Jessica Walsh : What the launch of ‘&walsh’ means for graphic design

What the launch of โ€˜&walshโ€™ means for graphic design (2019) โฃโฃ

Following 10 years alongside Austrian designer Stefan Sagmeister, Jessica Walsh announced her step back from the NYC creative agency ๐˜š๐˜ข๐˜จ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ๐˜ช๐˜ด๐˜ต๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ & ๐˜ž๐˜ข๐˜ญ๐˜ด๐˜ฉ in July of last year. The duo have an extensive list of celebrated clients, ranging from Silicon Valley juggernauts Snapchat and Apple to the musical likes of Jay-Z. Though the two continue to collaborate & remain friends, Jessicaโ€™s departure and the launching of โ€˜&๐˜ธ๐˜ข๐˜ญ๐˜ด๐˜ฉโ€™ marks an intriguing point of transformation for the design industry, magnifying major gaps within gender equality at the corporate level. โฃโฃ
Walsh studied graphic design at the private Rhode Island School of Design before meeting Sagmeister in 2010. The duo bursted onto the design scene in notable style 2 years later, announcing their alliance through a naked portrait of them standing side by side. The multi-talented illustrator has made her name a staple in the graphic design community through her brilliant ability to fuse eye-popping colour palettes with award-winning typography. Aside from her various accomplishments in graphic design, Walsh is also behind the popular project โ€˜๐Ÿบ๐Ÿถ ๐˜‹๐˜ข๐˜บ๐˜ด ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง ๐˜‹๐˜ข๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จโ€™, a social experiment she created that went viral and has since had its cinematic rights purchased by the Warner Bros. With a growing list of accolades, the birth of Walshโ€™s independent agency โ€˜&๐˜ธ๐˜ข๐˜ญ๐˜ด๐˜ฉโ€™ acts as a powerful statement in the realm of design. Gone are the days of a female artist or designer depending on a male counterpart to direct or embody their vision. Walsh would expand on this idea in an interview with De Zeen, pondering the fact that though 70% of design students are female, less than 5% of CEOโ€™s at creative agencies are female. โฃโฃ
In her quest to combat the above sexism in the industry, Walsh has founded the โ€˜๐˜“๐˜ข๐˜ฅ๐˜ช๐˜ฆ๐˜ด, ๐˜ž๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ฆ & ๐˜‹๐˜ฆ๐˜ด๐˜ช๐˜จ๐˜ฏโ€™ initiative to connect & empower creative women. She also delivers regular lectures/talks across NA & Europe shedding light on the issue. โฃโฃ