Only a year ago, the Berlin-based designer Svenja Prigge was surprised—and pissed off—to learn that the 2018 jury for Germany’s prestigious 100 Beste Plakate (100 Best Posters) competition was entirely male. “The discussion around gender inclusivity in design is not at all new,” she says, “so I couldn’t believe how unaware the exhibition’s organizers were being.” In response, Prigge launched Posterwomen*, an Instagram account featuring posters created by designers who identify as women or non-binary.
While the account began as a statement, it’s since evolved into an ever-growing network. “It’s helped me to connect to like-minded people all over the world, it’s stimulated personal and professional growth, and it’s helped me fight my own insecurities,” says Prigge.
Last winter, for example, she collaborated with a feminist film festival called Furora to organize a Posterwomen* exhibition in a 1950s Berlin cinema, with Posterwomen* designers creating posters for 15 of the movies playing at the event. “I constantly connect with my community and meet new designers through the platform,” she says. “That’s what I’m ultimately aiming for—to keep the discussion going, and to give female-identifying designers more exposure, reach, and the recognition that they deserve.” She takes submissions via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and curates her content based on whether the design reflects the current moment politically, culturally, or from a design point of view.
After the news broke regarding the 100 Beste Plakate entirely male jury, Prigge not only launched her platform, but also shared her outrage on social media, as did many others. Now, this year’s 100 Beste Plakate jury will be entirely female. “I partially take credit for that,” says Prigge, “as should everyone who was part of the discussion. Whether one agrees with an all-female jury or not, it’s a step forward and the competition is making a statement. Personally, I would wish for a diverse group of jurors every year.”
We invited Prigge to tell us about the designers behind five works featured on Posterwomen*.