HAVE YOU SEEN ZUZANA LICKO?
It took more or less seventy years after men received the right, for women to win the right to vote when they were granted so in 1920 after careful consideration—as it seemed that women being treated as equals could be potentially disastrous; only white women won this vote, though, as black women and Native American women had to wait an additional, painful 45 years to vote equally alongside their white sisters. While women are perfect for attaining the roles of wives and mothers, women have always been viewed as a toxic virus to the professional environment, such as career based situations and public office. Strides have been made, however, but while women have gained equality over the years in areas like medical rights, such as birth control, and career opportunities; how many of the inventors, scholars, or designers that you have heard of are women?
Some of the most famous designers; Adrian Frutiger, Eric Gill, Tobias Frere-Jones, Hermann Zapf, Paul Rand, Saul Bass, Milton Glaser, the list goes on, are often well-known or at least ring a bell in the heads of most art enthusiasts; but one common theme can be found amongst all of them—they are all white men; and while it is not their fault for being born as such, it is our duty to shine light upon those less often acknowledged, like female type designer, Zuzana Licko.
Some may recognize Licko as the co-founder of graphic design magazine, Emigre, or perhaps her typefaces such as Mrs Eaves and Filosofia, but most may not be aware that she was fluent in computer programing, data processing, type designing. Licko was originally inclined to photography and architecture while attending college at The University of California: Berkeley, but after attending her first calligraphy class, Licko found a certain fascination for typography that would later inspire her three dozen original typefaces.
Arranging the vertical text, “HAVE YOU SEEN ZUZANA LICKO?” on the short side of an expansive wall literally illustrates the notion that often times women in the workforce and other professional fields are looked past. The long, horizontal lines extending from the feet of each letter intrigues the viewer to further inspect the reason behind such an odd, non-uniform arrangement. Upon closer inspection, the viewer will notice fragmented sentences depicting Zuzana Licko’s life, who she was, and what she accomplished; after inspecting the small text within the horizontal lines, the viewer will come to the end of the wall, noticing the obscure sentence which is also the title of the piece, can intrigue the viewer further into investigating Licko further, giving her, and other female designers rightful recognition.