Top 5 Trailblazing Female Graphic Designers

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.


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 Pentagram since 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.


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.


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.


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).


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.


Article by Erin Grandmaison RGD, senior graphic designer with the award-winning Creative Strategy team at Bruce Power, Canada’s only private sector nuclear generator. With over 20 years of involvement in the design industry, her broad ranging skill set has enabled her to design, manage and produce a variety of projects with clients such as York University, MLSE, the Government of Canada and the RGD. She has also been recognized by the RGD In-House Design Awards, HOW In-House awards, GDUSA Awards, American In-House Awards, Spark Design Awards and the International Business Awards.