New podcast episode with Lizá Défossez Ramalho


Why are women absent in design history? Why have women who were notable during their careers been forgotten? What mechanisms have permitted this omission? Some of these questions were asked in 1986 by British design historian Cheryl Buckley1, and though it may seem that we are walking a road towards equality — that these historiographical problems no longer exist — in the 35 years since then, how much has changed?  

Over half the designers working today are women, yet women account for fewer than a third of creative directors. Women continue to be underrepresented at industry events; and where there are women speakers, they are consistently given less stage time than their male counterparts2. These statistics in an industry which prides itself on creativity and innovation are damning. Though these numbers are improving, should the presence of women in these positions of ‘success’ be celebrated as a victory for equality? Where success is defined as progression and conformity within the same structures which so recently propagated such inequality?

While it is necessary to redress the balance of the canon through the identification and study of the work of female designers, that alone is not enough. It is critical to understand how, and by whom, history is made — to interrupt history3, so we can begin the process of unlearning, reconstructing and relearning it. The canon is not simply overpopulated by men, it is also overwhelmingly propagated by men. They are the educators, the bosses, the clients. They are the editors, publishers, curators and the speakers. It’s time to give space to women, and propose these Errata to graphic design history. As bell hooks noted “Attempts to improve the representation of women cannot only append women to existing histories — these methods of history must themselves be transformed”4.

To truly acknowledge women in design, we must also acknowledge that design is not a solitary practice but rather a collective process, far away from the simple and linear story that design history—with its focus on clear narratives and overwhelmingly white, western, cisgendered, able-bodied male design stars—teaches us. It is the work of many minds, many hands, many disciplines, and the messy histories5 which this plurality creates makes it easy to obscure, to cherry-pick a simple, single story, and ignore the contributions of women who have worked in design since before design was work. 

The visibility of women in graphic design is greater today than it has ever been, but in truth for as long as there have been designers, there have been women designers. Their absence in design history is a failure of memory as much as it is a failure of industry. The methods by which we choose to record and recount history, the stories we tell to make sense or make sensational, are in need of deconstruction. 

Errata aims to present women’s contributions that have been overlooked, ignored and forgotten by Portuguese design history and in doing so to reveal those mechanisms still present that consent to these omissions. The landscape and socio-political history of Portugal is particular, but the systems which devalue, omit and ignore the work of women are universal, and in sharing this research as widely as possible we hope to contribute to this necessary discussion.

History is an entangled, messy thing. To start pulling at any one thread, as we do here with women, is to see how many other threads are bound up in the same knotted mess. To see how many other stories are missing from The Story. Where, then, are the women designers? Where, then, the BIPoC; the queer; the collective; the reclusive; the untrained and the unnamed? We can only hope that soon the pages of errata will outnumber the pages of the Story, and through critical engagement in rewriting, relearning and reclaiming these many histories, we can make that happen.

1 Cheryl Buckley, Made in Patriarchy: Towards a Feminist Analysis of Women and Design
2 Design Census
3 Ece Canlı, Design History Interrupted: A Queer-Feminist Perspective
4 bell hooks, Feminist Theory: from margin to center
5 Martha Scotford, Messy History vs. Neat History: Towards an Expanded View of Women in Graphic Design




PORTO, 27.08–24.10.2021


The first public exhibition of the Errata research project was on show at the Gabinete Grafico of Museu da Cidade in Porto from 27 August–24 October 2021.

Through collecting, documenting and displaying the works of Portuguese women graphic designers from throughout the twentieth century, the exhibition brought to the fore practitioners who have been overlooked by canonical design history.

By engaging with these objects, their stories and the contexts in which they were made, the exhibition both shone a light upon this undervalued section of design history, and also upon the mechanisms of industry, society and historiography which allowed these women to be forgotten.


