A list of female type designers

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John Hudson's picture
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Joined: 21 Dec 2002 - 11:00am
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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
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Joined: 21 Dec 2002 - 11:00am
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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
Joined: 8 Aug 2007 - 3:23am
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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:

[[http://twitter.com/hardwig/status/53410219874729985|Florian Hardwig:]] http://is.gd/AhBp6p mentions she cut initials.
[[http://twitter.com/typeoff/status/53412636397805568|Dan:]] See S. Winter's Reading Dissertation about A. Simons for the list of types she was almost definitely behind! http://bit.ly/hLy0AP
[[http://twitter.com/hardwig/status/53414850558304256|Florian:]] Perfect, thanks. ‘Anna Simons and type design’ starts on p55.

Reynir Heiðberg Stefánsson's picture
Joined: 19 Nov 2010 - 11:15am
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Wonder if [[http://www.pia-frauss.de/|Pia Frauss]] and Petra Heidorn (Cybapee) qualify for the list. Don't know enough to tell...

John Hudson's picture
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Joined: 21 Dec 2002 - 11:00am
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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.

Michael Clark's picture
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Joined: 2 Mar 2005 - 12:24pm
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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
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Joined: 18 Feb 2007 - 6:41am
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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).