Archive | August, 2012

Colourful posters GUARANTEED to brighten up your day

29 Aug

These posters will always brighten up a sad day, all you have to do is look at them and most will make you smile. Inspired by the artists 4 year old, the penguin with the balloons is by far the favourite.

 

‘While on the hunt for some colorful posters, I came across these prints by Showler & Showler. Founded in 2006 by husband and wife team Tom and Hannah Showler, the company sells posters that are guaranteed to brighten up your day. The couple currently lives in the Kentish countryside (an area of north west London) where they’re raising their 4-year-old son, who, I’m sure, provides them with an endless amount of inspiration.

One of the site’s best sellers is a sweet-looking penguin floating away with balloons. I think I need him in my house.’

This article was taken from mymodernmet.com

 

 

 

 

 

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More Awe-Inspiring GIFs from Jamie Beck and Kevin Burg

29 Aug

This is self explanatory, read and just absorb the awesomeness of these two geniuses. give the gifs a few moments and if they dont work click on the image and they should spark to life.

Taken from mymodernment.com

 

‘There was a time, not too long ago, when the term “cinemagraph” was being thrown around and internet culture gravitated toward this amalgamation of still shots and modest yet aesthetically effective movement. New York-based photographer Jamie Beck and her counterpart Kevin Burg first coined the term last year, gaining a lot of recognition for their cinematic images with subtle movement. My Modern Met even had the opportunity to interview the creative forces behind the perfected animated gifs. Since then, the duo has continued to develop breathtaking gifs, often focusing on fashion, and share it on their blog From Me To You.

The motion in each image exhibits just the right amount of movement. Whether it’s hair or clothing hit by a slight breeze, dangling jewelry swaying back and forth, or the endless burning flame in an otherwise frozen world, the calculated action serves a purpose in adding to the mood or aesthetic. Each gif takes a moment in time and eternalizes it in a series of repetitive loops of motion. There are also those few images that I like to call “wait for it” shots because it seems like an average still shot for a longer period of time than you’d expect and then something quickly and briefly changes.

Take a look at some of our most recent favorites, below.’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to Make Cinemagraphs — Still Photos that Move Like Movies!

29 Aug

This is a step by step guide I found, on how to make your own Cinemagraphs. It’s done on a Windows computer with CS4 but Im sure all you wizz kids out there will figure out the Mac equivalent of the actions, and also using an updated version of photoshop. Im going to try and use CS6 to master this technique.

This post is taken from photojojo.com

‘Cause who said photos can only feature “still” life?

Inspired by the moving pictures created by photographer and motion designer duo Jamie Beck and Kevin Burg, we set out to make the magic happen.

Make your pictures move like ours did with a some Photoshop magic!

WHAT MAKES ‘EM MOVE?

Photos can show movement when made into GIFs.

GIFs stand for Graphics Interchange Format, and it’s a bitmap image format that supports animation. This supported animation is what makes any movement possible.

This magical movement hit the world wide web in the late eighties, so it’s nothing new. However, the animation in GIFs are generally characterized to be rather jumpy and irregular.

Then came along Jamie Beck and Kevin Burg. This talented team of fashion photographer and motion designer crafted “cinemagraphs”—incredibly sleek and sophisticated GIFs.

So celebrate the smooth comeback of GIFs by making your own photos join the movement!

LIST OF INGREDIENTS:

  • A camera that can shoot video
  • A tripod
  • Ideas for scenes to make into a cinemagraph!
  • A model and/or whatever props needed
  • A computer
  • Access to a video editing program (optional)
  • Access to Adobe Photoshop (for this tutorial, we are using the CS4 version)

STEP 1: SCHEMING YOUR SCENE

beforeFirst, plan out a scene you would like to record.

For your first round of cinemagraphs, try to keep it simple.

Some helpful hints & tips:

  • Remember that for this sort of GIF, you want to show some sort of subtle movement; you want to create the intrigue of “what a nice photo—whoa, it moves!!”
  • Besides showing some movement, you also want to make sure you have something in your scene that stays consistent to contrast and emphasize that movement.
  • Try to think of a scene or movement that would be fairly easy to loop since your final GIF will be set to loop forever.
  • Your scene can involve a person but it doesn’t necessarily have to.

Some of the ideas we came up with were:

  • Tree leaves gently moving in a breeze
  • Someone’s eyes blinking or moving
  • People or things moving as shown in glass window reflections

STEP 2: SHOOT THE SCENE

beforeOnce you have your scene figured out, set it up with whatever “characters” or props needed.

Then set up your camera up on your tripod and start filming away!

Make sure your tripod is standing on a solid surface to make sure your camera can film as still as possible.

You don’t have to film your scene for very long; 10-20 seconds of footage is more than enough to make a cinemagraph.

STEP 3: HAVE THE RIGHT VIDEO FILE

beforeWhen you’ve shot what you needed for you scene, transfer your video file(s) to your computer.

Before you can open and edit your video file through Adobe Photoshop, you have to make sure the file is something that can be opened in Photoshop.

Adobe Photoshop can open MOV or AVI video files.

If the video files you shot aren’t either of these files or any other video files that can be opened in Photoshop, open your video files in any standard video editing program to convert your files.

