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InspirationMar 07, 2022

Top 5 Trailblazing Female Graphic Designers

Written by Erin Grandmaison RGD, Bruce Power

In celebration of International Women’s Day, Erin Grandmaison RGD shares a list of her most inspiring female designers.

When it comes to gender parity, the design industry has come a long way since I started my career over 20 years ago. In school, there were few mentions of females in design roles. In pursuing my creative career, it was important for me to search out women who paved the way for me and other women working in the industry. Today, there is no shortage of trailblazing women designers who continue to inspire and push us to think dynamically and diversely. To celebrate this International Women’s Day, I’ve compiled a list of female designers who have made lasting impacts in the design landscape.

Headshot of Paula Scher and samples of her work

Paula Scher — Design Icon

Paula revolutionized what design could be. She is easily one of the most acclaimed and influential designers globally. She has received many prestigious design awards; her work has been exhibited all over the world and it is featured in the permanent collections of MoMA and the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum in New York City. A Partner at the international design agency Pentagramsince 1991 (the first female to be offered this position), Paula has worked with iconic brands including Coca-Cola, Adobe, New York City Ballet and Microsoft. She is a frequent design contributor to The New York Times and GQ and she was featured in the Netflix series Abstract: The Art of Design.

Photo of Angela Bains and samples of her work

Angela Bains – Change Maker

I am inspired by Angela because of her passionate advocacy for social change in design. She is a successful design role model and educator who started her own design studio in the 1980s and has worked on projects focused on social change, environmental impact and human rights advocacy, including the Nelson Mandela campaign. She is now Strategy Director at TransformExp, as well as a Design Professor at both OCAD University in Toronto and BCIT in Vancouver.

Headshot of Jessica Hische and samples of her work

Jessica Hische – New Generation Influencer

Jessica Hische is blazing new trails for up-and-coming designers in the business world. I have not only admired her for her graphic design skills but also for her amazing work as a hand-letterer, illustrator and author! Jessica was recently named to the Forbes 30 under 30 list, awarded GDUSA Person to Watch and chosen for the ADC Young Gun Award. As part of a new generation of letterers that is emerging world-wide, she has collaborated with Wes Anderson, Nike, Tiffany & Co., Barack Obama and Starbucks, to name a few. You can find her books on New York Times Bestseller lists and she offers Masterclasses on SkillsShare.

Headshot of Tina Roth Eisenberg and samples of her work

Tina Roth Eisenberg – Creative Community Builder

You can’t have a list of inspiring trailblazers without including Tina. In a growing technological world, she took the initiative as an entrepreneur and built networks that connect all of her creative passions into her career. She is best known for her dynamic design blog and design studio called Swissmiss. She also founded and runs a global monthly lecture series called Creative Mornings, which brings together thousands of creative minds in a breakfast conference which is hosted in more than 100 countries every month. She is also the creator of Tattly (temporary tattoo shop), TeuxDeux (To-do list app) and Friends Work Here (a co-working space).

Headshot of Jessica Walsh and samples of her work

Jessica Walsh – Diversity and Inclusion Leader

I chose Jessica as a trailblazer because of her influential international design contributions and her drive as owner of creative agency &Walsh, making her part of the 0.1% female-led studios. She is an award-winning graphic designer and art director whose studio dedicates its time to create branding, advertising and social media campaigns for print, digital and television clients. I admire Jessica’s passion to promote various social causes in the realms of mental health, politics and gender equity in her work and public life. She established Ladies, Wine and Design, a non-profit event that talks about mental health and promotes female and non-binary creatives in over 285 cities worldwide.

Erin Grandmaison RGD

Bruce Power

Erin’s creative skills and experience deliver unique insights to the needs of each project.

She is an award-winning graphic designer that started her career in Toronto, bringing campaigns to life for one of Canada’s leading architecture and interior firms. Her signage and design within the collaborative team can be found in well-known buildings such as Pearson Airport, York University, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment and the Hershey Centre. Erin is known for her imaginative work that are still succinct and informative and is currently using those skills at Bruce Power as a Senior Designer. Erin supports wellness and community activism by being a founding and executive member of the local endurance events group, Race Huron and volunteering as a YMCA/MOSSA fitness instructor. She is an RGD member, is on the Diversity and Inclusion Committee and has been a Student RGD judge.


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