Creative Women with Tess McCabe – Cipe Pineles

by Jenny Butler
Friday 10th June 2011

After a captivating week of celebrating some of the most talented creative women of the last century, we must say thank you and farewell to the lovely Tess McCabe. Congratulations to Meaghan for winning the double pass to tomorrow’s SOLD OUT Creative Women Circle event and be sure to visit the CWC website for more features and upcoming events! – Jenny x

Charm covers from 1952 and ’54 designed by Cipe Pineles

Cipe (pronounced See-pea) Pineles was a graphic designer an illustrator and the first art director in the United States, working on many groundbreaking publications which still exist today.

Cipe Pineles at work on a magazine layout (photo from a great article about Cipe’s career at the AIGA website)

She started as an illustrator in the 1930s, and her strong ‘ungendered’ portfolio of work often landed her job interviews with top advertising agencies in New York (but she could never quite get past the front door once they discovered she was female!). That was until Mr Conde Nast saw her work and promptly installed her in the design team to work on publications such as Vogue and House & Garden.

Seventeen magazine covers from 1948 & ‘49… this magazine (and others like Charm featured above) were among the first to treat their young female readers like capable women who wished to forge a career and identity of their own.

Cipe went on to become the first female art director of a major American publication, putting her visual stamp on many trailblazing magazines for young women such as Seventeen and Glamour. Apparently she was also the first art director to commission illustrations for editorial layouts and was always on the lookout for the hottest photographers to ensure her spreads stayed fashionable and fresh.

Illustrated layout by Cipe Pineles

Illustrated layout by Cipe Pineles

Her art direction and style was ground breaking at the time, and who could deny that she set the visual standard that many current publications still follow?

Editorial layouts featuring the innovative use of full-bleed images, sans-serif type and lots of white space. What an innovator!

Thanks everyone for joining me this week! It’s been so much fun to research and learn more about the hardworking ladies whose design legacies live on and influence us all in our creative careers today.

I’m looking forward to meeting all those coming to the SOLD OUT Creative Women’s Circle event featuring designer and illustrator Beci Orpin! Sorry to those who missed out on tickets – remember you can join in the fun online via our blog or on twitter or Facebook.

Tess x

by Jenny Butler
Friday 10th June 2011


  • Hat 4 years ago

    Oh, so glad you did Cipes. I was given a bio on her by my aunt years ago and have since been a huge fan. What a woman! I love her still life works.

  • clea 4 years ago

    wow, quite a woman Cipe! would love to read her bio. Thanks for a lovely week, I feel that I have learned a few things for once and not only looked at pretty pictures ( which is lovely too..:o)

  • Kylie 4 years ago

    just wanted to say tha I really enjoyed your series on creative women…thank you

  • Phoebe 4 years ago

    Just catching up on the rest of your posts from the week Tess – another great one. Love those Charm covers. Going straight into my inspiration folder. Great job again!

  • tess 4 years ago

    Thanks all for your comments this week, glad you liked the posts! Enjoy your weekends…

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