International Women's Day Comp Winners

Mar 04, 2021

On the 8th of March is International Women's Day and we want to take the opportunity to highlight and celebrate all the incredible female lettering artists in our community! 

We teamed up again with International Women's Day on the search for creations that celebrated and empowered women! Below are the 6 winners across the 2 categories! Congratulations again to the winners and thank you to everyone who participated! 

Choose to Challenge Winners

Olga Torgova | @akibaseal
Olga is a lettering artist, a daughter, a sister, a wife, a mother - just an ordinary woman like many many around. 
She lives in Moscow, Russia. Olga has a graphic design education and art-direction experience, but the love of her life is letters. 
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 can. When you feel joy you feel less scary. In togetherness and supporting is our power. Just like my letters - they're have strange shapes and different colours, but all together they are hilarious and looking good.
What was your process for creating the artwork?
It's fun but the roots of this work's letters are in other challenge "100 days of lettering". It's the first year I decided to take a part in such a long activity and draw one untranslatable word from a random language at a day. Every day I just set down and draw the letters whatever I want. And when Typism has anounsed the IWD competition I'm already had letters which wanted to be drawn in this way and just waited the right theme. The gender symbol has born in process.
What does it mean to you to Choose to Challenge?
For me it's mean to not to stuck in our fears and doubts. Choose to examine yourself, choose to fight, choose to learn to lose and win - choose to live a life that you want, the life that you deserve.
Do you have any views or comments about any gender issues relating to the world of 'women and typography'? 
Typography have no gender. It's a lot of amazing woman lettering artist, typography designers and calligraphy masters. The community at large is really friendly and kind. But it's a lot of gender issues in other social sides. So let's be kind to each other and support sisters.
Susi Cadena | @susicadenadesigns

Susi is a creative from Mexico who loves typography, brand identity, packaging, and powerful design for social good. In her free time you can find her buying plants, looking for animals to pet, indulging her sweet tooth, or finding inspiration in museums.

What is the concept behind your design? 
This piece represents a labyrinth. Success rarely comes in the form of a straight line, and if we choose to challenge ourselves by taking a more complex path, we might end up learning a lot more in the process.

What was your process for creating the artwork? 
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 came up with things like puzzles, crossword puzzles, chess, sudoku, maze, etc. 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? 
To me, “Choosing to Challenge” 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.

Do you have any views or comments about any gender issues relating to the world of 'women and typography'?
I feel lucky that women like Jessica Hische, Lauren Hom, Gemma O’Brien, Marmalade Bleue, among others, have paved the way for other great emerging designers, letterers, and typographers to come. I am always happy to see such diversity of amazing work on my feed every day.


 Jennifer Greive | @jennifer.greive
Jennifer is an Ohio based Graphic Designer, illustrator and hand lettering artist who creates work based on positivity and mental health. 
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 are to be.
What was your process for creating the artwork?
As in most of all my work I always look up inspiration and ideas to create a mood board to go off of. Other times I’ll just wing it. I know I wanted to use pink as it’s always used pertaining to women. Though I know their are much stronger bold colors that can represent us too. I always tend to lean on using pink for International Women’s Day.

What does it mean to you to Choose to Challenge?
To me this means no matter what we as women choose to fight and be strong. To keep pushing the issues that still plague us in today’s society. 
Do you have any views or comments about any gender issues relating to the world of 'women and typography'?  
Though I don’t consider myself a feminist I strongly agree that we do need some changes in today’s society. I feel that women as artists still so often don’t get as many opportunities as our male counterparts or go unnoticed with our accomplishments. 

Happy International Women's Day Winners

 Anne Gvozdjak | @lettersbyanne

Anne is a student from the US with a love for unique stories, quirky word patterns, and lowercase letters. she's been lettering as a hobby for years now, and may someday turn it into a freelance project of her own.

What is the concept behind your design?
My design was inspired by the idea that the queen is the most powerful piece on the chessboard. However, rather than pitting queens against one another in black and white, I wanted to emphasize a nature of collaboration and collective empowerment: thus, while the grayscale pattern of the looping letters reflects the chess theme, all the queens are the same deep, red color.

