AIGA Archives and Special Collections

Explore our collections and discover the rich history of American communication design.

Opened to members and researchers in April 2006 with support from Sean Adams and Noreen Morioka, the institutional archive serves as a memory of the organization’s extensive history and association with the century’s most influential designers. 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 by AIGA since 1922; AIGA conference materials produced since 1985; and flat files of prints, posters, publications, and more by AIGA Medalists and AIGA Chapters. The collection contains more than 2,500 unique items.


We regret we are unable to accept visitors at this time.

Have a research question? Contact Heather Strelecki.


Your support helps us to increase access and presentation opportunities for AIGA’s archives. Consider making a tax-deductible donation today. 


AIGA Design Archives

AIGA Design Archives represents the quality of work being created, as well as shifting aesthetics and sensibilities of the designers of the day. This rich online resource features more than 20,000 selections from AIGA’s design competitions dating back to 1924, as well as special collections of historic works from major American design firms and practitioners. Learn more about the design process and read the case study for the AIGA Design Archives.

View the work and learn more about the collections, including selections that are housed at the Denver Art Museum, at

Denver Art Museum

Gifted to the Denver Art Museum in 2006, the AIGA Archives at the Denver Art Museum recognizes award-winning entries made to AIGA’s annual competitions. The collection represents the largest and most comprehensive holding of contemporary American communication design in the world with approximately 12,000 physical artifacts. The archive reflects the major design trends as well as many of the leading design firms and individual designers that defined the 32-year period from 1980 to 2012.

The physical objects are used within Denver Art Museum’s exhibiting collection and serve to educate future generations on the antecedents and evolution of art and commerce.

Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Columbia University’s Butler Library

The winning selections from AIGA’s longest-running annual book design competition, 50 Books | 50 Covers (formerly Fifty Books of the Year), held at the Rare Book and Manuscript Library (RBML) at Columbia University’s Butler Library in New York City, demonstrate the principles of good design and craftsmanship in the manufacture of contemporary American books. The collection of more than 5,000 books is currently being catalogued by the library and spans nearly a century of AIGA competitions. Learn more about the first 15-years of the competition in this article on Design Observer and recent competitions on Design Week.

The library is available for on-site use by AIGA members and researchers.

Google Arts & Culture

AIGA partnered with Google Cultural Institute to present three curated online-exhibitions. With a focus on Diversity & Inclusion and Design for Democracy, these collections can be viewed from the comfort of home: 

Other AIGA Resources


I want to learn more about AIGA. Where can I find more information?
AIGA is the design profession’s oldest and largest professional membership organization. Read more about who we are and what we do, or get a virtual tour of AIGA’s major milestones through the years:

Watch this webcast for a visual history of AIGA from Sean Adams.

Can I use an image from AIGA or AIGA Design Archives?
Because we support copyright and privacy, AIGA is limited to distributing images in the AIGA archives and on its websites. All works are the copyright of their respective owners. Commercial use of any AIGA material will not be permitted unless express written permission is granted. It is your responsibility to obtain the permission from the rights holder. If the requested images are in the archives of AIGA and there are no restrictions to access, they may be shared.

Once shared, all images must be displayed with an appropriate credit line (work title, artist, year, link to where it lives on our website, and AIGA, the professional association for design cited as a source).

Please direct permissions and requests-to-publish to AIGA’s archivist. Requests should be made at least a week in advance of the date needed. A fee may be charged for time and materials. By initiating the request-to-publish, you agrees to these terms and to indemnify and hold AIGA harmless from any and all claims, suits and expenses arising from the use of an image. 

What are the best resources to learn about AIGA Medalists?
In addition to the AIGA Medalist essays, research guides are being compiled to surface related content from articles, books, exhibitions and events, websites and online collections, audio, and video. These research guides are located beneath each essay and are currently available for Saul BassIvan Chermayeff and Tom GeismarMilton GlaserLeo LionniHerb LubalinHerbert MatterMassimo and Lella Vignelli, and Henry Wolf. Research Guides can be a great information literacy assignment for students and educators? Contact AIGA's archivist to learn more.

For more information about the AIGA archives and special collections, email Heather Strelecki.

The AIGA archives and special collections are supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.

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