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Archives By Design: Preserving the Work of Designers
January 30, 2020

Archives By Design: Preserving the Work of Designers

SVA announces a unique evening symposium exploring the best practices in developing and growing archives dedicated to the process and products of graphic design and illustration. 

Hear from archivists and curators who oversee collections containing some of the most significant graphic design and illustration from the mid-20th century into the 21st, documenting the visual world that we experience every day.

The increase in design history scholarship has resulted in known and unknown designed artifacts available for in-depth examination for the first time by students and scholars. While graphic design, type and illustration archives are still rare, important new repositories for makers, movements, schools, genres and styles are up-and-running, and more are on the way.  

We will examine what makes design archives unique. What is their value and to whom? How do archives decide what should be preserved? Who uses the collections and how? What is the best way for archives to handle issues of access and intellectual property?

This event is for archivists, curators, designers, researchers, scholars, critics and anyone interested in the preservation and accessibility of artifacts of design history.

Pre-registration is required.

Moderated by Steven Heller and Beth Kleber


  • Douglas Dowd, DB Dowd Modern Graphic History Library, Washington University in St. Louis

  • Beth Kleber, Milton Glaser Design Study Center and Archives, School of Visual Arts

  • Josh MacPhee, Interference Archive, Brooklyn

  • Rob Saunders, Letterform Archive, San Francisco

  • Jeanne Swadosh, New School Archives and Special Collections

  • Alexander Tochilovsky, Herb Lubalin Study Center of Design and Typography, The Cooper Union

  • Jennifer Whitlock, Vignelli Center for Design Studies, Rochester Institute of Technology