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GDUSA Magazine's Official Blog

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Guest Post by John Clifford

Today, women make up around half of the graphic design profession. This wasn’t always the case. I wrote Graphic Icons: Visionaries who Shaped Modern Graphic Design to highlight the pioneers of the field, from El Lissitzky to Stefan Sagmeister. It surprised me that so many of the historic designers I considered influential were male. Fortunately, there were several women who challenged the status quo and paved the way for today’s female designers. Here are a few:

Cipe Pineles  (1908–1991)

Women of GD_Pineles
Charm cover, 1954; Charm fashion spread, 1957

When Cipe Pineles was looking for her first design job in the 1940s, prospective employers were interested in her portfolio—until they learned that the unusual first name belonged to a woman. She kept at it, though, and eventually became art director at Glamour in 1942, the first female to hold that position at a major American magazine.

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1990-january-vignelli
Massimo Vignelli, considered by many as one of the world’s great designers, is very ill and will be spending his last days at home. His son Luca would like all those who were influenced or inspired by him to write him a letter.

Here is my letter to Massimo that I will be sure to mail to him as well:

I was lucky beyond words. You were the first real graphic designer I ever met. I was 6 years old and you were visiting my father, who was then the publisher of Print Magazine and getting ready to start Package Design Magazine, on which you were a consultant.

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glaser

Jan 1974

Philadelphia: For the first time since its inception, the Polycube, the top annual award of the Philadelphia Art Director’s Club, went to a person in the graphics field, Milton Glaser, head of Pushpin Studios and design consultant of New York magazine. Milton Glaser was chosen because the board felt that he represented “one of the strongest single influences in graphics and the total communication arts industry.” 

We couldn’t agree more! GDUSA readers named Milton Glaser the most influential designer of the past half-century in in a recent anniversary survey.

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GQ 2-GQ-ES01.07

Today is the actual date of GDUSA’s 50th Anniversary, the moment the first edition rolled off the printing press.

We like a party as much as anyone, so we’ve been celebrating all year; we’ll continue to do so right on until the final moments of 2013 fade away. To honor the community we serve, we’ve conducted a series of 50th Anniversary surveys to more than 40,000+ creative professionals about who you respect and what you admire. These have truly resonated, not as scientific truths but as fun, informational and provocative lists. We reprise some of the results here today and announce new findings.

Thanks to all of you for putting up with us for this past half century; wait ’till you see what we have planned for the next 50 years.

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