Guest Speaker: Melissa Lang “Female Logo Designers Who Changed The Industry”

Design students across the UK are made up of a 50/50 gender split. Sadly, this isn’t reflected in design career statistics. Women Designers in the past have created internationally recognised branding. It is time again for female designers to step into the spotlight! Let’s showcase some of the incredible talent in the logo design industry.

Are Females Ruling the Design Industry?

There are lots of enthusiast, talented female designers out there, reading this in agreement that there is not enough female representation in the graphic design industry.

Rebecca Wright, Programme Director of Graphic Communication Design at Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London and a writer  from It’s Nice That  has given her opinion on the lack of female identity within the design industry:

“This female domination in graphic design education appears to be reversed when it comes to the graphic design industry.”

The numbers just aren’t adding up when it comes to females in the design industry. Statistics are showing that although there are less working female designers in UK than males, there are many more female design students.

The Famous Nike Design by Carolyn Davidson

Some of the world’s most recognisable logo designs have been designed by women.  Female designers need to be reminded that they are certainly a strong influence in the design industry.

Carolyn Davidson designed the famous Nike “Swoosh” back in 1971 and at the time she was a graphic design student. At the time Carolyn was only looking to earn some extra cash and could never have imagined it’s success. Business Logo Designer, Repeat Logo, has graced the Nike logo in their list of top ten corporate logos ever! They stated that the “The Nike “swoosh” represents the movement of a runner as they jump off the ground.”

Once Carolyn Davidson graduated she continued her work in design as a freelance designer. Initially Carolyn was paid $35 for her work on the Nike logo! Since then she has been given shares in the brand that are now worth $1 million.

Carolyn’s work for Nike is just an example of how a simple piece worth $35. This shows how a female can take-over in a male dominated market like the sports design industry.

The Chanel Logo by Coco Chanel

Chanel is a brand that is adored by female fashion fans from Paris to New York. The timeless, black and white, Chanel CC logo was designed by Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel in 1925.

Coco Chanel wasn’t a graphic designer by trade. However, she did have impeccable eye for fashion design.

It can definitely be said that Chanel changed the Industry with her simplistic logo design. Many believe that the Chanel CC logo was based on Coco and her co-founder Arthur Capel’s initials. There is debate surrounding this as some Chanel followers argue that it was inspired by Château Crémat . Coco Chanel grew up by a Château Crémat in Nice and it can be argued that the design was inspired by stained glass at the Château.

Female Designers: Ones to Watch

On the bright side there are now more female creative students than ever! In a 2013 Guardian survey it was reported that out of 12,930 students at the University of the Arts London, 9370 were female – that works out at a heavy 72.5%.

Furthermore, 61% of students that studied creative arts in UK Higher Education in the UK, were women, great news but where are all of these female designers going?

Anna Kuts 

New York based designer, Anna, has been named one as one of Top 26 Women Designers Working Today. Anna is a graphic designer that specialises in logo design, visual identity, poster, packaging, exhibition and editorial design. She has worked as a freelancer since 2009 and graduated this year in Graphic Design.

Maria Grønlund

Listed as one of Creative Bloqs designers to follow, Maria specialises in logo design and branding. Maria Grønlund works as a freelance graphic designer and is  based in Lystrup, Denmark.

Unlike the other styles featured in this blog she uses vibrant colours in her work creating a abstract, dream-like effect. Maria loves to ” play around with words, colours, shapes, and styles to make all the aspects play together like music”.

Women in The Design Industry

Whether it is logo design, graphic or web  – women in the design industry should encourage each other to share their work! Logo Geek UK have promoted some outstanding work which has been produced by female graphic designer using #CelebrateWomen. Let’s make 2016 a year for female designers to showcase their abilities!

Gender aside, to be successful in the design industry you must be a skilful, unique, adaptable designer but most importantly, you must be visible! If you take anything from reading this article start showcasing your designs today and maybe soon we will see equality in design industry statistics!

Melissa is freelance writer from Glasgow, Scotland. Melissa has a keen eye for all things design and is currently working with business branding experts and Professional Logo Designer, Repeat Logo.

Melissa Lang



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