a member of the faculty since the late 50s, resigned on principle, and convinced his long-time colleague Armin Hoffmann to do the same. In an angry manifesto published in the AIGA Journal of Graphic Design (Vol.10 No.2 1992), Rand railed against the violation of modernism by screaming hordes of historicists, deconstructivists, activists, and other heretics. Behind each of these challenges to modernism one can name a powerful woman whose voice threatens the stability of Rand’s carefully guarded ideals: behind historicism stands Paula Scher, behind deconstructivism stands Katherine McCoy, and behind activism stands Sheila de Bretteville. In the conversaton that follows, de Bretteville talks about the new program at Yale and the values it promotes. Perhaps de Bretteville’s philosophy reflects a global shift in the design profession, or perhaps it will catalyze such a shift, just as the program of Eisenman, Rand, and Hoffmann helped redirect the currents of American design practice.
AND AN INFLUENTIAL THE
ORIST OF FEMINIST DESIGN, WHICH SHE DEFINES AS
“GRAPHIC STRATEGIES THAT
WILL ENABLE US TO LISTEN TO PEOPLE WHO HAVE NOT
BEEN HEARD FROM BEFORE.
How is the new program at Yale different from what proceeded it? (...)It is important to me that this program be personcentered. The students are encouraged and empowered to put and find themselves in their work. My agenda is to let the differences among my students be visible in everything they do. In most projects not just in thesis work it’s the students’ job to figure out what they want to say. You studied at Yale thirty years ago. A lot has happened since then—the protest movements of the sixties, the feminist revolution of the seventies, the theoretical research of the eighties.
FEMINISM IS ABOUT
ENABLING THOSE VOICES TO
MIXING MESSAGES WOMEN GRAPHIC DESIGNERS 27
How have the conditions changed that once made modernism seem viable? I will never, never, never forget to include people of color, people of different points of view, people of different genders, people of different sexual preference. It’s just not possible, any more, ever to move without remembering. That is something that Modernism didn’t account for. Modernism did not want to recognize regional and personal differences. People who have given their whole lives to supporting the classicizing aesthetic of modernism feel invalidated when we talk about this necessary inclusiveness, but this diversity and inclusiveness is our only hope. It is not possible to plaster over everything with clean elegance. Dirty architecture, fuzzy theory, and dirty design must also be out there. Many women my age are afraid of the word “feminism,” even though we might support its principles. You’ve suggested that feminism is not just for women, but that it’s an attitude for including everybody. Do you think that feminism could be a design philosophy for the nineties, an aesthetic and ethical attitude that could help fill the void left by modernism? I believe that gender is a cultural fiction—not a biological given—but we are not there yet. While we have had many accomplishments in the last twenty years, racism and sexism are still rife. Some responses to my presence here really do come because people attach what I do to the fact that I am a woman. Those things have to become detached. But until we are able to detach gender from the ways we are in the world, it’s important for us to move toward equality. Moving toward equality is what the word feminism means. Until that’s true, we can’t give up the word. Feminist design is in an effort to bring the values of the domestic sphere into the public sphere; feminist design is about letting diverse voices be heard through caring, relational strategies of working and designing. Until social and economic inequities are changed, I am going to call
Pink is Childish - Cartaz - Sheila Levrant de Bretteville
GOOD DESIGN FEMINIST DESIGN. » You ended one of your publicized conversations with designer Ellen Lupton with “Good design is feminist design.” Is that still the case? Do you have a changed perspective over the years, especially as feminism has changed? Yes, because it is also how the notion of good design has changed. Both have changed. I just felt that Yale was known for good design, which was very much aligned with modernist design at that point. So I was trying to open up the design, trying to open up the fem inist design. A statement, like that, out of context, requires a lot of unpacking. Both around what is “good” and what is “feminist.”
