Kickstarter to Celebrate Women in the Olympics Through Design

If you pored over HOW’s most recent International Design Annual, you’ll have seen Australian graphic designer and illustrator Wendy Fox’s International Design Awards Best of Show project, Women’s Gold Medalists, which celebrates the physical diversity of elite female athletes and explores how we can provide more coverage and visibility for women in the Olympics and sports in general.

Fox’s Best of Show project was a labor of love created in response to the 2012 London Olympics. And now, she’s going to illustrate all the women who win gold medals at the 2016 Rio Olympics—and she needs our help.

Why Use Design to Increase Awareness of Women in Sport?

Fox's illustrations of the 276 women gold medalists from the 2012 London Olympics

Fox’s illustrations of the 276 women gold medalists from the 2012 London Olympics

Back in 2012, Fox was fascinated by the athleticism of the female athletes, as well as by their physical diversity. In discovering how little media coverage these women would receive, she set out to create an infographic that would depict each female athlete’s sport, country, physical attributes and accomplishments.

Fox’s London Olympics project was released in late 2014, and though it was recognized in HOW’s International Design Awards and received a lot of interest from athletes, sports journalists, feminists, sport lovers and the design community, Fox knew it could have had an even greater impact had it been released concurrently with the Olympics.

Which is exactly what she plans to do this time, with the Rio Olympics.

Her goal is for the completed 2016 Rio Olympics Women’s Gold Medalists posters, prints and books to provide positive media exposure for the elite female athletes. Specifically, Fox says the following:

Women participate in 40% of all sport; however, media coverage for female athletes is at 4–7%. Astoundingly, the top hit on internet searches for ‘female athletes’ result in lists of the ‘hottest’ and ‘sexiest’ women in sport. Women, despite their gold medal athleticism are still objectified, sexualized and defined by how attractive they are, not by their athletic prowess. By presenting the data in a picturesque yet statistical way, I hope to inspire girls and women to see sporting opportunities where they may not have seen them previously and to increase interest in women’s sport.

The book: Women's Gold Medalists Rio Olympics 2016

The book: Women’s Gold Medalists Rio Olympics 2016

Kickstarter for Women’s Gold Medalists Rio 2016

The Kickstarter officially launches today, and you’ll want to head on over and check out the fabulous rewards. Here’s just a taste:

  • Just $45 AUD gets you a poster and a PDF of the book
  • $65 AUD gets you a copy of the book
  • $150 AUD gets you a limited-edition art print
  • And for girls and women only, $500 AUD or more gets you a limited-edition art print with you illustrated into it.

The poster will feature Illustrations of all the women gold medalists in Rio—dressed in their athletic uniform for their respective sport, and with country, name, basic anthropometric information and the event in which they won their gold medal.

The book will include the illustration but will also feature relevant statistics and interesting information about the history of women in the Olympics.

Head on over to the Women’s Gold Medalists Rio 2016 Kickstarter page to support this important design project, and let us know how you’re using design to make a difference!


Best of Show winner Wendy Fox (Melbourne, Australia) accepting her award at HOW Design Live

Best of Show winner Wendy Fox (Melbourne, Australia) accepting her award at HOW Design Live

If you want a shot at winning Best of Show in the International Design Awards, enter your best work by Early-Bird Deadline Aug. 12. Hundreds of winners will be showcased in the Spring 2017 issue of HOW [check out the most recent winners here], and the Best of Show winner will once again score a free trip to HOW Design Live (in 2017). This year’s judges—Mona Patel of Motivate Design, Magnus Berg of SNASK and Sagi Haviv of Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv—cannot wait to review your work. Enter today!