Principal Investigator, Art Director, and Designer: Tamara McLean, 2025 MFA Fellowship Candidate, Graphic Design Program, Art Department, UW-Madison
Women's role in Wisconsin's graphic design history since 1989 is the focus of this research.
The Wisconsin women's graphic design unwritten history and contributions to economic success to fine art academic culture and professional communities are unrecorded. In the United States, specifically Wisconsin, before 1989, Graphic Design careers were dominated by men working in printing companies. Since the Heidelberg Platen Press was introduced in 1914 and manufactured between 1923 and 1985, printing has been a physically demanding, highly-paid union job. In 1961 Letraset released a dry transfer type that democratized communications. On January 24, 1984, founder and CEO Steve Jobs debuted the first Macintosh Computer in Cupertino, California. The computer was now accessible to the masses, and desktop publishing was launched as a billion-dollar industry. This research focuses on Wisconsin's graphic design history and the role women have played. Each medium: package, visual merchandising, environmental graphic design, branding, print collateral, and web, provides a visual experience that is narrative, interactive, and tangible. It will be an original website design that tells the stories of Wisconsin women in graphic design history. A diverse group of women designers will be sought. The website will showcase women's experiences working alongside men in the printing, advertising, education, freelance, in-house design departments, and design agencies throughout Wisconsin. The website will include interviews with UW system educators and designers. The gallery show website,, will be developed to embrace regional, national, and global audiences.
Special thanks to Assistant Professor Ahn for your advisement.
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