What was your process for creating the artwork?
I start all my designs with a pencil sketch. When I’m finished making adjustments, I scan the image and do my digital lettering in Autodesk Sketchbook and Adobe Photoshop.

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?
To me, International Women’s Day is a day to celebrate the obstacles that women have had to overcome, and the achievements that they have dedicated their lives to making. It reminds me of the beautiful community I’m part of, from members of my family to heroes in history.

Do you have any views or comments about gender issues relating to the world of “women and typography”?
I think it’s incredible to watch individuals break gender stereotypes in lettering style and color palette. Typography’s subtle but ubiquitous presence in the world makes it all the more important for women to take on great projects and be confident in the value of their work.


Magali Hochlander | @onirographica

Magali is a self-taught French hand lettering artist who likes to draw letters that convey positivity and inspiration. Her work usually includes intricate patterns, delicate curvy lines and dream-like elements.

It ranges from embellishing chalkboards for cafes and restaurants, decorating shop windows or painting murals to graphic design commissions where lettering and illustration are key.

What is the concept behind your design? 
I wanted this piece to be both refined and strong in order to reflect the complexity of what women can be. That’s why I’ve created contrast between bold serif letters and delicate flourishes, between textured shadowed letters and raw sketchy background. The yellow petals surrounding the flowers on the pattern can be seen as flames that underline the power of the feminine.

What was your process for creating the artwork?
My process was a little bit different than usual for this piece. I’ve started by putting together the color palette and background pattern, which I had created for a past artwork as part of the #100daysoflettering challenge. Once I had an overall frame for the lettering, I made a lot of sketches, aiming at finding a simple composition that would nicely fill the space and make the word « women » the center of attention. I drew the letterforms so they would be easily readable yet ornate and added textures and shadows to make the letters pop.  

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?
International Women’s Day is one of these celebrations that I would love to be unnecessary in our times. But as long as one of our sisters is denyied any opportunity or right just because she was born a woman, this day will be of utmost importance!
On a more personal note, this day is important for me as it’s also my birthday: I was born a feminist!

Do you have any views or comments about any gender issues relating to the world of 'women and typography'?
It’s very delightful to see so many women making it in lettering and art in general. My inspirations include many female artists like Lauren Hom, Gemma O’Brien, Martina Flor or Lisa Quine, only to name a few. Seeing more women thriving in this artform is very empowering. That’s why I wanted to contribute to this contest. And I’m so happy you give me this space today to celebrate women’s achievements and speak about equality together! 


Alison Evans | @artsyalisondesigns

Alison like's to serve up positive, uplifting art with a side of feminism and pop culture. The main focus of her work is based on my her own personal experiences with mental health, feminism and being raised by the television screen. While most of her work is focused on illustration, the main inspiration and motivation is typography, lettering and calligraphy.
What is the concept behind your design?
I really wanted to embody the celebration of women's achievements and promote a sense of inclusion and togetherness. Hands are something I gravitate towards illustrating, so I thought that holding hands would be a perfect depiction of that idea. I also wanted to incorporate the international symbol for women, and decided to include that with the background pattern.
What was your process for creating the artwork?
The program I use for all of my lettering/typography/illustration is Procreate. I started with the message - "Happy International Women's Day" and decided I wanted to have that as the biggest element in the design. I sketched the lettering out first and realized I had a blank spot underneath the lettering portion. Like I mentioned before, I do enjoy drawing hands, so I thought this would be a perfect addition to the design at the bottom. I sketched those until they fit how I wanted them to, then went back and lettered the writing, and designed the ribbon-like texture to it. After that, I finalized the hands and colored them in. I always have a problem selecting colors, so that part took a long time, but I finally settled on a darker background so that the messaging popped.
What does International Women’s Day mean to you?
I believe that as a society, we need to celebrate women's successes and stand up for gender parity in every aspect of life. Although I would love it if everyday could be International Women's Day, it is nice that we can set aside one day where we can focus our efforts on raising awareness about equality and come together for a common cause to celebrate the achievements the world has made in the goal of gender equity and inclusion.

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