Lettering Artists Make Every Day Women’s Day
Graphic designer and illustrator Lucía Gómez Alcaide originally came up with the idea for Typing Feminism as a way to bring female lettering artists together on Instagram to celebrate International Women’s Day, on March 8. However, she soon realized that the project was much too large for just one day.
Typing Feminism introduced its first featured artist, Fiona Poupeau, on February 21, with a portrait and quick bio of the Parisian graphic designer, along with a strikingly simple lettering design that reads GRL PWR in black and white. Each row of photos on the Instagram page features a different artist and her lettering creations, which are always boldly feminist quotes or inspirational statements sure to start a conversation. Leslie Knope and Kimmy Schmidt are quoted alongside real-world icons Michelle Obama, Mary Wollstonecraft, Frida Kahlo, and bell hooks—in every imaginable style and by artists around the world. For instance, Aida Nazirova of Kazan, Russia’s submission asks, “Who is your womanspiration?” Gia Graham’s contribution is a beautifully illustrated quote from poet and activist Audre Lorde: “I am not free while any woman is unfree, even when her shackles are very different from my own.” The comments on each photo are delightfully positive and make the project feel like a true meeting of feminist minds; there are more than 50 female lettering artists involved so far, with more joining all the time.
Alcaide has been a feminist for most of her life, thanks to her mother, but she’s only begun honing her lettering skills in the past few years. “For three and a half years, I’ve been practicing almost every day,” she says. “Normally, I use an iPad Pro, but others I [illustrate] by hand, and then I use acrylic or watercolor paints or markers. Sometimes I need to escape the screens—the devices are all around us! So, I really need some time on Saturdays or Sundays to spend the morning painting with acrylics.” Alcaide is passionate about handcrafted art in general, so leaning into typography and calligraphy has been a natural process.
The self-taught letterer draws inspiration from everything to rock music and her pets to Pinterest and Instagram. Her own work, which can be found on Lucía Types, is eye-catching and often hilarious, with cameos by her pets Marcela the Pug and Penny the Cat, and quotes from heroes like David Bowie. It’s pretty punk rock stuff, more in the vein of riot grrrrl than other iterations of feminism, with exhortations such as “Stop saying yes to sh*t you hate” and “If life gives you lemons, shove them somewhere.”
“I’ve been fighting and arguing about [feminism for] many years,” Alcaide says. “Since I realized I was a feminist, I’ve needed to explain to people that they should be too. Now feminism is—luckily or not, I don’t know—very fashionable. Everybody wants to be a feminist… But it’s nice if girls and young people realize that it’s important to be a feminist. It’s a good thing. But I felt that everybody should be a feminist and what’s better that showing my art and others’ art?”
Typing Feminism has taken off since Alcaide publicly launched it in late February, and it doesn’t seem like the collective will be slowing down any time soon. Neither, for that matter, will Alcaide, who dreams of creating books, websites, and even courses dedicated to lettering. If you’re interested in getting crafty with other feminist typing enthusiasts, head to Instagram or drop her an email at Lucía Types.
April 10, 2019