Talks, classes and workshops

Errata engages with education and general public through talks, conferences, classes and workshops 

Women's Enciclopedia — Paths FBAUL, Lisbon PT

Talk, 05 May 2021Presentation of the ongoing research for the Errata exhibition in the series of talks entitled Women's Enciclopedia— Paths organised by the teachers of Comunication Design II from the Fine Arts University in Lisbon

Available to watch on YouTube

Expanding Graphic Design Histories, University of Brighton, UK

Seminar, 25 Novembro 2021 Talk to present the research process and the curatorial strategy that supported the exhibition Errata in the series of seminars Expanding Graphic Design Histories organized by the design historian and lecturer Dora Souza Dias for the Centre for Design History from the Brighton University in the UK

Museu Nacional Frei Manuel do Cenáculo, Évora, PT

Talk, 18 Setembro 2021 Presentation of the exhibition Errata, research process, gathering and selection of objects, and curatorial criteria, to the public of Museu Nacional Frei Manuel do Cenáculo in Évora organised by Sandra Leandro an art historian and researcher

Erratas Workshop at CalArts, California, USA

Workshop, 26-29 October 2021Workshop with the students of the Graphic Design MFA at CalArts School of Art focusing on 'Missing Histories' in Design. Developed in collaboration with the designer, researcher, curator, educator and activist, Nina Paim, co-director of Futuress 

FBAUL, Lisbon, PT

Talk, 03 November 2021 Talk to present the research process and the curatorial strategy that supported the exhibition Errata to the students of the Communication Design BA in the Fine Arts University in Lisbon organised by Frederico Duarte 


ETIC, Lisbon, PT

Talk, 26 January 2022 Talk to present the research process and the curatorial strategy that supported the exhibition Errata to the students of the Graphic Design Course at ETIC, Lisbon in partnership with the designer, art director and researcher Eva Gonçalves

Central Saint Martins, London, UK

Lecture, 1 March 2022 Lecture presenting the research process and the curatorial strategy that supported the exhibition Errata to the students of the Graphic Communication Design course at Central Saint Martins, organised by Catherine Dixon and Anoushka Khandwala


The Errata podcast is an audio archive and research tool, documenting and reflecting on issues facing women designers in Portugal through conversations with thinkers, curators, historians and designers, about their experiences and work

E0: Intro

An introduction to the podcast and the research project Errata - a feminist amendment to Portuguese graphic design history

E1: Vera Sacchetti

With the curator and writer Vera Sacchetti we talked about the trajectory that took her from the Communication Design BA in Porto to the D-Crit MA in New York and also about her motivations to develop more recent curatorial projects that investigate the role of women in design, such as A Woman’s Work and Add to the Cake. We discussed how can women be added to design history and how can we question the past in the present with an eye in the future. This podcast is in Portuguese.

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E2: Susana Carvalho

In this second episode, the graphic designer Susana Carvalho, talks about her professional path and the role that the punk and hardcore movements had in her feminist awakening. Susana explains how the type world is only apparently male dominated, and how that perception is directly connected with the obliviousness of the collaborative nature of the design process. We also talked about the responsibilities of design educators and her motivations for bringing female authors to her students. 

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E3: Maria Helena Souto P1

As part of the research process for Errata, we spoke not only with practitioners but also people who have studied Portuguese design history. Here we speak with historian Maria Helena Matos, Associate Professor at IADE, about the National Institute of Industrial Research (Instituto Nacional de Investigação Industrial) and its important role in affirming, consolidating and disseminating design in Portugal. We also touched upon the importance of Maria Helena Matos and the designers Alda Rosa and Cristina Reis in the Institute and in the Portuguese Design exhibitions of 1971 and 1973. This podcast is in Portuguese.

Maria Helena Souto is an Associate Professor in IADE, was the scientific responsible of the european projecto MoMoWo, a significant project that aims to give visibility to women in design in which Helena was the Portuguese representative. Souto was responsible for the research project Design in Portugal 1960-1974 that culminated in the exhibition Rehearsal for an archive: Time and Word. Design in Portugal (1960-1974) that was held in MUDE, Lisbon in 2016. Souto’s contribution to Portuguese Design History is very significant, but even more important is the efforts she’s been doing in the fight against the invisibility of women. 


See also:
Design in Portugal 1960-1974
Rehearsal for an archive: Time and Word. Design in Portugal (1960-1974)

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E4: Maria Helena Souto P2

The fourth episode of the Errata Podcast is the continuation of the conversation we had with the historian Maria Helena Souto. In this episode we discuss Maria Keil, particularly her multidisciplinary work and her contribution to Portuguese graphic design. This episode is in Portuguese.