STEP 4: FRAME YOUR VIDEO

beforeTo open and edit your video in Photoshop, go to File > Import > Video Frames to Layers.

A window will pop up where you will be given the option to:

  • Import your entire file into frames, or
  • Import a selected portion of your video file.

As a general note, having a lot of frames will make your resulting GIF animate much more smoothly.

However, more frames means more memory, and thus a larger file to work with. And you don’t want to work with a huge file on Photoshop because it’ll slow down the program (and your computer in general).

So, the best is to aim for a under 100 frames to start with. You can (and probably will) get rid of more frames as you’re making your cinemagraph.

For our cinemagraph, we decided to import a selected portion of our video—the particular moment where our lovely model happened to look up from her book to gaze at the viewer.

Before you click “OK,” make sure you’ve checked the appropriate import options you want on the left side of the window, as well as to check the box next to the “Make Frame Animation” option.

STEP 5: YOUR VIDEO FILE, LAYERED… LIKE CAKE

beforeOnce your video file has been imported into frames in Photoshop, find your layers window.

You will see that each frame of your video has been made into its own separate layer.

STEP 6: FRAMED AGAIN

beforeTo view these layers as frames, go to Windows > Animation.

In the animation window, click on the bottom right icon of a film reel to see the animation as frames.

Now you’ll see that each frame corresponds to each layer of your video file.

This means that these layers and frames are linked to each other. Keep this in mind when you’re editing and deleting layers and/or frames!

STEP 7: CATCH THAT MOVING MOMENT

beforeNow that you can see all the frames in your video, figure out what frames capture the movement you want for your cinemagraph.

Hit the space bar to play your video file so you can find the movement you want.

Once you’ve identified what these frames are, isolate them by getting rid of both the frame AND the layer, as these are linked to each other.

Note that when you delete frames, Frame 1 in your animation window will always be the very last layer in your Layer window, regardless if it’s Layer 1 (the original Frame 1) or Layer 92 (as in our case). If this break in coordinating frames and layers numbers bothers you, you can rename the layers to match to the frames when you’ve finished deleting all the unneeded frames and layers.

STEP 8: ALPHA LAYER IN, OVER

beforeWithin your now edited video file, choose one layer to show the consistent, non-moving elements of your cinemagraph.

Duplicate this layer and place it on top of all the other layers in the Layers window.

Name this layer “Alpha,” since it’ll be the layer that you want to consistently show on top of each and every layer–and thus frame.

STEP 9: MASKING TIME

beforeNow that you got your Alpha layer chosen and situated, it’s time to show the movement in your GIF.

You’ll be editing your Alpha layer to show this movement by using a vector mask and masking out the elements in that layer that you want to show moving.

Don’t know what a vector mask is or what masking means? Find out here.

For our cinemagraph, we masked out the areas of our model’s eyes and some of her hair, as well as the bushes in the background, since these were the elements that we wanted to show some movement.

STEP 10: TESTING, TESTING, 1 2 3

beforeOnce you’ve masked out what you wanted in your Alpha layer, it’s time to do a test run of your cinemagraph!

In your animation window—make sure it’s viewing the frames—make sure your animation is set to loop “Forever”. Then play your animation.

From this test run, you should be able to see what further edits you need to make to your layers and/or frames for your final GIF.

STEP 11: FEELIN’ LOOPY?

beforeOne of the challenges you may see from your initial test run of your GIF is in making a fairly smooth loop in the movements shown.

This can be resolved in the following ways:

  • After the last frame in your animation window, add a frame that contains the Alpha layer as well as the very first layer (the bottom-most layer). To do so, duplicate the last frame, and then change what layers show up in it in the Layer window.Then, tween the last frame and this added frame to help ease the transition that happens in the loop.For our cinemagraph, we chose this method to solve the looping challenge.
  • Depending on the movement you’re featuring in your GIF, you may want to have reversed frames of your animation to make a smooth transition.To do this, first select all your frames in the Animation (frames) window, duplicate them, and place them after all your original frames.Then, select all these duplicate frames and set them to reverse by clicking on the little down arrow on the top right of the Animation (frames) window.

Don’t forget to test your cinemagraph by playing it through the animation (frames) window as you figure out how to smoothly loop it.

STEP 12: COLOR YOUR CINEMAGRAPH

beforeAs your cinemagraph will be a GIF file, it’s important to know that GIF files can’t hold a lot of color memory like other image file formats. This means your richly colored frames right now will not look as vibrant when converted to a GIF file.

To accommodate to this challenge, apply a color effect that will work with less color memory. Such effects include duotone or color-processing effects.

You can do this manually by playing with an adjustment mask over all your layers, or you can search the web for free Photoshop actions for color effects that you can just apply over all your layers.

We used cross-coloring Photoshop actions from this site for our cinemagraph.

STEP 13: RESIZE TO OPTIMIZE

beforeWe know you’re probably stoked to show off your finished cinemagraph after ya get through this tutorial.

To help optimize your GIF so that it’ll show up nicely on the web—like, say, your awesome blog—we have to make sure your GIF file won’t be more large than is necessary. The internet is not friendly to large GIF files.

