It’s unsurprising that the predominant narrative of early 20th century typeface design features mostly male names, like Bruce Rogers, Morris Benton, and Frederic Goudy. While these men were pivotal players in the early days of typography, it’s critical to acknowledge that there were female designers right alongside them who have been largely overlooked in the history books.
Canadian letterpress printer Lauren Elle DeGaine was so enraged by the egregious erasure of these women that they became the subject of her Master’s studies at the University of Victoria. Her research culminated in the 2021 thesis project, “A Woman’s Type: Early Women Type Designers in 20th-Century Book History,” which came in both hand-printed and digital editions.
DeGaine will share the results of her research in an upcoming virtual seminar with Type West, a postgraduate certificate typography program by the non-profit Letterform Archive. “Uncovering the History of Early Women Type Designers” will discuss a wide array of topics, including ten designers, 14 typefaces, and the socioeconomic gender dynamics of typography at large.
This free event will be co-presented by the San Francisco Public Library’s Book Arts & Special Collections department, and it’s slated for next Tuesday, June 21 from 12—1:30 PM PT. You can reegister to attend on the Letterform Archive website.