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Cipe Pineles: Two Remembrances

There is no doubt in my mind as to the important role that Cipe Pineles played in the role of design. Not only as a woman, but also as a designer, art director and finally wife and mother. Cipe Pineles: Two Remembrances is written in two essays: one by Cipe’s adopted daughter, and the other by a long time colleague. This, I assume to provide me with the two sides of this incredible personality. The professional. The matriarch.

I was disappointed. Burtin writes about her relationship with the woman she came to call mother, the way she would point things out, and ask her to see the world in different ways. How warm and wonderful Cipe was, loving to have all kinds of people gathered in her kitchen while she cooked and sharing a good dinner with extraordinary wine. On the other hand, Ellis gives us a glimpse as to the working Cipe, selecting typefaces and being on press making sure the color was right. Adjusting and learning from her mistakes, moving forward with each day and each lesson learned.

What I wish this book included are several things: On the professional side, for example, I would have liked to know more as to how she approached problems and how she went about searching for the solutions. Her process. She managed to do so much for the working woman of the era, and yet there isn’t much said about her feelings on the subject or why she thought her ideas were good and successful. Being the first woman to become a member of the Art Directors Club must have provoked “something” within her, yet there is no mention other than the honor received.

From the non-professional aspect of her life (although bridging into it), why was she so drawn to designers? And what was it like to be married to William Golden and Will Burtin? What kind of influence did they have on her work, or vice versa?

I guess I will have to go on to other books in order to find the insightful information I am looking for, and I can stick to this publication for a list of magazines Cipe worked for, the list of her awards and an abridged timetable of her life.

Book Information Graphic Design Archives Chapbook Series: Two By Estelle Ellis and Carol Burtin Fripp
Paperback: 44 pages
Publisher: RIT Cary Graphic Arts Press ISBN: 0975965158
Maintained through our ADV @ UnderConsideration Program
PUBLISHED ON Jun.24.2005 BY bryony
gregor’s comment is:


sad that in a field that has more women practitioners that men, the printed material about women pales in comparsion, particularly monographs, theoretical writings and biography.

perhaps even more revealing is the utter lack of comments here. nonetheless, your review is appreciated and has prompted me to pick the book up - shortcomings you mention about the book not withstanding.

On Jun.26.2005 at 05:59 PM
man, I missed you’s comment is:


I've been reading about her for years, she was ahead of her time. I lover her reasons why women should not change their last name...the above link came to mind.


On Jun.27.2005 at 04:05 PM
Marnie’s comment is:

As someone who worked on the production of this book, I feel a bit odd commenting, but what the heck:

This book does not try to tell Cipe's entire story (that is best left to Martha Scotford's Cipe Pineles: A Life of Design*); instead, Estelle Ellis provides an overview of Pineles's professional and personal life, with a focus on the cultural impact of her work, and the power of collaboration. Ellis did work alongside Pineles for years, but she worked as a businessperson, not a designer, and that gave her a different perspective.

*we have a few copies of this in stock, call me and I'll give you the package deal: both books (Two Remembrances and A Life of Design) for $50.

On Jun.29.2005 at 01:13 AM
buzzy’s comment is:


RIT also ran this conference in honor of Cipe in conjunction with the chapbook's publication. The 350 seat auditorium was almost packed in each session. I don't think the world is ignoring the history of women designers, it's just a matter of educating further.

Also, look up http://publicinformation.luther.edu/2004-05/ln0416/artex_sherin.html who did grad work on the history of these women "icons" of design:

On Jun.29.2005 at 01:52 PM
Bryony’s comment is:

Marnie, it is always great to hear from those involved directly with the project. Welcome to Speak Up.

While I did not expect her entire story to be included in a 44 page chapbook, as a designer I was expecting a bit more on the practice end of it.

I've been reading about her for years, she was ahead of her time. I lover her reasons why women should not change their last name...the above link came to mind.

can you explain? I am not familiar with her thinking on this…

On Jun.30.2005 at 08:29 AM
Elizabeth Boyle’s comment is:

Bravo, Bryony! I am always happy to see more about women in design.

Martha Scotford, one of my professors at NCSU, wrote and designed a book about Cipe Pineles entitled Cipe Pineles: A Life of Design. I highly recommend reading it if you want more more more.