With so many layers in your file already, it’s already bound to be a large file, so how can you make it smaller?

Why, resize your image, of course!

Resize your image according to your preference in Image > Image Size.

Make sure the resolution of your image is also set to 72 pixels/inch; that’s all the resolution needed for images on the web.

Our cinemagraph, for the purposes of this tutorial, is set at a rather large size of 600×400 pixels.

Note: If you’ve optimized your GIF file as best you can, and you later find it’s still having trouble being uploaded on the web, there are free GIF resizers available online that can make your GIF file more web-friendly.

STEP 14: SAVE TWICE

beforeHuzzah! Now you’re ready to save your cinemagraph file as a GIF.

First, save the file you’ve been editing (if you haven’t done so during this process) as a PSD file so you can come back for more edits if needed.

Then do a “Save for Web & Devices.”

In the window that pops up, make sure in the top right hand corner that you’re saving a GIF file with 256 colors before you click to save.

STEP 15: CINEMAGRAPH SUCCESS!

beforeYou now have a cinemagraph done under your belt!

It’s time to show the digital world your spectacular creation so upload away to your blog, Tumblr, or web site!

Ever so subtle gifs

29 Aug

Another amazing article about animated gifs, apart from this one focuses on people and very subtle animations have been added. Showing that you don’t need to go all out and over the top with an animation, even the smallest one can turn heads and get you noticed. Love this post, I hope you do too. Like my other posts, give them a few minutes to work, if not click on the image and it should come to life.

‘It’s been a few months since we first wrote about how gifs have been taken to a higher art form with Jamie Beck and Kevin Burg’s Cinemagraphs. Since then we’ve seen others show us their own high quality work like Mike Pecci, who made us stop and stare at his Living Images.

We can’t get enough of this trend, so when we saw Ana Pais’ series, Eternal Moments, we knew we had to write about it. The 24-year-old freelance graphic designer and photographer creates these gifs from a music video called Keep on Dancingwhich was directed by André Tentugal. Notice the muted colors and the subtlety. A blink of an eye, a rock of the head, smoke seeping out of the mouth…almost feels ghostly… ‘

Taken from – mymodernmet.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Story Behind Those Stunning Cinematic Gifs

29 Aug

So seens as though you all liked the Cinemagraphs I found I thought I would look into them more. Here is an article I found on mymodernmet.com about the story behind the cinematic gifs. Give the gifs a moment to work, if not click on the image and it should start playing for you.

‘Here at theMET, we’re always looking for creative projects that catch our eye. More than anything, we love posting about work that pushes boundaries, showing our audience something that has been changed, flipped or spinned into something magically different. Then, we see it as our job to find out the story behind such projects. What inspired the artist or photographer to start down that path? What do they hope others get out of their work?

A few days ago, when Met member Mark Huckabee put up a post called Astounding Animated Gifs, we knew we had to dig deeper. We got in touch with Jamie Beck and her partner Kevin Burg to ask them about their “cinemagraph” technique where they combine still photographs and video to create these magnificent mini films. (Did you know that the project is a combination of Kevin’s background in motion graphics and Jamie’s street photography?)’

What’s been the response like, so far, on your animated gifs? How has the internet responded?
The online response has been really wonderful. When we first started creating these together we felt it was a new form of photography adapted for a digital age. You never know if people are going to feel the same way you do but with the incredible response it seems people also respond to this form of storytelling.

Which of them is your favorite piece and why?
We love Anna Sees Everything (last one in this post.) We feel that it captures a portrait of her in a moment that is the essence of what she does.

What do you hope others get out of these works?
We hope to transport people to the moment, to take you a step closer to the subject. We want people to feel like they get to linger and look at something, almost in a voyeuristic way. In life, when you catch a moment, it can be gone in an instant or you instinctively look away. Through our images, the moment lasts forever and you can look as long as you like.

Which gif has been the most popular and why do you think that is?
Our series with Coco Rocha was the most popular collection and the single most popular cinemagraph factoring in pageviews and Tumblr notes is Meet Me at the Bar. We think that there’s a surprising aspect to it – it masquerades as a still photograph but then a car drives by. There’s also a romantic element to the story the image tells… at least we feel that way.

Were you inspired by other gifs or anyone else before you started this more artistic ones?
For us it happened very organically out of a need to show something more than a photo but not quite a video, and to stay true to Jamie’s photography. There have been a lot of really interesting things being done with gifs in recent years and since getting our work out there people have sent us links to other artists creating cool stuff within the gif medium. Our hope is that in the future there are many people creating original content in a similar way…in their own personal style.

What do you have next in store for us?
We hope to continually improve our storytelling abilities through our cinemagraphs. We’re testing with better cameras, meeting talented people we can work with and hoping to do more editorial collaborations. We’re also compiling an intimate look at New York City through this new medium. We’re looking to explore other ways to utilize cinemagraphs outside of the web through devices like iPad and through forthcoming display technologies.’

Taken from – mymodernmet.com

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The 50 Things Every Graphic Design Student Should Know

23 Aug

50 seems to be a little bit of a craze at the moment, so sticking with that trend, here is an article on 50 things design students need to know. It has helped me out loads in times of need, when you are in design meltdown.