Maria Helena Souto is an Associate Professor in IADE, was the scientific responsible of the european projecto MoMoWo, a significant project that aims to give visibility to women in design in which Helena was the Portuguese representative. Souto was responsible for the research project Design in Portugal 1960-1974 that culminated in the exhibition Rehearsal for an archive: Time and Word. Design in Portugal (1960-1974) that was held in MUDE, Lisbon in 2016. Souto’s contribution to Portuguese Design History is very significant, but even more important is the efforts she’s been doing in the fight against the invisibility of women. 

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E5: Né Santelmo

In episode 5, Né Santelmo takes us on a journey through the multidisciplinary interests that have shaped her career since the early 80s. We discussed collaboration and the process of a design project, and how experimentation has defined her practice. We also spoke about Pã Design, the studio Né founded with the designer Ana Menezes, and if being a female duo had any significance in the making and reception of their work.

Cover of the record Surrealizar by Ban from 1988 with photography by João Nunes and graphic design by Né Santelmo
Né Santelmo, Portrait, 1986, original in photographic paper with mecanorma pen, photography by João Nunes
Cover of the record Requiem pelos Vivos by Requiem pelos Vivos from 1988. Design by João Nunes and Né Santelmo. Photography by João Nunes

See also:

Aurora envolta em Nevoeiro, artigo sobre Né Santelmo na Fonoteca do Porto por Isabel Duarte

Vai de Roda

Surrealizar, Ban

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E6: Emília Ferreira

In episode 6, we had a conversation with Emília Ferreira about the invisibility of women in history, and how the balance of the canon can be corrected through the identification and study of women’s work. We spoke in more detail about the artists Sarah Affonso and Mily Possoz, the context in which they lived, and the work they did in graphic arts.

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E7: Joana & Mariana

In episode 7 I had a conversation with designers Joana & Mariana about how design is documented and how feminism can be a tool to interrupt current design history. We talked about how a studio practice can crossover with research and design theory and how design is not a neutral practice and doesn’t not always solve problems.

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E8: Assunção Cordovil

In episode 8, Assunção Cordovil, one of the 17 designers presented in the Errata exhibition, speaks with us about her design education, the experience of being part of Praxis Cooperative and how History of Design doesn’t recognise the importance of the managerial work that happens behind a design project. 

Objects designed by Assunção Cordovil in the exhibition Errata: a feminist revision to Portuguese Graphic Design History, Gabinete Gráfico – Museu da Cidade, 2021. Photo: Alexandre Delmar
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E9: Eva Gonçalves

In episode 9 of the Errata podcast I met the designer, art director and researcher Eva Gonçalves to discuss how a more collaborative design practice can be achieved, the lack of representation of women in the higher seats, how the current working models can be oppressive, and on the importance of a political conscience in our work.

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E10: Tereza Bettinardi

In episode 10 I had a chat with designer, editor and educator Tereza Bettinardi. From her own studio in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Tereza specialises in editorial design. Recently, she founded The Design Book Club, an adventure that started as a book club and has now become a publisher. In our conversation, we discussed how she connects feminism with design, gender and class discrimination, the importance of literature in the Portuguese language, amongst other things which trouble her, and how that discomfort motivates her to act.


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E11: Gabriela do Amaral

For episode 11 I had a chat with designer, poet and writer Gabriela do Amaral. After publishing three books, Gabriela believes that it was her path through design that lead her to writing and that the two practices go hand in hand. Gabriela writes about language, exile and maternity, always under a feminist lenses. In this episode, we discussed how the production cycle silences the experience of maternity, how we feel that we bother when we talk about being mothers and the contrast between expectation and reality in design and maternity. 

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E12: Carolina Valente Pinto

For episode 12 I had a conversation with Carolina Valente Pinto. Carolina is a designer and researcher and currently works at the Institute of Network Cultures, in Amsterdam. Her research is often linked to topics such as feminism, decolonial practices, archives, access, history, autonomous and DIY cultures. In this episode, we talk about how invisibilities are perpetuated, specifically that of women, in the construction, management and maintenance of archives, question the neutrality of memory and documentation spaces and discuss the role of feminism in these places.