There is also an article by M.Scotford on the AIGA website, located here. It's a quick, condensed read (that leaves you wanting to read the book!) with a handful of images of Pineles's work.

I was fortunate (damned lucky) enough to take a Women in Design course with Martha and saved *all* of my notes because she'd done such a fantastic job finding things I'd never run across in my "usual travels." Cipe Pineles turned into one of my heroes because I'd always wanted to do just that "when I grew up." She is a design legend who deserves so much more name recognition, and I'm sorry she's not a household name like Paul Rand, Saul Bass, etc.

On Jun.30.2005 at 08:56 AM
Martha Scotford’s comment is:

Shameless commerce division; my book on Cipe Pineles is almost out of print. I have copies I can send for $30 total. Send me your mailing information and a good check to my university address. I will be sending out ordered books in August. And thanks to all who mentioned the book. Cipe is a hero of mine too.


On Jun.30.2005 at 12:03 PM
DesignMaven’s comment is:

"She is a design legend who deserves so much more name recognition, and I'm sorry she's not a household name like Paul Rand, Saul Bass, etc".

Cipe really is a HOUSEHOLD name to scholars such as myself. As well, an older generation of Designers.


I recently had a younger Female Designer (I assume) contact me to inquire of information on Ms. Pineless Burtin and other Female Designers.

I'm sure, I presented more than she could digest.

Fact of matter, I've approached two Female Editor/Writers to publish a Special Issue of Women in Design. Past and Present. One informed me she already featured such an issue when she was an Editor with another magazine. Perhaps, that was over twenty years ago. For sake of not being arguementive. I let it go, and accepted her iteration as gospel. Suspect, because no date was provided to conduct my research.

Just recently, recommended the same to an Editor of an International Design Publication that contacted me via email. In reference to something I wrote regarding Print Magazines Redesign. No, it wasn't Print Magazine's Editor. This Editor didn't post any comments.

I'll see if they're interested. Because Women in Design Stories need to be told and given due attention.

Statement of Fact, I'm a male Designer. Certainly should be more interested in having my story told. As well, pushing my own career getting some recognition for myself. I'm fighting for Women Designers every chance I get. Understanding, the struggle of Women within Corporate Structure. If a Woman Editor is not interested in telling the story of Women Designers. Then, who is at Falt?

Its a no brainer, to feature articles on Female and Male Designer(s) of all Nationalities, RACES, CREED, and Ethnicity.

But, then again, Publications, Editors and Writers have their own Agenda.

On Jul.01.2005 at 10:30 AM
Robynne Raye’s comment is:


The November/December 2005 issue of Step magazine is going to be all about women in design: Women Rock! (silly title) So far, it is shaping up to be pretty interesting.

Feel free to contact Emily Potts as she's been pretty receptive to suggestions for the issue.

On Jul.01.2005 at 01:20 PM
DesignMaven ’s comment is:

Robynne Raye:

Well Speak of the Devil.

Emily Potts is the other Editor I was talking about.

She did contact me. Don't know if it was my Idea that Sparked this issue. It will be an issue I will purchase. Maybe get a complimentary copy.

Also make noted contributions, if asked.

If only, I can get my monthly column. Did I say that...!!!!!!!

Felix, eat your heart out.


I do want to make a correction.

I have no reason, not to believe the other Editor was not forthright.

I only wished she would've given me the date and year of the Women in Design Publication; from some time ago.

On Jul.01.2005 at 01:49 PM
Robynne Raye’s comment is:

DM: I think a complimentary copy is the least they could do. There was a post here about Sister Corita a month or so ago and I suggested that she be included in the issue. As far as I know, she will be. You can thank M. Kingsley for the inclusion, because I'm sure she would've been overlooked (once again).

- RR

What's the saying? Behind every great woman, there's a man taking all the credit.

Ha Ha - I'm joking (a little anyway).

On Jul.01.2005 at 02:31 PM
DesignMaven’s comment is:

I'm all GIDDY.

True statement.

I trust the issue will be International in Scope.

If not then a Separate International Issue of Women in Design is in order.

Compiling my cross cultural list as we Speak.

This may have to be a two part Special Issue.

It certainly deserves the attention that its getting. This has to be a Double Special Issue.


On Jul.01.2005 at 03:28 PM