News

Nov 29, 2018

Now Live: The Online Archive

Experience Letterform Archive from anywhere in the world.

When guests visit the Archive our goal is to inspire them through radical access to our collection of graphic design and typography artifacts. The aim is to encourage discovery through visual exploration. Now we’re making that experience available to everyone everywhere with the new Online Archive. Charter members will receive exclusive access to the beta before we officially go live in 2019.

Our high-fidelity photography captures every detail on this tin box by Dutch designer Jacob Jongert.
An archive designed for designers

There are many library and museum catalogs online, but Letterform Archive’s site was made with graphic designers in mind. Our visual search feature supports a serendipitous browse, while navigating with precision. See instant results as you filter and combine people, firms, disciplines, decades, countries, and formats. Each item is photographed with the goal of fidelity to the original object. The web optimized images retain as much of this detail as possible, even when zooming, while remaining browsable from any device.

The Online Archive was made possible by many incredibly generous volunteers who spent hundreds of hours helping us catalog material. We owe a special debt to data virtuoso Murray Grigo-McMahon who gave his time to create and produce the site. The look and feel was executed by our talented friends Jon Sueda, chris hamamoto, and Omar Mohammad.

With a brand new metadata structure developed by our own librarians specifically for graphic design material, our search feature is designed to support exploration by design students, practitioners, and enthusiasts.
A demo of the Online Archive.
Discover, research, and teach from anywhere in the world

Your gift also provides resources for students, educators, designers, and a global community of those who love letters. More importantly, your support allows those who can’t visit us in person to experience the breadth and depth of our collection.

  • Students can discover and learn from some of the best designers in the world, with access to process and original artwork that’s unique to the Archive’s collection.
  • Teachers and educators can visually enhance lectures by navigating through graphic design and type history at the highest resolution.
  • Designers of all kinds can dive into research for any project. From packaging and branding, to book jackets, type design, and more, inspiration is easily found.

Our collection awaits you

On the Online Archive, members can explore over 1,000 catalogued, imaged items such as:

  • Selections from the Emigre, Aaron Marcus, and Ross F. George archives
  • Ephemera and specimens from metal type foundries
  • Sketches and mechanicals by Michael Doret
  • Brochures and catalogs by Ladislav Sutnar
  • Book jackets by Philip Grushkin, Alvin Lustig, Elaine Lustig Cohen, and George Salter
  • Illustration and advertising by Dorothy and Otis Shepard
  • Packaging by Jacob Jongert
  • Corporate identity manuals

With a collection of around 50,000 objects, digitization will be an ongoing process, which means you’ll always be able to find something new. Your membership helps us digitize faster.

Become a member today