The graphic design field is ever-changing, yet the rock stars of the graphic design industry are still, mainly, men.

Meanwhile, the purchasing power of the globe is in the hands of individual women… it’s time to see more women like these eight, making a mark with their work that reflects their own vision.

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Get inspired by these rockin’ female graphic designers!

8 Top Female Graphic Designers

  1. Paula Scher: The Dame of Grande Design
  2. Louise Fili: Elegant Romance
  3. Marian Bantjes: Step Away From the Computer!
  4. Kristen Nikosey: The Art and Craft of Communication
  5. Janet Allinger: With Tongue Planted Firmly in Cheek
  6. Laura Smith: Reinventing Retro
  7. Deborah Sussman: Urban Legend
  8. Debbie Millman: Modern Design Discourse’s Chief


Paula Scher: The Dame of Grande Design

Bigger is definitely better. Bold words wrap you up and pull you in. You’re hooked! New York-based senior designer Paula Scher, one of only two female partners at mighty Pentagram, is a graphic design rock star of the highest order.

She’s also an author, a superb lecturer, and her work is in the permanent collections of several museums. Her clean, bold, and inventive use of typography editorial design has influenced a generation of young designers.

Paula ScherPaula Scher
Paula Scher and her portfolio


Louise Fili: Elegant Romance

Louise Fili has a special way with food packaging and restaurant identity graphic design the world over: the old-fashioned way. Her intricate illustrations and hand-lettered type grace brands from the most familiar, like Williams-Sonoma’s, to the most exclusive.

As a former illustrator based book jacket designer previous to opening her New York City firm, she designed over 2000 covers and learned the intimate art of connecting with an audience visually within a very small frame. Today she is also the author of several excellent books on graphic design, showcasing her expertise as a female graphic designer.

Louise Fili and her design workLouise Fili and her design work
Louise Fili and her design work


Marian Bantjes: Step Away From the Computer!

Based near Vancouver, British Columbia, Marian Bantjes‘ extraordinary way with communication begs to be called “graphic art,” in the finest sense of the term. Fabulous hand lettering is her trademark, demonstrating the power of a fine pen in a plugged-in world.

A 2006 installation created with female designer Stefan Sagmeister shows off her handwork in an ultra-modern context. Her spam email centerfold for print magazine the Vancouver Review will make you tear your hair out with jealousy. This is one hard-working lady, even when she’s riffing on a bit of junk mail!

Marian Bantjes and her portfolioMarian Bantjes and her portfolio
Marian Bantjes and her portfolio


Kristen Nikosey: The Art and Craft of Communication

Illustrator and woman graphic designer Kristen Nikosey’s work evokes Impressionist painting and Arts & Crafts style, with a distinctly California vibe. Her book illustrations are rich.

Her pattern designs women graphic designers are meticulously casual, if such a thing is possible, with deep color that jumps off the page. In graphic design world her packaging and identity work she blends today’s digital design techniques with her old-world sensibilities.

Kristen Nikosey and her art and craft workKristen Nikosey and her art and craft work
Kristen Nikosey and her art and craft work


Janet Allinger: With Tongue Planted Firmly in Cheek

Irreverent humor in identity design? If you’ve got Janet Allinger to inspire you, why not? If the market can take it, this designer dishes it out. While she’s been known to do more traditional design, it’s her post-feminist comic stylings that will grab and hold your attention. Fun, funky, and a little bit in-your-face—this lady’s not afraid of being known as “edgy.”

Janet Allinger and her portfolioJanet Allinger and her portfolio
Janet Allinger and her portfolio


Laura Smith: Reinventing Retro

While award-winning graphic and freelance print designer Laura Smith is at work, Art Deco will always find fresh interpretations. She’s done work for heavy hitters from Time Magazine to Major League Baseball to the U.S. Postal Service and that’s just for starters. Classic, colorful, and edited to only the necessary detail, her graphic images are nostalgic but never stuffy.

Laura Smith and her retro work Laura Smith and her retro work
Laura Smith and her retro work


Deborah Sussman: Urban Legend

Art, creative director and environmental women graphic designer Deborah Sussman has been creating legendary work for public spaces for decades. Deborah and her firm, Sussman/Prejza, have won numerous awards and done interior and exterior wayfinding and signage systems for Apple, Hasbro, the city of Los Angeles, and numerous others.

She may be most famous for her comprehensive graphics program for the 1984 Summer Olympics. As an art director, she has a keen eye for both client and community needs, art direction, creating work that is imaginative, spare, and crystal clear.

Deborah Sussman and her portfolioDeborah Sussman and her portfolio
Deborah Sussman and her portfolio


Debbie Millman: Modern Design Discourse’s Chief

Debbie Millman is undoubtedly a multi-talented woman: graphic designer, author, educator, and the respected host of the popular podcast “Design Matters.” Throughout a career of more than three decades, she has left an impressive imprint in the design world. Her client portfolio consisting of big brands like Burger King, Hershey’s, and Star Wars is quite impressive.

Millman’s portfolio is as diverse as impressive, from branding to packaging, book design as well as illustration. Being an already-established writer, as the first female principal, she has authored multiple books about design and creativity. However, via projects such “Design Matters,” her influential podcast, Millman has participated in insightful conversations with world-class creative talent, which has rendered her the great voice of the design community.

Debbie Milman and her modern designsDebbie Milman and her modern designs
Debbie Milman and her modern designs


Female Graphic Designers Summary

Barriers? Sure. Glass ceiling? Maybe. These ladies have their eyes on the prize, not the ceiling. As a result, these female graphic designers have busted right through it — rock on!

What other female graphic designers would you add to this list?