Cipe Pineles was born in 1908 in Vienna. She came to the US when she was 13 and she attended Bay Ridge High School in Bay Ridge High School in Brooklyn and later on she got a Tiffany Foundation Scholarship to Pratt Institute.
Pineles had a nearly 60-year-long career in design despite the sexism in the industry during her time. She worked for Contempora for two years then became an assistant to M.F.A Agha, the art director of Conde Nast Publications. From that one assistant job, she gained her experiences and soon became the art director for Glamour, a publication with mainly targets young women which allowed Pineles to develop her own unique style through various uses of image and type. Later on, she became the Art Director at Seventeen and Charm. In 1961 to 1972, she worked as a graphic design consultant for the Lincoln Center for Performing Arts in New York, supervising the creation of branding and marketing materials for the institutions. In 1943, Pineles became the first female member of the Art Directors Club. She was later inducted into the Art Directors Club Hall of Fame in 1975 and she also the only female member of the Alliance Graphique Internationale. In 1984, she was honoured by the Society of Publication Designers with Herb Lubalin Award. She also received the AIGA Medal in 1996.
Out of Pineles’s contributions, she was considered as the first person to bring fine art into mainstream, mass-produced media. She commissioned fine artist such as Ad Reinhardt and Andy Warhol to illustrate articles during her time at Seventeen. Bringing different things to the attention and interest of the young public like food, household items, furniture, etc. She also brought more playful typography and visual puns to her designs.
Her work contributed to the effort to redefine the style of women’s magazines. Her efforts also contributed to the feminist movement by helping to continue to change women’s roles in society. Pineles repeatedly broke the glass ceiling in the design field.
As for Pineles personal life, she was married to two notable designers. She and William Golden were married from 1939 until his death in 1959. Then in 1961, she married Will Burtin until his death in 1972.