Exhibition review: A+100 years of graphic design by women at Central Saint Martins

The Graphic Design exhibition A+100 years of Graphic Communication by Women of Central Saint Martins (2016). This exhibition at was presented as a window display in Central Saint Martins, the graphics work featured design and illustration by women who studied or taught at Central Saint Martins between 1910 to 2016.

This exhibition was intended to highlight the (some may argue) under-representation of the contributions women have made in Graphic Design practice. When it comes to Graphic Design household names such as Saul Bass (1920-1996), Adrian Frutiger (1928-2015) and Ken Garland (1929) come to mind and they’re all male designers. Female Designers such as Barbara Kruger (1945), Astrid Stavro (1972) and Lucienne Roberts (1962). Statically there are 70% of female design students study at our students are women. The exhibition created quite a lot of social media reactions, debates and conversations.

During my visit of this installation, I thought the presentation of the work at hand needed a bit more space to ‘breathe’ because the work seemed to be distributed in unequal proportions.

I think that women were never given enough credit for there addition to design, not solely based on gender stereotypes, but simply because the best design goes unnoticed and this shows its aesthetic. This sounds like the age-old dilemma, of women and men not being paid the same amount of money at work. Finding a design solution is the important thing.

In this exhibition, the work that stood out to me was Don’t Turn Your Back on the Ocean (2014) by the Graphic Designer Sophie Thomas (1972) because of her use of its type hierarchy, size, texture, and colour. Her artwork includes waste ink, samples of plastic and sand she gathered from her trip to Kamilo beach.  In 2014 Sophie made a trip to a Hawaiian beach.  She experienced the waste and rubbish from the ‘plastic beach’ and chose to delve into this subject matter for her artwork.

‘Don’t Turn Your Back On the Ocean’ 2014) by Sophie Thomas








The medium used in this design is letterpress presented in a poster with an underlined grid arrangement that archives clarity and professionally. The shape is a two-dimensional poster that can be used in multiple mediums. It looks very rough because the designer used sand samples combined with ink and plastic (About the A+ exhibition, 2016).

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Reference list:

Roberts, L. et al. (2016) A+100 years of graphic design by the women of Central Saint Martins. Available at: http://graphicsukwomen.com/abouttheaplusexhibition/ (Accessed: 4 August 2016).


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s