The Female Imprint

“The study of design history is a way of filtering the past; it’s a way of selecting what’s important to remember, shaping it and classifying it. It’s also a way of selecting what’s important to forget” J.Abbott Miller

The story of design in Italy is fascinating, but one that largely overlooks the women involved. Beginning my project with Nicola-Matteo Munari’s Archivio Grafica Italiana, I was struck by the number of women recorded on his site and emailed him questioning this. He stated that few female designers were recorded as there is little evidence of work under their name.

Therese Moll, Lora Lamm, Anita Klinz, Carla Buttura, Peggy Hopper, Carla Gorgerino and Adriana Botti Monti all worked in a male profession before it was legal for women to have a divorce, or illegal for a husband to have dominance over his wife. In 1970, Italian artist Carla Accardi formed the ‘Rivolta Femminile’: The face of Rome, Milan and Florence was plastered with posters of a one thousand word manifesto stating the right for women’s freedom. Design altered, moving from the office to the streets. Becoming less consumerist and more political, fronted by women not defined as graphic designer’s but who created vibrant explosive visual poetry: Lucia Marcucci, Ketty La Rocca and Tomaso Binga communicated a historical change through graphic language, yet received little recognition for it.

This publication intends to highlight and celebrate female creatives working from 1930-1980 in Italy. Aiming not only to showcase their work but provide social context to the time when they were working.

Front & Back Cover