Enjoy some of the IWDtypism Annual Lettering Challenge creations

International Women’s Day (IWD) collaborates with Typism Community to unite women lettering artists worldwide via a yearly IWD Lettering Challenge

"We are thrilled by the amazing work created by talented lettering artists worldwide showing their support through creating artwork highlighting the annual International Women's Day campaign theme #InspireInclusion," says Typism founder, Dominque Falla.

Here are some of IWD and Typism's favorite submissions for the Annual IWD Lettering Challenge so far, and more exciting submissions will be shared on social media throughout the year.

Branding designer Yanqiao Jiang uses design to explore ethnography

Yanqiao Jiang's work [pictured above] is impressive. She is studying her Doctor of Visual Arts and has an interest in using design to explore ethnography, specifically in Chinese indigenous cultures. Her Masters research focused on designing cultural iconography in China and her doctoral research is exploring the symbolism that reflects the diversity of Chinese ethnic groups. In her current design practice, she is exploring ways of combining design with craft in a way that embodies the essential and diverse features of Chinese folk culture to an Australian audience. See more of her work here.

What is the concept behind your design?

This artwork features strong visual effects to express the concept of the International Women's Day 2024 campaign theme - pushing forward a more inclusive world. This bright color palette with geometric shapes associated with women and the exciting composition interpret the impression of a sense of belonging, relevance, and empowerment in an easy-to-understand manner.

These letters are designed with an interesting approach of avoiding stereotypical letterforms, which aims to visually express these feelings of a more inclusive world for women.

Moreover, the depiction of vibrant colors and a division of some areas left white are created, leaving room for a more inclusive world.

In contrast to the square composition of the geometric shapes shown, the typography is modern. It forms an exciting contrast with the cliche letterform features, which indicates the progression of a more inclusive world for women.

What was your process for creating the artwork?

As in most of process of creating my artworks, firstly I always get start with a brainstorm, listing some points of the theme as well as sketching ideas whatever letters, compositions, and color palettes I wanted.

Secondly, I moved to Adobe Illustrator to modify this and add the color and details. I prefer to use intense and bolder colors to explain the theme representing women’s empowerment.

The playful use of the letterforms intentionally pushes the boundaries of the stereotypical world.

IWD art

What does it mean to you to Inspire Inclusion?

Inspire Inclusion means pushing the boundaries of awareness of the stereotypical world. A sense of belonging, relevance, and empowerment we deserve and hope to inspire a better world. Women have power and a lot of room for pushing a more inclusive world.

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

Each theme of International Women’s Day focuses on emphasizing the resonance of women. I was happy to see many remarkable women artists in today’s society. But there remain many gender issues in further social circles. I hope that women can attain high recognition in the design field over time.

IWD Inspire Inclusion

Meet lettering, calligraphy and mural Aftri Marriska 

IWD Typism Aftri Marriska

What is the concept behind your design?

Following the 2024 theme for IWD, Inspire Inclusion, I created this lettering piece by using many letter styles to represent that including many diversities can result in beautiful outcomes.


What was your process for creating the artwork? 

I created this work digitally using the Procreate app on iPad. I knew I wanted to use many letter styles, so I did a loose concept sketch to decide the composition to ensure the letters complement each other. 

I looked at my past work for many of the 36 Days of Type challenges and practices that I did in the past to repurpose some. After refining the letters, I played around with the artwork’s background and colors.

IWD typography

Rebekka Ivácson is a graphic designer & visual artist in Budapest

International Women's Day Rebekka Ivácson

What was your process for creating the artwork?

I really like to experiment with letters and create compositions with the letters of a single word. I find it very interesting how taking away or adding details to the letters can change the overall picture.

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

Flowers - I remember that every year on this day, when my father came home from work, he brought pink flowers. Pink flowers every year, one for my mom and one for me.

Elizabeth Walton adds magic through color

IWD typism Elizabeth Walton

What is the concept behind your design?

I used a literal twist on the word inclusion - it made me think about natural gemstones and how they have natural inclusions. To me, these inclusions are to be celebrated rather than seen as a flaw, as they make the stones unique. 

Part of IWD, to me, is celebrating the strength of women together, represented by the crystals, and inclusion means that this applies to all women, no matter who they are. The second part of the concept is the wildflowers, growing around the negative space of the word inspire. 

What is more inspiring than a wildflower? Seeds sown by the wind, landing in the most inhospitable places, but growing, thriving and making the world more beautiful anyway. The plants showcase the softer, more flexible and inspiring side of women everywhere. 

