4 Pioneering Women In Design

Here are 4 women in design that you may not have heard of, but you should know. Each of these women have impacted their industry and left an everlasting imprint in the world of design. Some may even have impacted your lives without you realizing it.

Susan Kare

Susan Kare

An artist and pioneering graphic designer who created many of the interface elements for the Macintosh computer in the 1980s. Her icons helped define the graphical user interfaces we all know and love. She was also one of the original employees of NeXT (the company formed by Steve Jobs, working as the Creative Director. Kare designed her early icons on graph paper and it’s much of her work can still be viewed today, including at exhibitions. Great design is indeed universal and Kare’s success lands her on our list as one of many women we’d like to recognize.


Lynda Susan Weinman

A U.S. business owner, computer instructor, and author, who founded an online software training web site, Lynda.com with her husband, Bruce Heavin. If you’re in the industry and have not heard of Lynda.com you’ve likely been living under a rock! The website provides a treasure trove of online courses and video tutorials within a wide range of subjects including development, design, photography, business, 3D Animation and much more. The website is terrific educational resource for a variety of important subjects and offers monthly subscription plans for those seeking to enhance their education and know how. Lynda.com was acquired by online business network LinkedIn in April 2015 for $1.5 billion.

Weinman changed the way our industry professionals educate themselves. The website empowers the individual to learn new skills from the convenience of their home and at their own pace. Multiple skills can be learned, all in a similar and easy to use format. The concept and user experience for providing online tutorials has been used on countless other websites.

In fact, some of the tutorials were even used by our Founder Isadora Marlow-Morgan, when she was first starting her design and development career in Los Angeles back in 2001.

Carolyn Davidson

Carolyn Davidson

A graphic designer best known for designing the Nike “swoosh” logo. Easily one of the most recognizable and iconic logos in the world, Davidson designed the “swoosh” back in 1971. Talk about withstanding the test of time. Phil Knight settled on the “swoosh” after rejecting various other mockups. For Carolyn’s services Nike (or Blue Ribbon Sports, Inc as it was called at the time) paid her a mere $35. The rest as they say is history! The logo highlights the power behind minimalist design, A megatrend that still impacts the way designers create impactful work.

Paula Sher

Paula Scher

An artist and graphic designer and the first female principal at Pentagram. She has been at the forefront of graphic design for several decades and started her career as an art director in the 1970s. Scher has taught at the School of Visual Arts for over two decades and has held teaching positions at Yale, and Tyler School of Art. She is a recipient of the National Design Award, AIGA Medal, and Type Directors Club Medal. She went to college thinking she was going to be a painter, but then she discovered graphic design. Through Pentagram her work expertise continues to influence graphic designers and the design created for wide range of global brands such as Tiffany & Co., Dell, Nike, Timex, Citibank, and United Airlines to name just a few.

These women in design may not have known that the dots would connect the way they did, in such a powerful and lasting manner. But that didn’t stop them from impacting the design world. Who will be the next woman to make a lasting impression in design? While we can’t say with certainty, something tells us the examples will be in abundance.

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