Article taken from graphicart-news.com

 

 

Jamie Wieck complied The 50, a list of 50 things he believes every graphic design student should know on leaving college. Some of these points are obvious, others less so – but all are brief, digestible nuggets of wisdom that will hopefully go some way to making the transition from graduate to designer a little bit smoother.

Each point has been synthesised into just 140 characters (complete with a #the50 hash-tag) making them memorable and Twitter-friendly. Tweet your favourites, share them on Facebook, and send this to your friends.

 

1. YOU ARE NOT THE FIRST.

There are very few ‘firsts’ these days. Countless others have started studios, freelanced and requested internships. It can be done.

 

2. THERE IS ALWAYS SOMEONE BETTER.

Regardless of how good you are, there will always be someone better. It’s surprisingly easy to waste time worrying about this.

 

3. SUCCESS IS NOT A FINITE RESOURCE.

College fosters a zero-sum mentality: that someone has to fail for you to succeed. In truth, another’s success doesn’t limit yours.

 

4. YOU CANNOT SCORE WITHOUT A GOAL.

If you don’t know what you want, then how can you pursue it? Having a goal defines an end point, and subsequently, a place to start.

5. STARTING ANYTHING REQUIRES ENERGY.

It takes more energy to start than it does to stop. This is true for physics, your career, and that idea you need to work on.

 

6. THE PATH TO WORK IS EASIER THAN YOU THINK.

To get into the industry you need just three things: great work, energy and a nice personality. Many forget the last attribute.

 

7. HAVE A POSITIVE SELF-IMAGE.

Your self-perception is your most important asset. See yourself as the person you want to be and others will see this too.

 

8. GET A CLEAN, SIMPLE WEBSITE UP.

An online portfolio is the alpha and omega of your career. With a wealth of web services, there’s no excuse for not having a website.

 

9. CURATE YOUR WORK.

Never stop editing your portfolio. Three strong pieces are better than ten weak ones – nobody looks for quantity, just quality.

 

10. LISTEN TO YOUR INSTINCTS.

If your work doesn’t excite you, then it won’t excite anyone else. It’s hard to fake passion for mediocre work – scrap it.

 

11. MAKE YOUR WORK EASY TO SEE.

People are lazy. If you want them to look at your work, make it easy. Most of the time employers simply want to see a JPG or PDF.

 

12. HAND-WRITE ADDRESSES.

Clients, prospective employers and potential clients gravitate to letters with handwritten addresses. The personal touch goes far.

 

13. TIME IS PRECIOUS – GET TO THE POINT.

Avoid profuse humour or gimmicks when contacting studios for work, they’ve seen it all before. Get to the point, they’ll be thankful.

 

14. NEVER TAKE AN UNPAID INTERNSHIP.

This is not a necessary evil – a studio that doesn’t pay their interns (at least the minimum wage) is a studio not worth working for.

 

15. DO AS MANY INTERNSHIPS AS YOU CAN STAND.

Internships are a financial burden, but they are vital. They let you scope out the industry and find the roles that suit you best.

 

16. DON’T WASTE YOUR INTERNSHIP.

A studio’s work can dip, as can its energy. Ignore this and be indispensable, the onus is on you to find something that needs doing.

 

17. MAKE FRIENDS WITH A PRINTER.

A good relationship with a printer is invaluable – they will help you save money and the environment.

 

18. FIND YOUR LOCAL D.I.Y. STORE AND POUND SHOP.

These places are invaluable resources of cheap and ready-made artifacts ripe for tinkering, re-decoration and re-contextualisation.

 

19. BE PATIENT.

It’s not unusual to complete several internships and not find ‘a good fit’. Try applying to a studio you hadn’t considered.

 

20. ASK QUESTIONS.

Assume nothing. Ask questions, even if you think you know the answers. You’ll be surprised at how little you know.

 

21. ASK FOR OPPORTUNITIES.

It will feel cheeky, but ask for things. Ask to be included in exhibitions, magazines, pitches – if you don’t ask, you can’t get.

 

22. SEEK CRITICISM, NOT PRAISE.

You learn nothing by being told how great you are. Even if you think your work’s perfect – seek criticism, you can always ignore it.

 

23. MAKE FRIENDS, NOT ENEMIES.

The creative industry is a small world: it’s a network where everyone knows everyone else. Remember this before pissing someone off.

 

24. NEWS TRAVELS FAST.

A good intern will find their reputation precedes them. Jobs are nearly always offered on this word-of-mouth evidence.

 

25. DON’T GET DRUNK AT PROFESSIONAL EVENTS.

There’s a difference between being ‘merry’ and ‘paralytic’. The latter costs you your dignity, your reputation and possibly your job.

 

26. NETWORK.

There’s some truth in ‘it’s not what you know, it’s who you know’. Talk to people, send emails; at the very least sign up to Twitter.

 

27. DRESS SMART – LOOK BUSINESS LIKE.

Take your work seriously? Then take your appearance seriously. Clients are more likely to deal with people who look like they care.