What was your process for creating the artwork? 

I drew my design in Procreate on my iPad, starting with a symmetrical arched frame. With the letters, I started from the center and worked outwards. 

Once my sketch was complete, I used my own photographic references of gemstones and wildflowers to add color and detail. The background was added last to provide additional contrast. 

What does it mean to you to Inspire Inclusion?

To speak up when I hear others dismissing, criticizing or ignoring women. I hope that my doing this in my personal life, the people around me will be inspired to consider women further too. 

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

I think it’s important to highlight the ongoing need for equality, and it gives us a chance to celebrate what is great about women. 

Marion Kaiser is a lettering artist and illustrator in Germany

IWDtypism design challenge

What is the concept behind your design?

My goal was to create a bold, compact lettering that could be used on stickers or merchandised items, for example. The design should show the positivity of contrasts (horizontal vs. vertical, script vs. sans) and allow letters from even very different typefaces to visually interact in a way that makes them a harmonious whole in the sense of inclusion.

What was your process for creating the artwork? 


I first started with very rough pencil thumbnails to find my composition. Then, I drew the word “Inclusion” in Adobe Illustrator (on the iPad) because I prefer working with vectors for very clear, linear fonts. 

With that, I jumped over to Procreate to sketch and develop the script for “Inspire”. This is where I also colored the lettering, added textures and finalized it.

IWD design

What does it mean to you to Inspire Inclusion?

Inspiring inclusion means creating an environment where everyone feels valued, respected and empowered to bring their authentic selves to the table. It’s about fostering a culture of belonging where diversity is not just tolerated but celebrated.

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

International Women’s Day is a day to celebrate the achievements and contributions of women worldwide. 

It is also about recognizing the barriers that women continue to face and the ongoing fight for real gender equality. And thus a reminder to challenge stereotypes, break down barriers and strive for a more just and equal society.

Lettering article Anna is also a choir singer in Padova Italy

Inspire Inclusion artwork

What is the concept behind your design?

I wanted to create something for the IWDtypism challenge. While looking for inspiration, I thought it would be cool to try to merge the two words "Inspire Inclusion" together using two different lettering styles like two different “worlds” that come together to create something meaningful, deeper and unique that wouldn’t exist otherwise.

What was your process for creating the artwork? 

I didn’t really know how I wanted my artwork to look like at the beginning, so I started scrolling very mindlessly through Pinterest, until I found something that sparked some inspiration. Then, I started sketching digitally on my iPad using Procreate. I made several (many!) attempts with style and composition, but in the end, I liked the simplest one the most.

What does it mean to you to Inspire Inclusion?

Inspire Inclusion makes me think about how we all have so many more things in common than we have things that separate us. Both of these “worlds” can enrich each one of us in ways we can’t imagine, if we just let them.

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

I think it’s a day that should be celebrated every day of the year. 

To me now, it’s a day when I think harder about my sisters and our mothers, celebrate our individual and collective achievements and uniqueness, how powerful we are and remembering of how far we have come as a collective in our fights for equity and fairness. 

At the same time, this day reminds me that we have a long road ahead to achieve equal opportunities and rights fully: we will walk this road together, and we will win.

Allie Nolan illustrates and letters from her base in Zurich Switzerland

Allie Nolan IWD

What is the concept behind your design?

Script lettering is one of my favorite styles, and I think the two words lend themselves perfectly to flourishes. With this in mind, I created a heavily flourished piece where the flourishes are all intertwined to represent inclusion. 

As the piece developed, I realized I could include a heart and the female symbol within the lettering and flourishes.

What was your process for creating the artwork? 

I sketched some rough ideas on paper to see how the words would fit together and then used Procreate to develop the finished piece.

What does it mean to you to Inspire Inclusion?

Encouraging everyone regardless of race, gender or situation to achieve their potential. Allowing those who want to grow and lead to do so, there should be no barriers to talent.

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

To have a day where we can shout about how far women have come in narrowing the gender divide is amazing, but we still have a way to go before we break the bias. I hope when my kids are older (both boys) they see women as their equals or maybe even their rivals because they know women cannot be dismissed or excluded based upon their gender.

Shweta Tembre is a calligraphic designer in Pune India

IWD typography Shweta Tembre

What is the concept behind your design?

The concept behind my design revolves around the theme of unity and elegance. 

Combining the roundhand script for “Inspire” with AD Roman Capitals for “Inclusion,” I aimed to showcase the harmonious coexistence of two distinct scripts. This amalgamation not only adds depth and sophistication to the piece but also symbolizes the importance of inclusivity in artistic expression.

