Often considered the "mother of modern-day information design", Margaret Calvert designed many of the road signs used throughout the United Kingdom, Crown Dependencies, and British Overseas Territories. She is widely recognized for this collaboration with typographer Jock Kinneir, creating an identity for British rail, motorways, airports, and roads.
Maquettes for UK road signing system
Kinneir and Calvert's work changed the British landscape and became a role model for modern road signage worldwide. Creating a complete road signage design system was not easy and took over five years of research and development. As Margaret put it herself – "The signs were completely radical if you compare them with the signs that were in existence then, so there were bound to be people who objected to them".
By the early 60s, Kinneir and Calvert were engaged to create an identity for the British Railway system. Their resulting typeface—Rail Alphabet—was meant to provide viewers on a platform with a clear, sufficient break from the busy advertisements that surrounded station signs. This new typeface has subsequently proved to be the most successful and long-lasting element of the corporate identity.
When thinking about the visionary design behind Apple's products, Susan Kare's name might not be the first one to pop into our heads. In 1983 she joined Apple, Inc., where she began a career of transforming the way we look at computer interfaces.
Photograph by Norman Seeff
She was tasked with creating more intuitive screen graphics for the original Macintosh. She drew out a 32-by-32 grid and, square by square, or pixel by pixel if you prefer, she designed most of Macintosh's icons. From the paint bucket and trash to the smiling Mac.
|Pointing hand, designed in 1982 for an interview at Apple.||Happy Mac, designed in the 1980s, is the boot-up icon of the original Apple Macintosh computer.||The original emoji, Cairo was a typeface designed by Susan Kare in 1984 for the first Macintosh OS.|
Often named "The Woman Behind Apple's First Icons", Susan Kare is considered a pixel art and the graphical user interfaces pioneer. Having spent three decades of her career at the apex of human-machine interaction. We can thank her for her concise and charming visuals, making computer interfaces more humane and intuitive. She was awarded an AIGA Medal in 2018, and her work is part of the permanent collections of MoMA and SFMOMA.
An article by Architect, we can read – "Architecture is a man's game", the statement based on the disproportion between the number of female architecture graduates and AIA members – 36% vs 16%. This statistic is even more astounding because one of the most influential figures in design and architecture is Zaha Hadid.
|Bridge Pavilion in Zaragoza, Spain (2005–2008)||Port Authority Building (Havenhuis) in Antwerp, Belgium (2016)||Extension of Ordrupgaard Museum, Copenhagen, Denmark (2001–2005)|
Once named by London's The Guardian as the 'Queen of the Curve', Dame Zaha Hadid's architectural designs are so widely renowned that, at the time of her death in 2016, her firm issued a statement that Hadid was "widely regarded to be the greatest female architect in the world today".
The late Zaha Hadid in front of the Serpentine Sackler Gallery in London.
Her unique creative vision altered the design and architecture landscape and her perseverience showed, why we should value the determination to drive change. By many, she is considered as the woman who broke architecture's glass ceiling.
If you feel like learning more about inspirational women in the field of design, check out some of the sources, where you will find many more women who blazed a trail for all of us.
Now this article wouldn't be complete without mentioning few very talented Women inside our team, which we will be pleased to mention throughout March in a follow up #ProudToUnravel short series. Watch this space. ;)