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. Help preserve the great work by your design heroes and gifted colleagues; contribute to the AIGA Legacy Fund.
To pre-schedule an appointment to access the institutional archives at the AIGA HQ in New York City or for more information
about the collections at partner repositories, email AIGA's
archivist Heather Strelecki or call 212 710 3145.
Monday, Thursday, Friday
11:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m., by appointment
Closed on weekends, national holidays, and during the AIGA Leadership Retreat (one week each spring) and the national AIGA Design Conference (one week each October), and the week between Christmas and New Years.
AccessUse of the Archives Room is a benefit of AIGA membership. Nonmembers whose focused research into the
history of AIGA, the profession, or design are encouraged to join AIGA so they may also be assisted by this
Interested in learning more about AIGA's history? Begin with these pages:
The Archives Room (formerly the AdamsMorioka
Archives Vault at the AIGA National Design Center on Fifth Avenue), is an invaluable resource to AIGA staff, members, and design scholars. Artifacts from the institutional archives Include
works from 1914 to the present, the materials serve as the
memory of the organization's extensive history and association with
the century's most influential designers.
More than 1,500 unique items are housed in this archive. The
bulk of the collection consists of printed records created by and
for AIGA, including: exhibition catalogues and design annuals
documenting the selections from AIGA competitions since 1915;
newsletters and journals published since 1922; AIGA conference
materials produced since 1985; and a flat file for the works of
AIGA medalists. The Archive Room complements the online AIGA Design Archives, as well
as the physical archives of AIGA design competition entries dating
back to 1980, which are housed at the Denver Art Museum.
For AIGA Medalists,
research guides are being compiled to surface related content from
articles, books, exhibitions and events, websites and online
collections, audio and video. Located beneath each Medalist essay as
Additional Resources, research guides and are available for Milton Glaser, Ivan Chermayeff and Tom Geismar, Herb Lubalin, Henry Wolf, Saul Bass, and Massimo and Lella Vignelli.
To assist you in your design history research, AIGA has compiled a list of additional design resources and archives.
Archives is one of the richest online resources available
to those who practice, study and appreciate great design. It
represents the quality of work being created, as well as shifting
aesthetics and sensibilities of the designers of the day. Included
in this resource are more than 20,000 selections from AIGA's national juried design competitions, held annually and dating from 1924 through the present. In
addition, it features special collections of major American design
firms and practitioners whose design accomplishments might
otherwise not be preserved online or made available to the public.
These now include the work of Chermayeff & Geismar (1960–2006),
Vignelli Associates (1962–2008), Push Pin Graphic
(1960–2005), and Richard Danne (1958–2010).
The online experience, initially developed and redesigned by Second Story Interactive Studios, features easier and
deeper searches, faster results, live filtering, improved
navigation, new presentation modes and the ability to share
inspiration on social networking sites. View all available work, including selections that are housed at the Denver Art Museum, at designarchives.aiga.org.
Gifted to the Denver Art Museum (DAM) in 2006, the AIGA Archives at the Denver Art Museum represents the largest and most comprehensive holding of contemporary American communication design in the world. Consisting of approximately 12,000 physical artifacts created from about 1980 to 2012, the collection recognizes award-winning entries made to the organization’s annual competitions. It complements AIGA's annual publication documenting AIGA's activities and competitions during this period.
The collection is a celebration across all disciplines of communication design—packaging, corporate communications, brand and identity systems, typography, editorial design and illustration, and experience design, among others. The materials reflect major design trends as well as many of the leading design firms and individual designers within the United States during this 32–year period, such as Gail Anderson, Michael Bierut, Sylvia Harris, Jennifer Morla, Stefan Sagmeister, and Paula Scher, to name only a few.
It also includes a broad range of materials including: bound and
unbound paper-based objects, metal, textiles, glass, plastic,
multimedia, electronic media, and food- and toiletry-based packaging.
By making a major commitment to building one of the preeminent modern and contemporary design collections in the United States, the DAM has become a pioneer among museums, and was selected to receive the AIGA Design Archives based on its longstanding dedication to design as well as its location, which is accessible to designers, students, and researchers outside the immediate vicinity of the more traditional New York or West Coast locus of graphic design.When combined with the DAM’s growing collection of contemporary design, the AIGA Design Archives provides visitors with an even more enlightening and dynamic narrative of design from the era. The physical objects are utilized by the Denver Art Museum as an exhibiting collection and serve to educate future generations on the antecedents and evolution of this confluence of art and commerce.
AIGA National Design Archives
at the Denver Art Museum from Charles R. Carpenter (Vimeo).
During AIGA’s first century, juried selections from its longest-running annual book design competition, "Fifty Books of the Year" (now known as “50 Books/50 Covers”), were collected in order to demonstrate the principles of good design and craftsmanship in the manufacture of contemporary American books.These selections are held at the Rare
Book and Manuscript Library (RBML) at Columbia University’s Butler Library in New York City, where Hellmut Lehmann-Haupt (formerly of the Gutenberg Museum in Germany) was named curator of the rare book department in 1930. As a member of the Typophiles, another New York not-for-profit organization, he initiated a relationship between the organizations that included an annual book deposit from AIGA of the year's best designed books and book covers to the RBML, including titles dating back to 1923.The history of printing and the book arts are strengths of RBML. The collection includes more than 5,000 books recognized for design excellence from nearly nine decades of AIGA competitions and is available for on-site use by researchers.
Contributions to AIGA’s fundraising campaigns support programs that reach beyond the scope of day-to-day initiatives. Give to your future.
Section: About AIGA -
This guide is an English version of a text by the Dutch Archives for Graphic Designers (NAGO) that offers proper ways to store and describe your collections.
Section: Tools and Resources -
A finding aid to collections on design and design history.
Located at 233 Broadway, 17th floor, in New York, AIGA’s building serves as a base of operations and a source of inspiration for members.
Section: About AIGA -
The Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA) celebrates AIGA's centennial year with the exhibition “AIGA 100: A Century of Design,” a collection of works documenting the organization’s long history and association with the century’s most influential designers.
AIGA’s chapters allow our members to form powerful social and
professional bonds through conferences, competitions, lectures and
Section: About AIGA -
Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America is the country’s first and largest nonprofit for veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Capturing the dynamism of the organization and its members meant celebrating IAVA’s grassroots nature and diverse member base.
Section: Why Design -
Competition, branding, advocacy, social responsibility, Justified
AIGA Baltimore is excited to announce that Orange Element has agreed to be the official Design Week branding sponsor for this year’s fifth annual Baltimore Design Week. Learn more about this Baltimore design agency and their commitment to focus on the Baltimore community and be proactive in helping make our city a better place.
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