Hall of Femmes:
Barbara Stauffacher Solomon
Barbara Stauffacher Solomon was the first to create what came to be known as Supergraphics: monumental graphics designed in harmony with architecture. Her iconic style – mixing Swiss Modernism and West Coast Pop – pioneered the look of California Cool, an important moment in graphic design history.
In addition to an impressive portfolio, she boasts a fascinating life story. Ranging from being a teenage flamenco dancer, to marrying a well known film director, to suddenly finding herself a young widow with a child to support. At a crossroads, she moves to Switzerland to study under the influential modernist designer Armin Hofmann, before returning to the U.S and creating influential designs that were bigger and bolder than her Swiss counterparts.
Barbara on her resilience:
“To this day, the combination of being trained as a ballet dancer, and trained by a Swiss to be a designer: I think that’s why I haven’t fallen apart!”
Barbara on her iconic style:
“I was a Californian. I went back to San Francisco and I broke all the rules. My designs were bigger and bolder than my Swiss classmate’s solutions had been. Give me a big white wall and I covered it with big red stripes.”