 

28. NEVER WORK FOR FREE.

Not only does this devalue the profession, but it makes you look weak. Even a ‘nice’ client will take advantage of this.

 

29. NEGOTIATE.

If you really have to work for nothing, negotiate. Clients and studios have access to many resources that can be viewed as ‘payment’.

 

30. READ CONTRACTS.

Never sign a contract before reading it. Subsequently, don’t begin any job without a contract – you may have to write one yourself.

 

31. MAKE YOUR INVOICE STAND OUT.

Businesses are deluged with invoices. Make yours stand out with colour or shape and it’s likely to rise to the top of the ‘pay’ pile.

 

32. THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS A BAD JOB.

Always push yourself to do your best. Logically, there’s no way you can be dissatisfied with ‘having done your best’.

 

33. THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS A BAD CLIENT.

The onus is on you to make the client relationship work, not the other way around. If it’s not working out, ‘fire’ them as a favour.

 

34. EMBRACE LIMITATIONS.

Limitations are invaluable for creating successful work: they give you something to push against. From this tension comes brilliance.

 

35. THE ENVIRONMENT IS NOT A LIMITATION.

The environmental impact of your work isn’t a fashionable consideration – as a creative, it’s your most important consideration.

 

36. BORING PROBLEMS LEAD TO BORING SOLUTIONS.

Always interrogate your brief: re-define the question. No two briefs should be the same; a unique problem leads to a unique solution.

 

37. NEW IDEAS ARE ALWAYS ‘STUPID’.

New ideas are conceived with no context and no measures of success – this falsely makes them feel silly, awkward or even impossible.

 

38. DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE SELF-INITIATED WORK.

Clients get in touch because of self-initiated work. Ironically, business is excited by ideas untouched by the concerns of business.

 

39. JUSTIFY YOUR DECISIONS.

Clients fear arbitrary decisions – they want problem solving. Have a reason for everything, even if this is ‘post-rationalised’.

 

40. SHOW SKETCHES, NOT POLISHED IDEAS.

Clients often mistake ‘rough’ digital work for the final design. Show sketches for as long as you can, it makes them feel involved.

 

41. WORK WITH THE CLIENT, NOT AGAINST THEM.

You may think you’re right, but look at the client’s solution along with yours. Occasionally you’ll be surprised.

 

42. DON’T ALWAYS TAKE NO FOR AN ANSWER.

Fight for superior solutions. Demonstrate your thinking to your client, take them through it – it’s hard to argue with logic.

 

43. PICK YOUR BATTLES.

The creative industry is often infuriating, but not every argument is an argument that needs to be had. This takes time to learn.

 

44. IF YOU’RE GOING TO FAIL, FAIL WELL.

Being ambitious means you have to take on things you think you can’t do. Failures are unfortunate, but they are sometimes necessary.

 

45. BE AN AUTEUR.

Regardless of who you’re working with, speak up if something’s not right. Take it upon yourself to be the barometer of quality.

 

46. TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR FAILURE.

If a job’s going wrong take responsibility. It feels counter-intuitive, but responsibility means you can do something about it.

 

47. SHARE YOUR IDEAS.

You’ve nothing to gain from holding on to your ideas; they may feel precious, but the more you share, the more new ideas you’ll have.

 

48. GET OUT OF THE STUDIO.

Good design is crafted from understanding the relationships between things. These connections can’t be found when locked in a studio.

 

49. AWARDS ARE NICE, BUT NOT VITAL.

Awards look good on the shelf, but clients seldom pick up the phone because of them. Solid work encourages that.

 

50. DON’T TAKE YOURSELF TOO SERIOUSLY.

Take your work seriously, take the business of your craft seriously, but don’t take yourself seriously. People who do are laughed at.

The Role of Women in Design | 12 Designers – 12 Opinions

23 Aug

Here I found an article on women and the design industry. As a lot of people will find, there still isn’t enough equality for women. A lot more than there was, but we sometimes still hit a glass ceiling. This article asks 12 designers their opinion on the matter.

Article was taken from graphicart-news.com

“What role are women designers playing in today’s world? Are they taking a more leading role in the design field? Do women and their male counterparts differ in anyway? From a feminist aspect, women and men do not differ in any kind. However, the numbers speak the truth, as we do not find enough women designers in conferences, publications, or as jurors. Is this a reversing trend? Barbara Szaniecki from Brazil, Belen Mena from Ecuador, Benito Cabanas from Mexico, Chris Lozos from United States, Gitte Kath from Denmark, Jamila Varawala from India, Lygia Santiago from Brazil, Maria Mercedes Salgado from Ecuador, Marina Córdova Alvéstegui and Susana Machicao both from Bolivia, respectable designers , well known to our community and Veerle Poupeye from Jamaica, Executive Director of the National Gallery of Jamaica,  were called to give the role of women in design as they experiences it in their respective countries or just global observations. They came with very interesting points and links for your references. I thank all of them for their valuable contribution to this article!