LORRAINE WILD Insightful, gifted, and ever mindful of the professional conscience, Lorraine Wild has changed both the face and voice of graphic design in the United States. Her accomplishments are unequivocal. From the inception of her career, she has brought her considerable intellect and creativity equally to graphic design practice, education, and history. Fluently traversing the realms of design and writing, of personal sensibility and social circumstance, Lorraine recognizes design both as a body of knowledge and a pursuit of knowledge. Canadian-born, but a life-long American resident, Lorraineâ€™s career was indelibly stamped by her years at Cranbrook Academy of Art in the influential design program run by Katherine and Michael McCoy. During this time, she began her research on the history of American graphic design, which led to her graduate studies at Yale University and a lifelong pursuit of the latent possibilities in design history. While at Yale she designed Perspecta 19, Yaleâ€™s architectural journal.
MIXING MESSAGES WOMEN GRAPHIC DESIGNERS 29
In all of her work, Lorraine continues to explore and extend the parameters of practice to encompass
of literacy, be it in politics, in art, in architecture, or in the
“The pressure on the young designer is not to become a star, a master or mistress of the universal, but to become a participant in the communication process, a co-conspirator, a coauthor, maybe even an author/designer.” - This is a role she has effectively modeled in her practice and her teaching.
significance of the ephemera of daily life. as
historian and writer, have been, and are, vital to the growth of this discipline and will be felt through the continuation of generations.
Always alert to the vagaries of culture that inform how design operates and how it is understood, Lorraine’s work continues to generate new, considered models of practice, of thinking, and of design itself. In furthering design as an intellectual and creative discipline, she does not flinch from raising questions that challenge the evolvingdiscipline of graphic design. Increasingly influential, she has now found a forum to share her ideas with a vast audie In all of her work, Lorraine continues to explore and extend the parameters of practice to encompass a wider notion of literacy, be it in politics, in art, in architecture, or in the significance of the ephemera of daily life. Her contributions as an educator, practitioner, historian and writer, have been, and are, vital to the growth of this discipline and will be felt through the continuation of generations. nce as a regular contributor to the online journal “Design Observer.” •Mies
in America by Phyllis Lambert (Canadian Center for Archichecture/ Whitney Museum of American Art). •Perspecta, No.19 Yale Arquitectural Journal, MIT Press, 1983. Culture and the New America:1956&andash1956 by Allen Ginberg, Harry N.Abrams (Whitney Museum of America Art)
Várias foram as mulheres no segundo quarteto do século XX, que se dedicaram ou que de algum modo influenciaram o Design, não só gráfico mas também nas múltiplas vertentes, tais como o ensino, design de interfaces, design de produto, entre outros. Estes são só alguns dos nomes daquelas que de lutaram
Sheila Levrant de Bretteville
Elaine Lusting Cohen
pelo design...muitos outros ficam por acrescentar.
CHERYL MUNOZ BATRICE WARDE ELSA SCHIAPPELLI LISA GROCOTT MIEKE GERRITZEN EVA ZEISEL DIANA VREELAND ELKO ISHIOKA
SONIA DELAUNAY HENRIETTA CONDAK
ELIZABETH COLWELL ARLINE OBERMAN CHERYL SWANSEN DETROIT WOMEN’S LIBERATION RAP GROUP (1970/71)
LEILA VIGNELLI ROSEMARIE TISSI
SHARON POGGENPOHL CHRISTINA STETTHEIMER YOLANDA CUOMO
LI EDELKOORT LYUBOV POPOVA
ALL THE WOMENAT WILLOUGHBY DESIGN GROUP FOR THE LAST 30 YEARS
MIXING MESSAGES WOMEN GRAPHIC DESIGNERS 31
LYNA STALEY EVA ZELSEL
MARIBEL MARTINEZ JANIS JOPLIN MARIA ROBLEDO PATTY WAGSTAFF DOROTHY PARKER MAYA LIN MARTHA STEWART
MARTA GRAHAM COCO CHANEL
BRIGID CABRY NELSON
MARGARET MEAD DEMISE GONZALES CRISP
Lorraine Wild CIPE PINELES
” VÁRIAS FORAM AS MULHERES QUE SE TORNARAM LÍDERES E IMPUSERAM O SEU LUGAR NO DESIGN E NO MUNDO ” Sheila Levrant de Bretteville - 1990