The long-awaited documentary Graphic Means just premiered at the ByDesign film festival, describing a half-century of world-changing analog-to-digital shifts in how graphic designers worked. Here's the trailer.
Via the film's site:
Helmed by Professor Briar Levit, the project emerged from her fascination with vintage design guides:
I have amassed a vast collection of design production manuals (1960s, 70s, and 80s) from the Goodwill over the years. As the stack grew, it became clear I was naturally drawn to this period of design, and the skills and processes that went along with it. I missed these production methods by about 12 years (I started studying design in 1996), and worked almost exclusively with a computer during my education and after.
I had some vague knowledge about production before the Mac, but it was only based on brief references my teachers made, or the little-used-tools that remained in various studios I worked in.
It occurred to me that if I knew so little, my graphic design students know even less! So with this, I set out to document the tools, processes, and people, of this brief moment in the design world.
I hope you join me along the way!
More details on how the project started:
• Graphic Means (via It's Nice That)
Sculptor Fred Eerdekens created aluminum and copper works that look like abstract squiggles until lit from the right angle. When lit just right, each spells out a word.
Nicolas Damiens and Julien Sans thought it would be cool to offer inspiring fonts based on the scrawl of some of their favorite recording artists like Bowie, Lennon, and Cobain, whose handwriting appears on the cool cover of his published journals (above). IP lawyers put the kibosh on their SongwritersFonts project real quick-like.
Animation visionary Isao Takahata of Studio Ghibli fame died on April 5, and Smithsonian magazine published a great written overview that complements the video essay above.
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