BARBARA SZANIECKI

(Brazil)

Women are occupying spaces in all types of work. it is therefore normal that also in the design field they are acting more and more. In the labor world, women can enter “making equal” to men or, on the contrary, “making a difference”. Or playing between the two positions. So certainly, some assume positions of leadership and choose to work in large companies of communication and design. Or for large companies. But there is also a large number of women designers that are seeking ways of working beyond a labor market that does not always allow them to produce under adequate conditions – i mean specially to harmonize production and motherhood and care of the family – or to have their work recognized in the same way as their male colleagues. And so they try to work on gender issues of course but also, more broadly, on the issues of society. They try, through their work, to provoke a reflection on the current crisis in its multifaceted social, economic and ecological aspects. Facets that point, all of them, for the decline of a certain kind of rationality that has dominated the world for centuries. Women have always generated new lives and today, many women designers seek through their work to generate a new world. And it may be necessary to start by discussing the very idea of ​​leadership – at work or in life – and by learning how to generate both a more collaborative design and a more egalitarian society.

Brazilian review of culture, media and democracy

A contribution for the Occupy movement here in Rio de Janeiro. it’s based on an Alexandre Rodchenko’s poster

BELEN MENA

(Ecuador)

What role are women designers playing in today’s world? I believe, in the interest of equality, women designers should be consider the same as men designers.  But I think gender differences exist, atomically, physiologically and biologically, therefore her role is different.
Being a women designer in actuality it’s a privilege. I think the way that women react to some social experiences and themes, are assumed different from men, so the way we communicate this thru our design, increase the possible ways to change a society positively.

Do women and their male counterparts differ in any way? Even though natural given characteristics been quite different amongst males and females, whether they be cultural or physical, competing it’s not the essence. The multi-task intelligence of women approaches a highly constructive thinking, giving more importance to social responsibilities. We are generally more emotionally; sensible and intuitive driven while men are usually goal oriented, so still going to have differences even in the absence of gender socialization.

Are women designers taking a more leading role in the design field? Since the beginning of time Women have always been treated as the inferior sex, but certainly actual women gained influence in every field, when we compare them to women of last decades and centuries.

Actual female designers are taking risks, are voicing their opinions thru visual art and approaching new ways to create a healthy and better society. I don’t know if we gain yet a leading role, but certainly I think we are creating the bases to it, strongly contributing to the development and expansion of design.)

BENITO CABANAS

(Mexico)

What role are women designers playing in today’s world? Women have struggled to gain a place, a recognition, a reputation that they have succeeded with their work day by day! There are women leaders in the field of design and their work is of excellent quality.

Do women and their male counterparts differ in anyway? Maybe in some countries women do not even have chance! I think that level of thinking, thinking, creativity, work is the way to equal capabilities!

Are women designers taking a more leading role in the design field? Of course they do! Besides that it becomes an equity contribution of women given a diversity of thought to the design field.

CHRIS LOZOS

(United States)

The role of women designers is completely in their own hands unless they create a self fulfilling prophesy. Women (and men) will find what they are looking for in the design field.  If you are looking for sexism and bigotry, you will find it.  If you are looking for a place to exert your own creativity and succeed as a designer, you will find it.  My advice is that you search for exactly what you want to find.  Be the person you want to be instead of wishing someone would grant you that wish.  The women designers who are getting a leading role are the women who have seized the day and taken it.  If you feel you are not worthy, then you will be found not worthy by others so simply BE worthy and believe in yourself.

There is only one creature on this earth that you totally control. That person is yourself.  There are some people whom you may influence to some degree and there are some people whom you invite to influence you.  The vast majority of others in the world will be mostly disinterested in you but not because they are uncaring, instead because they have their own lives to focus on most of the time.

There are also another set of people in any field.  They are the selfish, the greedy, and even the evil.  You cannot change them or defeat them but you can minimize how they affect you. Don’t waste your time or your soul with them.

Woman, Man, or Android, you have the power if you create the power from within.  Those who have no power are waiting for someone else to grant it to them.  This will not happen.  You were born with everything you need.  Believe it and get to work making yourself be that person. Screw all the assholes in the world, they don’t matter.  You matter, your friends matter, your family matters.  Work for them and yourself.

This is a very hard job.  Don’t shy away from it. Don’t blame others for your woes. Be in charge of your life. If you don’t do it, who will?

GITTE KATH

(Denmark)

In Denmark the general possibilities for both men and women are more or less identical. Everyone have access to free education in Denmark. At the design schools 80% are female students nowadays. It is somehow characteristic that the female students work together in groups and male students work alone. Maybe the experience of working alone explains why 80% of the poster designers today are male?

The female students are in my experience more eloquent and they work harder. It might still today be important for women to work that much harder to make the world aware of them? On the other hand the male students often have more courage to go against the main stream and thereby stand out from the rest.

In general the female students have higher grades from high school tests when they get accepted into the design schools – but grades are not necessarily important to make it as an artist or designer. It’s the originality, courage and the basic talent to express ideas that makes an interesting designer. To generalize, maybe 20% of all the design school students have what it takes to be a good designer? The talent to express your ideas might be the most important thing and gives you the possibility to get to a leading role. I believe that women in the world of design, and in the world in general, will get even stronger in the future.

JAMILA VARAWALA

(India)

What role are women designers playing in today’s world? Clearly there is a shift in a women’s role in society that would affect her role in every field. I am aware that a lot of women designers are making their mark in the design world today. They are visible with strong statements. Zaha Hadid is a strong voice.

