March 8, 2017

Celebrating female visual artists and designers for International Women’s Day

MF Team

Creating a list of greatest artists and designers is a punishing act. There are just too many to include. With this very present in our mind, today, on International Women’s Day 2017, we celebrate women’s work in the fields of visual art and design by highlighting the work of eight inspiring and pioneering women who we admire. Not to mention we’re very proud of our 100% female design team here at Media Frontier. Today, we wear red! #IWD2017


Shantell Martin – Illustrator

In Martin’s world, a work of art is inseparable from its creator and its audience, and art is more than an object of admiration disconnected from the process of its inception. Rather, she sees her work as a vehicle to forge new connections between education, design, philosophy and technology — the glue in an increasingly interdisciplinary world. Martin’s methodical practice of bringing her audience and surroundings into her drawings is her own reflection on ever changing time and space. Her work is imbued with a sense of duty; the call of an artist to make the connections often invisible to those working within their respective areas of expertise.

Shantell Martin illustration

Shantell Martin illustrator Shantell Martin illustrator


Jing Zhang – Designer

Originally from mainland China, Zhang is an illustrator living in east London, the epicentre of eccentricity and creativity. With her clients mostly from the advertising industry, she has been working for clients including the European Parliament, HSBC, IBM, Canon, Samsung and many others. Her work has been seen around the world, by policy makers in EU, by Parisian commuters at underground stations, as a sculpture by people in Dubai, on suitcases by Canadian travellers, on the buses and newspapers by our friends across the pond in America, etc.

Jing Zhang illustration

Jing Zhang graphic design Jing Zhang graphic design


Susan Kare – Icon Designer

Kare is “a pioneering and influential computer iconographer. Since 1983, Kare has designed thousands of icons for the world’s leading companies. Utilizing a minimalist grid of pixels and constructed with mosaic-like precision, her icons communicate their function immediately and memorably, with wit and style.” And, she designed the deck of cards for the original Microsoft solitaire game!

Susan Kare illustration


Susan Kare Digital designer Susan Kare Digital designer


Zaha Hadid – Architect

Hadid was an Iraqi-born British architect. She was described by the The Guardian of London as the ‘Queen of the curve’, who “liberated architectural geometry, giving it a whole new expressive identity.” Her major works include the aquatic centre for the London 2012 Olympics, Michigan State University’s Broad Art Museum in the US, and the Guangzhou Opera House in China.

Zaha Hadid illustration

Zaha Hadid Architect

Heydar Aliyev centre, Baku, Azerbaijan. Photograph: Zaha Hadid architects

Zaha Hadid Architect

Galaxy Soho, Beijing, China. Photograph: Rex/View Pictures


Margaret Kilgallen – Visual Artist

Kilgallen was born in 1967 in Washington, DC, and received her BA in printmaking from Colorado College in 1989. Early experiences as a librarian and bookbinder contributed to her encyclopedic knowledge of signs, drawn from American folk tradition, printmaking, and letterpress. Kilgallen had a love of “things that show the evidence of the human hand.” Painting directly on the wall, Kilgallen created room-size murals that recall a time when personal craft and handmade signs were the dominant aesthetic. Strong, independent women—walking, surfing, fighting, and biking—are featured prominently in the artist’s compositions.

Margaret Kilgallen illustration

Margaret Kilgallen design Margaret Kilgallen design


Carolyn Davidson – Designer

Davidson is a graphic designer best known for designing the Nike “swoosh” logo. Davidson designed the swoosh in 1971 while a graphic design student at Portland State University in Portland, Oregon. Phil Knight asked Davidson to design a shoe stripe logo that “had something to do with movement”. She gave him five different designs, one of which was the “swoosh”.

Carolyn Davidson illustration

Carolyn Davidson Nike Swoosh

Paula Scher – Graphic Designer

Scher began her career creating album covers for both Atlantic and CBS records. However, it was not long before she formed her own design company, and after only a few years there she joined Pentagram. During her career she has created memorable identities and other work for clients such as Citi Bank, Coca-Cola, the Metropolitan Opera, the Museum of Modern Art and the New York Philharmonic, among others.

Paula Scher illustration

Paula Scher logo design Paula Scher logo design

Annie Leibovitz – Photographer

Leibovitz was born on October 2, 1949, in Waterbury, Connecticut. In 1970 she landed a job at Rolling Stone and went on to create a distinctive look for the publication as chief photographer. In 1983 she began working for the entertainment magazine Vanity Fair, continuing to produce images that would be deemed iconic and provocative. Having also worked on high-profile advertising campaigns, Leibovitz’s images have been showcased in several books and major exhibitions around the world.

Read about her recent world touring exhibition “Women: New Works” in our recent blog post.

Annie Leibovitz illustration

Annie Leibovitz portrait photography Zurich Annie Leibovitz portrait photography Zurich

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