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E13: Ece Canlı

Episode 13 presents a compelling conversation with researcher and artist Ece Canlı about queer design, collective work and the importance of interrupting history, but mainly about feminism. Ece brought a sincere perspective on how feminism affects the ways in which we work, interact with our loved ones, in how we care and in how we manifest ourselves politically. One word was repeated a few times: justice. This was a conversation about how we might fight for it, how to achieve it and the different forms it can take.

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E14: Denise Santos

Denise Santos, a black woman and designer, is the guest of episode 14 where we talk about the lack of representation of black bodies in the world of design, the importance of an intersectional reading in history, micro and macro aggressions, and how Denise navigates this world, through a reflection on her academic journey. With the project “Bisnetos de Cabral, a designer’s journey” Denise investigates identity issues through archival artefacts in the Cape Verdean context and reflects on her identity as a black woman. She is currently a communication designer and content creator for social media at the Hangar space in Lisbon.

See also:


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E15: Lizá Défossez Ramalho

Lizá Défossez Ramalho is a designer from Porto, co-founder of the design studio R2 with Artur Rebelo. R2 specializes in graphic identity, editorial design and environmental design for cultural institutions, museums and other national and international clients. They are AGI (Alliance Graphique Internationale) members and organized the AGI Open in Porto in 2010. In 2019, the Centro de Arte Oliva dedicated an exhibition to their work entitled 'Fabrico Suspenso: Work itineraries' where they showed the processes of graphic and artistic experimentation behind some projects. 

In this conversation, Lizá shared how she identified some gender disparities cumulatively throughout her career, how she acts on the inequalities she observes, and how the experience brought her maturity and confidence to fight the micro, but many sexist aggressions in this work area.


Errata, exhibition catalogue, 2021

Published to accompany the exhibition in Gabinete Gráfico, the Errata catalogue is now out of stock of its original print run. To keep the catalogue accessible to as many people as possible, a digital version is available here, to download in its entirety. 


Published 2021
ISBN 978-989-33-2227-7

Download the catalogue here



Errata is a doctoral research project and publishing platform, concentrating on the visibility of women in Portuguese graphic design history.

Disseminated through public exhibitions and events, an ongoing series of Podcasts and publishing, the Errata project engages with criticism, education and research to uncover the invisible stories of women designers in Portugal and facilitate dialogues exploring methods of improving gender representation in graphic design history.




Project and research
Isabel Duarte 


Instagram @Errata.Design
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General Acknowledgements 
Errata would not have been possible without the support, expertise and generosity of Alexander Ecob, Ece Canlı, Elvia Vasconcelos, Fiona Churchman, Futuress, Igor Ramos, Louise Darblay, Luiza Prado, Maria David, Maria Helena Souto, Maria João Macedo, Mariana Pestana, Museu da Cidade, Nina Paim, Nuno Coelho, Rafael Ferreira, Susana Carvalho, Vera Sacchetti, Zeina El Maasri and countless others.



Graphic Design 
ID-AE Studio

Atlas Grotesk was generously supplied by Susana Carvalho Carvalho Bernau
Errata by Irregular Type

Web Development



Sound post-production
Pedro Augusto

With the participation of
Assunção Cordovil, Emília Ferreira, Joana Batista Costa & Mariana Leão, Maria Helena Souto, Né Santelmo, Vera Sacchetti, Susana Carvalho



Isabel Duarte e Olinda Martins

With the collections of
Alda Rosa, Ana Filipa Tainha, Arquivo do Teatro da Cornucópia, Assunção Cordovil, Atelier Nunes e Pã, Biblioteca da Ordem dos Arquitectos – Secção Regional Norte, Biblioteca Silva, Col. Cinemateca Portuguesa – Museu do Cinema, Coleção da Biblioteca Pública Municipal do Porto, Fátima Rolo Duarte, Cristiana Serejo, Fonoteca Municipal do Porto, Igor Ramos, Joana Batista Costa & Mariana Leão, José Bártolo, Macedo Cannatà, Mário Moura, Né Santelmo, Francisco Keil Amaral


The exhibition in Porto and the first ten episodes of the podcast were supported by Criatório