The depressing state of graphic design among women’s organizations

Ever noticed that almost every women’s organization has some slightly different version of the same frickin’ logo? Shana Moulton did and rounded up this visual essay on it. Here’s a taste:

Frankly, I find it beyond depressing. Of course it’s natural to think of women’s bodies, particularly for organizations that are health-related, but must every one end up as some squiggle-of-dancing-feminine-curves? I also understand that a lot of people take issue with our logo, which, indeed, is a woman’s body. But in our case, I think the concept is pretty damn original–reclaiming an image that has been so patently misogynistic by arming her with a definitive point of view.

Women deserve good design too. Feel free to link to original and thoughtful logos in the comments section so we can point towards a more diversified visual language for feminist organizations.

Thanks to John for the heads up.

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  1. Posted January 6, 2011 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    Yes, most of these are boring and repetitive.Graphic design, and to a slightly lesser degree illustration often consists of a dearth of imagination and a tendency to use visual language that have been proven to be effective with their target market. With the exception of the fist and venus sign logo, which has it’s origins in anarcho-feminism, most of these appear to be from groups or products aimed largely at a middle to upper middle class demographic, probably interested in women’s issues in a vague sort of way, some seem to have this loose new-age “goddess spirituality” without being a direct endorsement of any specific spiritual path…in other words, they’re designed to appeal to a larger cross section of American women, whereas logos involving the labrys,raised fists etc. might be more exciting to me personally, but they’re not going to sell Luna bars or aerobics classes.

  2. Posted January 6, 2011 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

    Amen. Can we also fire album cover designers for fantastic feminist artist like Tori Amos?

  3. Posted January 6, 2011 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

    I could not stop laughing when I saw this. It actually reminds me of that Kotex (I think) commercial that pokes fun of all other pad/tampon commercials. This is one giant accumulation of dancing, smiley, earthy, feel good images. And I use all of those terms loosely. As women we’re so immersed in that aspect of womanhood where we are always attracted to vague ideas/ images that somehow will make us want to dance, smile and feel good.

  4. Posted January 10, 2011 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

    I designed the logo for a girls hockey company that my mom and I started. It’s called Ice. We wanted it to be powerful and strong yet say female at the same time. I think we did a pretty good job! The logo is at the top left of this page:

  5. Posted January 12, 2011 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

    I did a redesign a few years ago for a PPFA logo that they still use (it’s awful!!).

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