Celebrating IWD 2021 #ChooseToChallenge Typography winners

Join us in celebrating the winners of the IWD 2021 Typography Competition in partnership with Typism. As part of the International Women's Day Women Creatives Mission, women typographers worldwide were invited to submit #ChooseToChallenge theme creations. In addition to awareness raising for women's equality, the creations elevate the visibility of talented women typographers and showcase their work for future commissions. Congratulations to the three impressive winners of the #ChooseToChallenge category for their winning entries. Learn about their process and what the #ChooseToChallenge theme means to them.


Susi Cadena says success is never in a straight line

@susicadenadesigns

IWD typism typography by Susana Cadena

Susi is a creative from Mexico who loves typography, brand identity, packaging, and powerful design for social good.

In her free time, you can always find Susi buying plants, looking for animals to pet, indulging her sweet tooth, or finding inspiration in museums.

What is the concept behind your design? 

IWD typism typography by Susana Cadena

Susi's piece represents a labyrinth. She believes that success rarely comes in the form of a straight line, and if we choose to challenge ourselves by taking a more complex path, then we may end up learning a lot more in the process.

What was your process for creating the artwork? 

IWD typism typography by Susana Cadena

I began the way I do with most of my projects, which is with a mind map. In this case, the word was “challenge” and during my brainstorm I came up with things like puzzles, crossword puzzles, chess, sudoku, maze, and so on. I first attempted to solve for “sudoku” but felt like it wasn't visually interesting enough, and so I decided to experiment with labyrinths. From that point, the process was merely a game on its own, finding the best way to interlock the letterforms.

Finally, I decided to avoid the stereotypical palette associated with women and tried a different approach with gradients, purposely flipping it on the letterforms to hint the hidden phrase.

What does it mean to you to Choose to Challenge?

IWD typism typography by Susana Cadena

To me, #ChooseToChallenge means stepping out of my comfort zone and choosing to try things that I wouldn't normally try. It is not a pleasant feeling to be in a vulnerable position where you might be the worst at whatever you are trying, but it is always rewarding to learn a new skill.

What views or comments do you have about gender issues relating to the world of 'women and typography'?  

I feel lucky that women like Jessica Hische, Lauren Hom, Gemma O’Brien, and Marmalade Bleue among others, have paved the way for further great emerging designers, letterers, and typographers to come - and I am always happy to see such diversity of amazing work.


Olga Torgova has a love of lettering

@akibaseal

IWD typism typography by Jennifer Greive

Olga is lettering artist, daughter, sister, wife and mother who describes herself as "just an ordinary woman like many around."

Living in Moscow in Russia, Olga has a solid graphic design education and art experience - and the love of her life is lettering. 

For IWD 2021, Olga decided to #ChooseToChallenge her personal fears and impostor syndrome to take part in the IWD Typography Competition.

What is the concept behind your design?

The concept is 'don't fear, you are not alone'.

I just wanted to make it as bright and joyful as I could.

When you feel joy, you feel less scared. Togetherness and support is our power - just like my letters with their strange shapes and different colours, but all together they are hilarious and look good.

What was your process for creating the artwork?

IWD typism by Olga Torgova

It was a fun process, but the roots of my letters for this work commenced from another challenge I worked on: 100 days of lettering. It is the first year that I had decided to take a part in this activity and I drew one untranslatable word from a random language each day. Every day, I sat down and drew whatever letters I wanted. When IWD and Typism announced their 2021 competition, I already had letters that I really wanted to draw in this way - and I had been waiting for the right theme - and "Choose To Challenge" was perfect. Excitingly, the gender symbol had been born in my creative process.

What does it mean to you to Choose to Challenge?

For me, "Choose To Challenge" means to not to be stuck in our fears and doubts. We can choose to examine ourselves, we can choose to fight, we can choose to learn to lose and win - and importantly we can choose to live a life that we want, a life we deserve.

What views or comments do you have about gender issues relating to the world of 'women and typography'?  

Typography has no gender. There are a lot of amazing female lettering artists, typography designers, and calligraphy masters. The community at large is really friendly and kind. But, there still remains many gender issues in further social circles - so let's be kind to each other and always support our sisters.


Jennifer Greive inspires to reach our dreams

@jennifer.greive

IWD typism typography by Jennifer Greive

Jennifer, working under the brand Fueled by Letters, is an Ohio-based Graphic Designer, illustrator, hand lettering artist and mother. The work she creates is based on positivity and mental health, inspiring other artists to reach their dreams. Her submission for the International Women's Day Typography Competition was inspired by the work of fellow lettering artist Aurelie Maron. Jennifer loved the 3D look Aurelie has made with several pieces in her feed and wanted to produce something similar to honor the style.

What is the concept behind your design? 

The concept behind my design was to show strong and bold type, because as women we have to come together and be the best we can be.

What was your process for creating the artwork?

IWD typism typography by Jennifer Greive

As in most of my work, I always research for inspiration and ideas to create a mood board to work off. Other times, I just wing it. I knew I wanted to use pink and purple as they are vibrant colors often pertaining to women across society, knowing there are many further stronger and bolder colors that can represent women also. 

What does it mean to you to Choose to Challenge?

To me, this means that no matter what we as women choose to fight and be strong about, we can always keep pushing the issues that still plague us in today's society. 

IWD typism typography by Jennifer Greive

What views or comments do you have about gender issues relating to the world of 'women and typography'?  

I strongly agree we do need some changes in today's society. I feel that women artists still don't get as many opportunities as our male counterparts, or we tend to go unnoticed with our accomplishments. 


Women typographers for commercial projects

In addition to the IWD 2021 winners, there are many further talented women available for commercial typography and lettering assignments and commissions, so explore further entries and the boundless creative vision. 

Thank you to all the women who entered the IWD #ChooseToChallenge #IWDtypism competition and to Dominique Falla, her colleagues and the entire Typism Community. Remember, entries remain open throughout the year for women's empowerment creations by posting creations on Instagram using hashtags: #IWD2021 #ChooseToChallenge and #IWDtypism. Selected entries are showcased via the IWD and Typism social media feeds.

 

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