Are women designers taking a more leading role in the design field?  Yes. Women designers are playing pivotal roles today. I have primarily been a teacher of graphic design for the last 30 years. I have taught in Sophia College Polytechnic Mumbai, a girls college, for the first 13 years. In the earlier years most Indian girl students would study and get married placing their career on the back burner. Now the trend is that the girls take up design as a strong career option to create an identity for themselves resulting in financial freedom. They start their own entrepreneurial design studios creating a niche for themselves in branding, publishing pharmaceutical designs, hospitality and retail. A few have made it big in the advertising field.

Do women and their male counterparts differ in anyway? In my experience as a teacher in a girls college and then teaching co-ed colleges I find that girls definitely think differently from boys. Girls are gentle and maneuver design elements differently, the boys bring a different perspective, they are direct willing to take huge risks and bold. Without sounding feminist most graffiti artists are boys.

LYGIA SANTIAGO

(Brazil)

What role are women designers playing in today’s world? I think we women have to make a difference and show our potential and creativity. Wedo this normally, with no marks caused by a sexist society.

Are women designers taking a more leading role in the design field? No … I think not … We do our best ever, without worry of being the best … but to make the best ever …

Do women and their male counterparts differ in anyway? I do not think there is a design done by women … I believe that is not identified … What can be identified is a style … A designer woman who really like and think it has a well-defined style is the canadian Marian Bantjes … In the visual arts, I think in some periods of art history that can be identified because of the feminist movement … Around 60′s.

CD délibab / Vitor Ramil – Album packaging (2010) Design: Lygia Santiago Typography: Felipe Taborda + Lygia Santiago Photo: Facundo de Zuviría Art Direction: Felipe Taborda. Typography of the cover was designed by Lygia Santiago from a family drawn by Felipe Taborda. Lygia developed a family “round” which was used to write (Délibáb) in the above cover. This font can be downloaded for free from Felipe’s Taborda Studio website (www.felipetaborda.com.br). This CD cover was also nominated for “Prêmio Açorianos de Música – 2010” (best graphic design).

Forma e Sentido Contemporâneo (logo and branding) (2011) – Design: Lygia Santiago Art Direction: Felipe Taborda

MARIA MERCEDES SALGADO

(Ecuador)

Very few women designers around the world have important responsibilities in direction posts, for instance: direction of design organisations, juries in international contests and biennials or lecturers in design events. Our presence is still limited but will change.

I’ll tell you a local story that represents already an evolution of women in design. They are 29 artisans organized in an association, A.M.A.D.O.M. (Asociación de Mujeres Artesanas Autónomas de Dos Mangas) in a very small town called Dos Mangas, located 8 km from the Pacific Ocean in Ecuador, South America, bordering the protected forest. They never studied design, but practice it. Around ten years ago men earned money to support their families by selling forest woods until the laws prohibited logging in that area. Thus, the women decided to work on making art crafts. After some conflicts and divorces, the men went to the forest to grow and harvest the raw material as « paja toquilla » and « tagua » (vegetal ivory) for their women work. These women « design » objets for their families maintenance.

Poster for publication for Centro de Diseño de Rosario Argentina, subjet “Against child explotation” invited by Pablo Kunts. Publication 2012

Selection on the Bienal Internacional del Cartel en México 2010

MARINA CÓRDOVA ALVÉSTEGUI

(Bolivia)

What role are women designers playing in today’s world? The role that women designers are playing in today’s world is basically the same to our male counterparts. But as women we have an extra responsibility, more like an owe to our gender actually. We must expose sexism and firmly oppose it e.g. the common practice of displaying women’s body to attract costumers and possible buyers; if we have the same skills and preparation as our male colleagues, we must not accept to earn less than them for the same responsibilities; we must celebrate and share the work that has been done by women designers worldwide; we must demand more female jurors, more workshops by female designers, more female speakers, among other things always seeking for gender equality. In 2006, the London School Of Economics estimated it will take 150 years to eliminate economic inequality based on gender worldwide. Imagine that! Gender equality is a really serious issue, we have to work harder in order to accelerate this change.

Do women and their male counterparts differ in any way? Well, nature gave women maternity and it is something that men will never have the possibility to experience, unless a dramatic change occurs with the help of science. Women experience that miracle, we get pregnant, bear children and take care of them, which is a lifetime job. During women’s fertile years, men are building their careers and becoming visible in the professional arena. Leaving work to care for children should always be our choice, not a pressure imposed upon us by society. If we want to have the chance to get back to work in the design field, we must have our partners’ support as well as sharing child care responsibilities with them, otherwise trying to balance our personal and professional lives becomes a titanic and overwhelming enterprise.

Are women designers taking a more leading role in the design field? Let me quote the ever amazing and inspiring Canadian designer Carole Guevin: “Gender has got nothing to do with talent! Are women still under represented today? Yes! Needing more limelight? Yes!”

