Who runs the world? …well if any of you enjoy a little throwback to some 2011 Beyoncé pop and R&B (like I do), the answer is ‘girls’. However, if we look at the percentage of women who carve a career and lead in the creative industry, sadly the answer changes to the other half of the population with a staggering 89% of creative director positions being held by men worldwide.

As International Women’s day 2019 rightly suggests our industry needs to find some #balanceforbetter.

So, we take a look at just a couple of standout female designers who have made an impact on everything from graphics to furniture over the past 100 years. These female creative powerhouses shaped design, made history and changed the way we live – so who better to inspire us ladies to keep our creative brilliance flowing.

Ray Eames
A name familiar to many households (or at least our households here at Sema4 towers) is Eames. Ray Eames, wife to Charles Eames, has spent her career experimenting with new designs and materials leading the couple to great success with iconic chair designs that are still sought after today. With many high street and online retailers replicating their designs, within the boundaries of trademarks of course, there’s no higher compliment than everyone striving to be just nearly as great as you. Forever Ray’s champion, Charles famously remarked “Anything I can do, Ray can do better’.

Carolyn Davidson
I think many of us in the industry can recall countless branding meetings in which our clients reference the Nike tick.
Perhaps one of the most astounding tales of women in design is Carolyn Davidson, designer of the Nike tick – now recognised worldwide and found in all corners of the globe. Whilst studying graphic design in Portland, Carolyn offered some freelance support to a local agency. With deadlines looming and her other routes not cutting the mustard, the infamous tick was put forward to the client and Carolyn was paid $35 for her time (roughly $200 in today’s money).

If only she’d known then that she’d just created one of the most recognisably logos of all time!

Paula Scher
Music is a hot topic here in the studio, so who better to mention than Paula Scher. Amongst many of Paula’s creative achievements were her era defining album covers of the 70’s and 80’s. Paula has designed in excess of 200 album covers including covers for the likes of The Rolling Stones, Billy Joel and Boston. She has furthered her successes into this century with her unmistakable identity system for the NYC Museum of Modern Art and continues to lead by example for women in our industry.

With this much brilliance in just a small sample of women, imagine how much more we could achieve with better balance.
“Balance drives a better working world. Let’s all help create a #BalanceforBetter” (International womens day 2019)