Women in Design – Cipe Pineles


In this blog series, we shine a light on women trailblazers in the design industry – women who have earned a Wikipedia page (or are likely to very soon). You might not know them by name, but definitely by their work and influence on the design world as a whole.

For March, we’re highlighting the impact and accomplishments of editorial designer, Cipe Pineles. 

Cipe Pineles was ahead of her time. Originally from Austria, Cipe immigrated to the United States when she was 13 years old. Her accomplishments during her 60-year career include being the first female art director of Vogue, Glamour, Vanity Fair, and House & Garden. Her work, both evocative and groundbreaking, brought fine art into mainstream media and to the population at large. 

Recognized by Clarisse Couder, Condé Nast’s wife, as an exceptional talent, Cipe was given creative freedom to develop her own distinct style. Her love of contemporary art and artists (she commissioned both Andy Warhol and Ben Shahn to illustrate articles) blended the line between art and design in a way that had never been done before.

“Her use of the page is both brilliant and brave,” admires Jane Sayer, Director of Visual Strategy at Smith Design. “She combines images, white space, and typographic balance to achieve layouts that are witty, charming, and dynamic. Her spreads tell a visual narrative independent but complimentary to the verbal narrative.”


Pineles was obviously very proud of her accomplishments and especially of Charm magazine, calling it the first feminist magazine. She went on to became the first woman inducted into the Art Directors Club of New York in 1943 and received several awards, many of which she was the first female to receive. Pineles led a long and successful career that has permanently impacted editorial design and her legacy of work is as fresh and inspiring today as ever.


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