Though the work of designers worldwide, regardless of gender, is quite rich and diverse; for some reason when it comes to the public sphere such as workshops, speakers at conferences, publications and even as jurors of design competitions, the presence of women designers seem to be outnumbered by our male colleagues. It is pattern we are working hard to change in society as shown in the examples below:

• Canadian designer Carole Guevin has been featuring women designers’ work in a special section called ‘Powagirrrls’, first on her web magazine ‘Netdiver‘ until 2010 and later on her new project ‘Featured By‘.

• Every March, since 1996, American designer Fred Showker publishes ‘Annual Designing Women’ on his website ‘Graphic Design & Publishing Center‘.

• Mexican designers and espouses Bryony Gómez-Palacio and Armin Vit published in 2009 the book ‘Women of Design‘.

• In 2009 another book about women designers, specifically Polish designers, was published as well, ‘Discovering Women in Polish Design: Interviews & Conversations‘ by Gian Luca Amadei.

• Since 2010 ‘WOMEN designers | MUJERES diseñadoras‘ project, which is run by Susana Machicao and I, has been featuring in Facebook the work of fellow women designers, muses beyond graphics and the work done by our female precursors.

• In 2010 Swedish designer Valeria Hedman founded ’BirdWatching‘. The project’s name is a pun since ‘bird’ is English slang for woman and the ‘watching’ part alludes to the visual design element of our profession but it also means that the project is here to watch out for each other and our common interests.

• In 2011 the exhibition ‘Mujeres Diseñando‘ (women designing), showcased 75 posters of 12 women designers of San Luis Potosí, México. The experience will be reprised this year, this time it will include the work of 4 women designers of Puebla.

• Early this year a new book was published, ‘Women in Graphic Design 1890-2012‘ by Gerda Breuer and Julia Meer.

SANDRA MONTERROSO

(Guatemala)

What role are women designers playing in todays world? The work of women designers is very important because we are part of the productive system of society. With our work we can provide and make structural changes in the culture, if we consider it clear that the design is part of the visual culture of a place.
Do women and their male counterparts differ in any way? Perhaps the difference lies in the sensitivity, the ability to organize and to give a different point of view, we have the same capabilities as men, but historically we have not had the same opportunities. That will create a disadvantage for us, but also an impetus to innovate.
Are women designers  taking a more leading role in the design field? We are exelentes managers to generate ideas and changes, at this time I think we are more women designers, but we are still not sufficient compared with men, for us are still less opportunities and also because in some societies there is still sexism in power.
So that led us to make new ways of leadership for ourselves and create another type of institution more inclusive.

SUSANA MACHICAO

(Bolivia)

What role are women designers playing in today’s world? There is no special role. To emphasize that we had a special role is to recognize that our design work is different from male designers. BUT we need to keep motivating the young generations to never forget the passion and dedication that they had while they where studying. We need more professional representation in workshops, international jury, Universities, because we are not that few, so let’s make a statement with our work

Do women and their male counterparts differ in any way?  Not at all in the results I am seeing thus far. In my experience women are more dedicated in details while they’re designing, so sometimes the result is clearly unique. But this is not common and of course there are bad designers too.

Are women designers taking a more leading role in the design field? In some countries yes. I read a debate of Polish Designers few months ago when they were discussing why they have so many women designers in Poland, and why men are so few. This is crazy for me, classrooms are full of young female students, but somehow they change priorities while they are growing, or simple stop looking for spaces of recognition or healthy competition.

WOMEN DESIGNERS PROJECT

The project born to identify and highlight the design work of women. We include also illustrators, artists and inspirational profiles from all-over the world. We want to change the notion of female participation in the most recognized design activities as biennials, lectures, workshops and jury, and to generate interchange of opinion in educative, professional and social levels. Even though the page is not “women’s only” because we think that the scenario has to be changed and the only way to do it is to have the participation of men with their opinion, likes and suggestions.
The project is open to all the women with an Open Call http://on.fb.me/vMllfy so we invite you to make a graphic statement. http://www.womendesignersproject.com

VEERLE POUPEYE

(Jamaica – Executive Director of National Gallery of Jamaica)

What role are women designers playing in today’s world? I am best equipped to speak about the Jamaican situation. In terms of studies, at the Edna Manley College, the ratio of graphic design students is about 60 % male and 40 % female. Professionally, I think the ratio would be similar. It is still a male-dominated field but women are however making headway, as in all professional fields. I suspect that one of the driving forces in this change is the changes in technology. Designers no longer need “big equipment” that is only available in specialized offices and can more easily work from home, which suits and empowers a lot of women, especially when they have children.  Since design is client-driven, however, the capacity to “get the job” is however essential and women may still be at a disadvantage on that count.

Do women and their male counterparts differ in any way? To be honest, I’ve never looked at it this way. I tend to look at the work, rather than at who made it. Women may however get different jobs and engage with clients differently. Much would depend on the personality of designer, rather than on gender. A friend has said that female designers are more conscientious and perhaps they are also more flexible and easier to work with – that is certainly my experience working with designers at the NGJ.

Are women designers taking a more leading role in the design field? As I said before, it is still a male-dominated field. The CEOs of the main local companies are mostly men but there are some influential exceptions and I do think there is the potential for change. It is really in women’s hands to take a greater stake in design and to have their presence felt.