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AIGA strives to meet professional standards in our quest to
document the history of AIGA's role in a dynamically adapting
profession as well as sharing standards that our member designers
should use in protecting their own history.
To demonstrate this, AIGA worked with the Dutch Archives for Graphic Designers
(NAGO) in the Netherlands to publish an English version of A
Concise Guide to Archiving for Designers. In 10 short chapters
the guide provides designers with the proper ways to store and
describe their collections. The author, Karin van der Heiden,
provided the translation.
With the rapid advancement of information technologies, the
recommendations for digital archiving have changed. Tips 9 and 10
have been revised since the guide was published in 2008:
The sustainability of digital storage is limited. Keep backups
on several types of storage to minimize the risk of losing your
data. Be mindful of magnetic fields that may wipe the data from the
device. Consider remote storage for archival masters and digital
backups. Transfer the data to newer storage from time to time.
The readability of your digital data depends on a specific
combination of equipment and software. At least once a year, check
whether the file formats in your digital archive can still be read.
If they are in danger of becoming obsolete, migrate the data to a
current format or to an archival file format. Media failure is a
real threat for machine-readable formats when the technology
becomes obsolete. Technology may be discontinued every couple of
A Concise Guide to Archiving for
Designers is a publication from NAGO, a foundation
that seeks to collect, preserve and provide digital access to the
archives of prominent Dutch designers. The archives are published
on the NAGO website.
Art historian Karin van der Heiden has been in charge of
the Dutch Archives for Graphic Designers (NAGO) in the Netherlands
for more than nine years. She was responsible for the digitization
of the work of various Dutch designers and studios. She moderates
discourses, gives workshops and lectures on design history and
design archives at universities, colleges and conferences. In 2006,
she published the Concise Guide to Archiving for Designers,
a comprehensive manual on how to preserve and organize designers'
archives. Currently, she consults archival institutes, museums and
design bureaus on collection accessibility and digitization. She
also develops new projects with her
own company, PARKC.
The archives of AIGA serve to identify, preserve and make
available records of enduring value. AIGA's aim is to make
conditions suitable for access and to support research that will
add to the literature of design and to safeguard its legacy.
Section: About AIGA -
The AIGA Design Business and Ethics series outlines the critical ethical and professional issues encountered by designers and their clients.
Section: Tools and Resources -
illustration, photography, contracts, copyright, legal issues
“Good design is a strategic, sustainable, ethical response to a business problem,” writes strategic consultant David Berman.
Section: Why Design -
Many in-house designers are not proud to say where they work—but why? Could it be this negative mindset is mostly of our own creation? Discover how to defeat the “in-house embarrassment factor” by learning to recognize three delusions about the relevance of in-house designers to the profession today.
Section: Tools and Resources -
INitiative, in-house design, advice
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