Sandra Morales is a graphic designer and type designer from Mexico. She describes her home country as rich in history and visual culture, with vibrant letterforms that flood the streets everywhere she looks. At the same time, the country experiences lethal violence against women. The rage and urgency to speak out against this issue accompanied her introduction into graphic design — revealing to her how images have the power to enhance the impact of messaging in social justice issues.
Feminism is a core part of Sandra’s identity and practice, having revolutionized her way of thinking and relating to the women around her. She aims to make visible the work of Latin American women in typography, and contribute to the process of depatriarchalizing and decentralizing design. As she shared with us, “I would like my work to be built through the historical moment we are living, to defend the message of protest for our rights, to be a call to action, and to provoke a visual echo.”
All of us from the Malee team were incredibly impressed not only with Sandra’s passion for type design but her passion for social justice and women's rights, which she actively interweaves into her design practice. It’s an honor to award the scholarship and mentorship to her. Get to know Sandra Morales, her design work, and her aspirations in this interview.
The Malee Scholarship recognizes three outstanding women as 2021 Malee Finalists. This year, each finalist will receive a $2,000 grant from sponsor David Jonathan Ross that will go towards their type design education, and a copy of the second edition of Designing Type by Karen Cheng.
Aline Kaori is a Japanese-Brazilian freelance lettering artist, calligrapher, and in-progress type designer. Born and based in São Paulo, Brazil, Aline first took an interest in typography in 2012 as a high school student in a Multimedia technical course. She later pursued a design degree at the School of Architecture and Urbanism of the University of São Paulo (FAU USP). Looking to hone her craft in the letter arts, during this time she also took many workshops on the side with masters such as John Stevens, Julian Waters, Cláudio Gil, Ale Paul, Martina Flor, Fiona Ross, and more. For two years, she interned at Oficina Tipográfica São Paulo (OTSP), a letterpress workshop, under the guidance of Marcos Mello and Claudio Rocha. Aline is an active part of the Brazilian letter arts community, using her skills to create content, offer critiques, and teach classes locally and internationally to make the letter arts accessible to an even greater audience. See her work here.
Jéssica Silva is a design student from Varginha, Brazil. She is currently pursuing a BA in Graphic Design at Anhembi Morumbi University in São Paulo. Jéssica is expected to graduate in December 2022 and will be the first in her family to receive a college education. For a year, she worked at her university’s letterpress studio, and in 2020, she received the BIPOC Scholarship for the Intro Modern Type Design course at Type West, as well as a scholarship for Tereza Bettinardi's Design Book Club. These collective experiences were formative in her decision and excitement to pursue type design. See her work here.
Thy Hà is a Vietnamese digital designer, born and raised in Sài Gòn (Hồ Chí Minh City), and currently based in Melbourne, Australia. In 2019, she received her MA in Communication Design at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. Her interest in type began from a curiosity about cursive handwriting and hand-painted letters she saw growing up in Vietnam. She has been an active contributor to The Lost Type Vietnam, founded by Lưu Chữ. Together they photograph old, deteriorating signs around Vietnam, archive, and share stories about them on social media through hashtags #luuchu and #thelosttypevietnam. In 2020, Thy became a content coordinator and type designer at the Vietnamese typography collective Lưu Chữ. Seeing how type design is still perceived as a ‘Western-centric’ discipline, she hopes to minimize the dissimilarity gap between the markets in the future. See her work here.
The Malee Scholarship recognizes these eight women who are on the path to becoming leaders in the type design industry.