Graphic Arts as we know them today weren’t conceived in one day; they date all the way back to ancient civilizations when they pioneered the use graphic symbols to communicate. Throughout history, graphic arts have played a crucial role for society’s abilities to be innovative, and during the 1940s Dr. Mark Ellingson saw the strong need for research and development in printing and graphic arts education. Around 1951 the Graphic Arts Research Center was established to “apply scientific and engineering principles to the printing and publishing industry.” RIT then focused much time and effort to research all aspects of the graphic arts and improve them.
The research center was originally housed in a building built in 1849 and located at 130 Spring Street in Downtown Rochester until RIT moved to the Henrietta campus in 1968. The Graphic Arts Research Center was eventually renamed the Technical and Education Center of the Graphic Arts (T&E), and today RIT students and faculty continue to conduct pioneering research on the graphic arts in James E. Booth Hall and Frank E. Gannett Hall.