There Seems To Be A Thinking Problem With STEP’s Use Of Kitties


STEP Inside Design Magazine, a graphic design magazine that, incidentally, has one of the worst-designed websites of all time, just released the latest issue, the cover covered in kitties, with the bold coverline Women of Design. Which confluence of image and text we interpret as arguing that women are catty. Shocking.

We didn’t pay much attention (a very bad experience with a lunatic kitty has left us with an extremely sour taste for the little guys) and neither did our boy Armin at SpeakUp–“‘Cute,’ I thought, and moved on,”–at least not until he started emailing and got a whole gaggle of correspondence from women who design. Turns out the cover was designed by Emily Oberman and Bonnie Siegler of Number 17 (a hot firm, so far as we know), and STEP editor Emily Potts admitted to being “a bit troubled” by the apparent blitheness of the design. Which Jessica Helfand then points out in her response that “it was ironic,” saying “we can all use more irony in our lives.” Obvs. There’s a lot of back and forth and it’s pretty interesting.

The whole feminism thing is complicated. Armin wonders what the Men of Design (which would of course never be published) issue would have — “dogs? weasels?” which is something that riffs of the whole problem with these things in the beginning. If you have to make special categories, or awards, or magazine issues, it’s just a concession to the existing inequality.

But we’ll admit — the chick with the strap-on makes it all okay.