Graphic Design Archive

Mission and Vision

The Graphic Design Archive (GDA) at Rochester Institute of Technology documents and preserves the work of significant American graphic designers active from the 1920s to the 1960s, as well as selected contemporary designers working in the modernist traditions. 

Rooted in the European avant-garde of the early 20th century, these graphic designers created a new aesthetic for advertising, information design, magazine and book design, poster art, and more. The first collections came to RIT in 1984 through the vision of RIT Professor Roger Remington, and have grown to include the works of 45 designers and typographers. Nearly all the artists represented in the GDA are AIGA Medalists, perhaps the highest honor in the field of design. 

The GDA is a collection maintained within the Cary Graphic Arts Collection and supports all areas of design education at RIT as well as research by scholars from around the world. While many of the GDA collections represent the complete surviving work of a particular designer, some are smaller sample collections that document a portion of a designer’s career. The collections contain original source materials documenting the designers’ working lives, and include such unique items as original artwork, sketchbooks, sculptures, architectural models, reliefs, and printed samples (tear sheets, proofs and sample issues of publications). In addition, many of the archives includes photographs and slides, as well as audio tapes and film.

Collections held in the GDA are described in finding aids found in ArchivesSpace