A list of female type designers

Miss Tiffany's picture

An article on Typographica written by Verena Gerlach posed the question "Where are the Women in Type Design?" In response Indra Kupferschmid and I started creating a Listgeeks list of Female typedesigners. (You can also view mine here.) After some back and forth it was decided that the list really deserved to be on a wiki and I suggested the Typowiki. Thus allowing others to add those whom they believe belong on the list.

At first it was a list for those currently practicing as a type designer whether full-time, part-time, or only sometime. But after a large group of people kept suggesting Carol Twombly the list will now include any women who have practiced as a type designer. This list, I think, should not include students or those who simply work at a foundry. They must be—or have been—involved in the type design process (which includes production)

A few questions:
1. I've always written type designer, but Indra created the list with typedesigner. I wonder which is preferred?
2. I don't think the list should include student type designers. But what do you think?

Indices : Designers : Female Type Designers

John Hudson's picture

Here are some Soviet women type designers or lettering artists included in the 'big grey book of Soviet typography' (The lettering art: work by Moscow book designers, 1959–1974) and not yet included in the wiki list. The situation of 'type designers' in the Soviet Union was complicated by the difficulty of manufacture. Relatively few type designers ever had their designs produced as type, so most worked at drawing 'type' for reproduction in book titling etc. A notable female exception was Galina Andreyevna Bannikova (1901–1972), designer of the Bannikova and Baikonur families. I have little doubt that these designers, if working today, would have been happily producing their own fonts -- in the great Russian font software, of course --, so I'm content to think of them as type designers. The book was published in 1977, so it seems certain that at least one of these women has since died.

Sophia Evgenyeva GANNUSHKINA
Born 1947, Moscow.

Irina Alexandrovna GUSEVA
Born 1936, Moscow.

Elizaveta Yakovlevna KRIVINSKAYA
Born 1907, Kharkov.

Elena Alexandrovna TROFIMOVA
Born 1943, Moscow.

John Hudson's picture

Another name for the list: Sylvie Chokroun, designer of Nathan, one of my favourite recent Sephardi Hebrew types (featured in Language Culture Type).

Indra Kupferschmid's picture

John, thanks for your thorough research, you can add those names yourself if you want.
Regarding Anna Simon – we had this discussion on twitter the other day and Dan Reynolds pointed us to the dissertation of Sandra Winter at Reading. She researched over Anna Simon and writes about her typefaces. Alas, the link to the pdf seems to not be cached anymore, perhaps Dan can help? Here are the tweets:

Florian Hardwig: http://is.gd/AhBp6p mentions she cut initials.
Dan: See S. Winter's Reading Dissertation about A. Simons for the list of types she was almost definitely behind! http://bit.ly/hLy0AP
Florian: Perfect, thanks. ‘Anna Simons and type design’ starts on p55.

Té Rowan's picture

Wonder if Pia Frauss and Petra Heidorn (Cybapee) qualify for the list. Don't know enough to tell...

John Hudson's picture

Thanks, Indra. I'll try to track down Sandra Winter's dissertation.

I'm hoping that someone else can add the other names I suggested to the list. I've had a frustrating time trying to edit wiki entries in the past, and figure it will get done more efficiently and with less swearing if someone more experienced does it.

typerror's picture

John... are you aware of Hildegard Korger from "East Germany?" Do not know if any of her "complete Alphabet" experiments made it into the typographic annals but they were certainly complete character sets.

Edit: yes Typoskript.

Florian Hardwig's picture

Hooray for gender-specific pronouns!

Currently, Identifont has about 130 entries for female type designers (vs. 434 male).
MyFonts lists 134 women who do type design (and 542 men).

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