Vinitha Mammen says "Typography is a powerful space for us women to be in"
Vinitha Mammen is an independent illustrator and lettering artist based in Muscat, Oman. Her work focuses on women-centric design.
Vinitha is one of the many talented women who responded to the call-out for entries for the annual IWD x Typism annual Lettering Challenge. Vinitha showed her support for the IWD Women Creatives Mission by creating unique artwork that celebrated the IWD 2023 #EmbraceEquity campaign theme.
Meet Vinitha Mammen
Vinitha specializes in creating bold, colorful, empowering lettering and illustration for creative clients across the globe on a variety of projects including custom illustrated lettering for animation, journal cover illustration, social media campaigns, and more. Vinitha helps brands express themselves through custom illustrated projects that stand out with pretty and playful lettering, fun stylized illustrations and bold color palettes.
Apart from custom commissions, Vinitha designs and paints illustrated murals for local spaces and license her artwork for use on apparel, home and lifestyle products, wallpapers and more.
Vinitha also shares her knowledge and skills through in-person workshops and online classes on Skillshare.
Initiating conversations around gender equality
Using her voice as an artist, Vinitha initiates conversations on topics she most cares about like gender equality, women’s rights, self-love and body positivity.
For International Women's Day, Vinitha teamed up with Skillshare to celebrate the 2023 theme, #EmbraceEquity. For Vinitha, embracing equity is not assuming everyone's needs or challenges are the same.
"True equality applies only when every gender is on a level playing field, and equity is the way to get there. Women have a long way ahead of them to be at the level of privilege that men have in our gender-biased, patriarchal society. This must be acknowledged and addressed, both on a personal level and on a systemic level. Through this illustration, I'm representing a woman who truly believes she has the right to equity and the freedom to reject the patriarchy because that's exactly how I want every woman seeing this to feel. Worthy, hopeful, and fearless," explains Vinitha.
Vinitha enjoyed creating her Embrace Equity lettering design, and believes the world of typography is a powerful space for women and an important tool for making the world a better place for everyone.
Creating an uplifting and hopeful design
When Vinitha thought about the concept for this piece, she wanted the two words 'Embrace' and 'Equity' to be embracing each other in a way that interprets the official IWD 2023 pose in a lettering context. Vinitha also wanted to keep the colours bold and high-contrast, so it feels uplifting and hopeful.
"Hope is what we all need to keep pushing forward in this long and persistent fight for women's rights," said Vinitha.
Explaining the creative process
Vinitha's artwork was created entirely within the iPad drawing app, Procreate. Vinitha started with some grid layouts and skeleton sketches which she progressively refined into a finished full-color piece. The letters of the word 'Embrace' were laid out with a flat brush in a clean minimal sans serif style and 'Equity' was then woven into them in a script-style with a subtle 3D effect. The lettering was then nestled into a freehand bounding square to complement it with some elements 'breaking out' of the box to create visual interest.
Sharing her definition of embracing equity
Embracing equity, for Vinitha, is about not assuming that everyone's needs or challenges are the same.
"True equality applies only when everyone is at a level playing field to start with, and equity is the way to get there. Women have a long way ahead of them to even remotely be at the level of advantage men have in our gender-biased, patriarchal society, and it's important that this is acknowledged and addressed, both on a personal level and on a systemic level," explains Vinitha.
Emphasizing the importance of open conversations
Vinitha views International Women’s Day as not just a day to celebrate women, but an opportunity for women and allies to come together in solidarity for women's rights.
"It's a bit bittersweet personally because around this time of the year, my social media feeds are full of empowering content for women but also suddenly so many of the problems we go through are everywhere in front of us. However, initiating conversations about our challenges is an important part of moving towards solutions and is so valuable in helping each other feel validated and less lonely in our journeys of womanhood," added Vinitha.
Finding a welcoming space for women in typography
Finally, Vinitha shares her views about gender issues relating to the world of women and typography.
"I'm very happy to say that in my journey so far as a woman lettering artist, I've found the space to be nothing but welcoming. We women of type are collectively a force to reckon with and I love that! I think typography is a powerful space for us women to be in," commented Vinitha.
"There's so much potential to reach out to other women through lettering and create content that makes the world a better place for women. I feel so honored and privileged to be in this space where I can use my art to change lives in even the smallest ways."
Work with Vinitha on creative projects
Have a commission inquiry, collaborative project idea, workshop requirement or want to have a chat about her work? Get in touch with Vinitha