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17 Influential Women Designers to Watch in 2017

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Did you know that Susan Kare designed many of the interface elements for the Apple Macintosh computer in the 1980s? Or that Carolyn Davidson created the Nike “swoosh” logo for the brand in 1971?

Women with boundless talent, originality, and creativity have been rocking the field of visual design for years.

Visual designers are essentially problem solvers – rather than just creating a brand’s identity, they work on defining what goes into a brand’s individual style and voice. In addition to creating stunning designs, they know how to explain design concepts and the decisions behind their work.

Here are 17 women who are making their mark on the design world and advancing in this career with fearless ingenuity. Find out why they’re definitely worth watching in 2017.

Psst! Wanna know how to get started as a visual designer? Check out the FREE Ultimate Guide to Getting a Junior Web Designer Job!

1. Jessica Walsh – Jessica is designer, art director, illustrator, and a partner of Sagmeister Walsh, a renowned full-service design agency based in NYC. She was named one of Forbes magazine’s ‘30 under 30’ for her impressive work on projects for clients such as David Byrne, the Guggenheim, and the New York Times. Jessica cultivated her digital background from a young age, and started coding and designing websites at just 11 years old. Her style is colorful and wildly inventive and it’s easy to see why she’s known as graphic design’s “It Girl.”
jessica walsh

2. Leta Sobierajski – Leta is an independent designer and art director based in New York City. She has a bright and diverse portfolio that includes work for Target, Tate Modern, Google, and Refinery29, among others. She recently designed the blog for AIGA, showing off her serious skills in designing for the web. Her colorful and brilliantly bizarre style is refreshing and fun.
leta

3. Jessica Hische – Jessica is a lettering artist, type designer, and illustrator. She has a long list of influential tech clients, including Mailchimp, Retailmenot, and Eventbrite. She shines when it comes to branding and strives to create beautiful work chock full of personality and happiness, while maintaining a high level of technical precision and prowess.
jessica hische

4. Debbie Millman – Debbie is the President of Design at Sterling Brands where she works on brand strategy and design for clients that include Pepsi, Dove, and Google, just to name a few. She has over 30 years of experience in the field and she also hosts the Design Matters podcast. She was recently named “one of the most influential designers working today” by Graphic Design USA.
debbie millman

5. Sarah Boris – Sarah is based in London and has been hired to design for some of the UK’s most prominent cultural institutions, including Gasworks, the Barbican Centre, Tate, and the Architecture Foundation. Her impressive portfolio includes visual identity and branding, graphics for exhibitions, editorial design, and more.
sarah boris

6. Tracy Ma – Tracy serves as Deputy Creative Director of Bloomberg Businessweek. She designs for magazines on a daily basis, creating compelling graphics to go along with current events and news stories.
tracy ma

7. Verena Michelitsch – Verena is an Austrian graphic designer who honed her craft at Sagmeister & Walsh, Pentagram, RoAndCo, and Sid Lee NY before striking out on her own and going freelance. She now serves clients all around the world providing branding, graphic design, and illustration services.
verena

8. Marta Veludo – Marta’s work is inspired by pop culture and folk art, and strong themes of color and movement come up frequently in her designs. Her services include graphic design, brand communication, and visual identity, among many other talents. She designs & conceptualizes for both cultural and commercial clients and counts Adidas, Reebok, and Lego as some of her big-name brands.
marta veludo

9. Jing Zhang – Originally from China, Jing is a designer and illustrator living in East London. She maintains a steady stream of commercial and advertising clients, such as the European Parliament, HSBC, IBM, Canon, Samsung, and many more. She specializes in taking complicated ideas and creating infographics that are designed in a simple and playful yet complex manner.
jing zhang

10. Becky Simpson – Becky is a freelance designer, illustrator, and author based in Nashville, Tennessee. She recently served as an Adobe Creative Resident and built and launched online design shop Chipper Things during that time. Her style is colorful and cheerful and she loves to design with good humor in mind. The positivity and good vibes that come through in her designs is infectious.
becky simpson

11. Raewyn Brandon – Raewyn is a freelance web and graphic designer based in New Zealand. She’s killing it on Behance, with over 48,000 followers admiring her work. In fact, she’s so good at her job that she contributed designs and creative direction for Super-Modified: The Bēhance Book of Creative Work.
raewyn

12. Deborah Adler – Deborah is the founder of Adler Design, a multidisciplinary studio that works with both commercial and nonprofit clients to design digital experiences. They design for clients such as Target, Johnson & Johnson, and Medline Industries, in addition to developing their own projects.
deborah adler

13. Lotta Nieminen – Hailing from Helsinki, Finland, Lotta is no amateur to the world of design. Before founding her own design studio in New York City, Lotta cut her teeth at prestigious agencies such as Pentagram and RoAndCo. She specializes in graphic design and art direction, and has been freelancing since 2006. Her design style is deeply rooted in modern art and is beautifully minimalist.
lotta

14. Teresa Sdralevich – Teresa is a freelance designer and illustrator based in Brussels. Her work always has strong themes attached to it, usually to address social, political, and cultural topics. She uses design as a way to create social impact and share a specific voice, often doing work for political campaigns.
teresa sdralevich

15. Fanette Mellier – Based in Paris, Fanette is a designer whose distinctive, abstract style relies heavily on vibrant, lucid color. She primarily does print-based work, which has graced magazines and art museums, including the famous Centre Pompidou in Paris.
Imprimer

16. Alex Proba – Originally from Germany and now living in New York City, Alex is a graphic designer, illustrator, and art director. She established her own freelance venture, Studio Proba, after working for Kickstarter as an art director. Alex is a big proponent for having a side hustle, dedicating time each day to her ‘A Poster A Day’ project.
proba

17. Marta Gawin – Marta has only worked as a multidisciplinary graphic designer for a few years, but she’s racked up numerous awards in the process, including the German Design Award and the European Design Award. She takes a logical, conceptual, and content-driven design approach to her work and treats graphic design as a field of visual research with lots of room for experimentation.
marta gawin

Visual design is a great career choice for anyone who wants to be creative on a daily basis. Visual designers do everything from working on branding to designing logos, websites, and web apps. Download the FREE Ultimate Guide to Getting a Junior Web Designer Job and then check out Skillcrush’s 3-month Visual Designer Blueprint to get started.

Get Our <span>FREE</span> Guide to Landing a Junior Web Design Job

Get Our FREE Guide to Landing a Junior Web Design Job

Learn how to land an amazing junior web designer job with our FREE 29-page ebook.

You can unsubscribe from our mailing list at any time. We won't use your email address for anything else, promise!

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