Guest Curator: Jennifer Kinon

Leading business, design and strategy at Champions, Jennifer Kinon selected a few women-designed logos submitted to The People’s Graphic Design Archive and questioned what the data implies about the Archive and the broader profession.

When invited to choose a few pieces from The Archive, I came to the assignment with some ideas in mind but was surprised with my finds. This is our new canon. It’s everything we’ve been missing, not everything we already know.

As such, my collection began with a search for “logo” to determine what genders are represented in the collection.

In late 2022, searching “logo” delivered sixty-three results.

Uncredited: 9
Man: 35
Woman: 12
Team: 7

Of the four categories, women appear to have contributed around 20% of the total logo submissions to The PGDA, so far. I’m not sure what that number signifies. However, I’m certain there’s some meaningful calculation but my mind swirls. Looking at the entire history of logos created by women one would also need to consider the life of the profession too. By some accounts, women currently make up an even 50% of the industry, but representation of women in the industry has been much less over time. The 20% must also consider the life of The Archive and the representation of the people who have contributed thus far. Impossible to really decode, but look at the work!

Nike, MIT Press, and the Black Panther logo are epic contributions to craft and culture designed by women. I did not expect to find them here. To see the original sketches is incredible because it shows such clarity of thought early in the process.

Besides looking at who is represented in The Archive, I do wish that there was data for the contributors. Analyzing who is uploading to The Archive can help form a more culturally representative and inclusive narrative. The contributors play such an important role. It’s hugely instructive to see the full body of what a person has seen fit to document here.

Jenifer Kinnon’s January 2023 Picks

Ariadne Clothing Logo, Rebecca Martinez
Nike Logo Concept, Carolyn Davison
National Parks logo Sketch, Aubrey Neesham
Logo for Garden Club of Irvington, Ellen Shapiro
Black Panther Logo, Dorothy Zellner, Ruth Howard, Lisa Lyons
MIT Logo Sketches, Muriel Cooper
Sea Ranch Logo on Marker Building, Barbara Stauffacher Solomon
Tele Liban, Mouna Bassili Sehnaoui
Kansas City Seal Poster, City of Fountains, Heart of the Nation, Patrice Eilts-Jobe
Logotype for Di-zin, April Greiman
Logos, Cheryl D. Miller
Women Designers of Book-Plates, Elisabeth M. Hallowell

I sent this “A Woman Living Here Has Registered to Vote” to our clients at Supermajority and none of us had seen it before. I also loved seeing this image 1984 Los Angeles Olympics... because I am a system girl.

Follow Jennifer with Champions on Instagram and catch up on PGDA Guest Curators, view Bobby Joe Smith III's Guest Curator Picks