Furthermore, by purposefully refraining from flourishing the words and instead embellishing them with delicate lines and dots, I sought to highlight the beauty in simplicity and draw attention to the intricate details within each letterform. 

Through this design, I wanted to inspire others to embrace diversity and celebrate the nuanced subtleties of calligraphy.

What was your process for creating the artwork? 


My creative process for crafting the artwork began with brainstorming and sketching several thumbnail concepts to explore different compositions and arrangements of the words "Inspire Inclusion." 

Once I finalized the design, I drafted a detailed sketch to ensure each letterform's placement and proportions. 

I then vectored the sketch in Adobe Illustrator, paying close attention to maintaining the integrity of each stroke and curve. Throughout this process, I continuously refined the design, adjusting spacing and refining details until I achieved the desired balance.

I deliberately utilized a black background for the piece throughout the creation process. This decision was driven by the desire to enhance the contrast and visual impact of the lettering against the backdrop.

By opting for a black background, I aimed to accentuate the elegance and sophistication of the script while also providing a bold and modern aesthetic that commands attention.

Additionally, the black background emphasizes the intricacies of the letterforms and the subtle embellishments.

typography IWD

What does it mean to you to Inspire Inclusion?

For me, Inspire Inclusion is about making everyone feel welcome and valued. It means celebrating our differences and creating a sense of belonging for everyone. 

As a calligrapher, I try to show this through my art by using different styles and scripts. I want my work to bring people together and encourage kindness and understanding.

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

International Women’s Day is a special day to celebrate women worldwide. It's about recognizing their achievements and how far we've come in treating everyone fairly. 

For me, it’s a time to appreciate the strength and diversity of women everywhere. It's also a reminder that we still need to work together to make sure all women have the same opportunities and rights.

Ana María Ospina Bolaños is a calligraphy and lettering artist in Colombia

International Women's Day design

What is the concept behind your design?

The concept behind my design is based on the pose chosen for the 2024 theme of the year #InspireInclusion: “When we truly value difference, inclusion comes from the heart.” 

After seeing the photos of thousands of women and people who join the celebration of #IWD2024, I thought to use the hands forming a heart. 

At first I tried to draw the words on each forearm but then I realized that placing the words inside would make the observer focus more on them and the message they want to convey.

What was your process for creating the artwork? 

After I was clear about the design concept, I started drawing the hands in the Procreate app on the iPad. 

Then, I worked on the distribution and placement of the words and letters in the space of the hands, taking into account their shape and size. 

Finally, I refined the sketch and decided to color it using the characteristic purple of the IWD.

What does it mean to you to Inspire Inclusion?

Inclusion means for me to feel and be part of something. To value each and every person and to make each one feel that they contribute and add to any situation in which they find themselves. It makes each person stronger to increase their confidence and thus cooperate in their community or group to which they belong and, in this way, inspire people to do the same with others.

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

It is a day of collective activism that seeks to defend the equality of women’s rights by achieving their recognition, advancement and contributions within the society to which they belong, regardless of their race, beliefs, age, image, level of education, among others.

Ana Garza does hand lettering and pattern design from Mexico

Carol Gunn IWD typography

What is the concept behind your design?

I wanted to reflect that there are all kinds of women; no matter the differences, we deserve to be in the same group and have the same rights. 

In the design, I gave each letter its own style and personality as we as individuals have, and reflect how together we are part of a group, and we can work together.

What was your process for creating the artwork? 

I started with sketching the letters, focusing on the different styles. Chose one idea and started tracing each letter, then put them together, adjusted the size and added details to each one in a final file.

IWD typography

What does it mean to you to Inspire Inclusion?

Make people see that there is a place for each individual as is.

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

A day to raise awareness, that there needs to be an equal world, with no discrimination or differences, and deserve the same rights.

IWD typism

Carol Gunn is a freelance graphic designer in Austin Texas

IWD Typism challenge Carol Gunn

What is the concept behind your design?

“ALL the flowers in the garden!”

What was your process for creating the artwork?

IWD typography

It is always a challenge to do a lettering design when you have a lot of letters, and Inspire Inclusion has 17 characters including the space! I wanted to do an overall square shape since they work well for social media. 

I wanted each letter to be as big as it could be within that shape, so I stacked them up on 16 squares in a 4x4 grid, each square subdivided into a 3x3 grid of 9 squares as the framework to build the letters on. 

But oops, that’s one character too many! So I tucked the ‘U’ up into the space left over by the ‘L’.

