Berkeley-based type foundry and publisher Emigre has donated a large trove of rare archival materials to Letterform Archive, the San Francisco-based non-profit library and museum for students and practitioners.
The sizeable donation includes original designs for the foundry’s typeface, the complete run of Emigre magazine which was published between 1984 and 2005, as well as a vast array of printed materials, posters, paste-ups and even a collection of unedited audiotaped interviews conducted by the magazine, with noted designers and contributors, which the archive says: “offer an oral history of the design community.”
Emigre’s so-called oral history is a particular boon to Letterform Archive’s efforts of preservation and documentation, not only due to their considerable output but their influence at a transitional time between analogue creative processes and the birth of digital, as Rob Saunders explains: “the physical Emigre collection is a significant addition…providing critical material from a period that was a major catalyst for change in the letter arts.”
Explaining the decision behind their donation Rudy VanderLans and Zuzana Licko, co-founders of Emigre say: “Letterform Archive is easily accessible to the public, it actively promotes itself to the design community…Moreover, Letterform Archive is a local, Bay Area institution. We felt strongly about having our work remain in the Bay Area, where our roots are.”