My first draft was monospaced, with each letter the same width. But I didn’t like the look of the wide ‘I’, or the gap on each side of the lower-case ‘i’ so I went with a more proportional style, giving each letter ‘I’ a half-space. Luckily, there was one ‘I’ in each of the four rows, so they all ended up being the same total width. And that gave me space to add text up the side.

So often, a good lettering design comes down to this kind of luck - an evenly divisible number of characters, interesting initial and final forms and swashes, and the way they all interact within a given set of letters. For instance, calligraphers had a lot of fun with the capital letter ‘E’s in last year’s theme “Embrace Equity”. 

People ask “Where do you get your ideas?” Often I just just start playing around to see what happens, then boom! Inspiration! (A.K.A. “Trust the Process.”)

For instance, I created the letter ’S’ on the 9-square grid that I was going to use as a solid letter. But I noticed a cool thing happen when I overlaid the shapes making up the ’S’. The overlap of two circles made a really nice geometric leaf shape, so I subtracted that shape out of the ’S’. (Pathfinder -> Shape Modes -> Exclude)

So that set the tone for the flowers - geometric rather than a looser freehand style. I created the entire design in Adobe Illustrator.

IWD artwork

Then I wondered what else I could make with this cool leaf shape and ended up with a rosebud, a daisy, a lotus, and a vine with leaves. I put a circle on top of one leaf shape to create a stylized person then rotated duplicates to create a symbol representing people of all ages, genders, orientations, and skintones seated around a central table. 

For the background, I used a colorful gradient that decided that the color of the letters should be white, to contrast with both the background and the colorful flowers I would later overlay. 

Initially, I thought I might create a vine that would progress across all the characters, but as it developed, it became more about the flowers. 

What does it mean to you to Inspire Inclusion?

I have been a graphic designer for 50 years. As a young “layout artist,” I worked in a newspaper art department. 

In a field traditionally dominated by men, (think “Mad Men”) we had to fight for equal pay for women designers doing the exact same job as the men. We were told, “Men need to earn more. They have families to support!” 

Now, at this stage of my career, I find myself fighting ageism. Design has been called “the industry that eats its old”. 

Many designers are afraid to let it be known they have moved out of the 18 - 35 year old demographic. So I am on a crusade to fight commonly perceived, yet erroneous stereotypes like: older artists lack energy, cannot keep up with technology, and are out of touch with design trends. I learned design in an analog way, literally cutting and pasting with my hands. 

This experience gave me a richer, deeper understanding of design principles. I brought this background with me when the first Macintosh desktop publishing systems came on the scene in the early eighties. 

Since then, I have used computers and design software every day, all day long, and show no signs of slowing down! I am just doing my best to show that older people bring the value of their experience and still deserve a place at the table.

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

IWD gives women and me a soapbox to stand on and a megaphone to make our voices heard worldwide. 

Kelly Moore helps further creatives level-up their lettering and digital design skills

Kelly Moore IWD challenge

What is the concept behind your design?

I wanted to create a design that had intertwining elements, evoking the feelings of love and acceptance.

What was your process for creating the artwork? 

I created this piece in the Procreate app on my iPad. First, I did a rough sketch and then inked the design. Next, I added the color, dimension, highlights and shadows to the lettering. The final step was to add interest to the background with texture and details.

What does it mean to you to Inspire Inclusion?

To me, Inspire Inclusion means creating an environment where everyone is welcome. It’s about being a good human, treating others with kindness, and striving towards a society in which all are truly equal.

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

For me, International Women’s Day is about celebrating the amazing contributions that women make to society. It’s about recognizing how far we’ve come, celebrating the women who paved the way, and continuing their mission of striving for equality.

Keli Spanier loves creating hard-to-resist funny cards

IWD design challenge

What is the concept behind your design?

I love making letters, and when it’s a theme of equal rights, I can’t help but get on board!

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

I’m glad it exists, but so much more work can be done than just a special day. We need to be inspiring inclusion all year round!

Share your #InspireInclusion design with the world

Your lettering contributions amplify the essence of International Women’s Day. 

Thank you to all who've joined us this year. Let's maintain momentum through March (and the rest of the year) - keep tagging #IWDtypism on Instagram or further social media platforms.

Whether you're a novice or experience artist, you're invited to post your lettering creations across social media with the aim of showing solidarity in calling on communities to help challenge gender inequality and #InspireInclusion.

Everyone, everywhere can play a part because all creations are valid. That's what makes IWD inclusive.



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