New Film About History Of Graphic Design Before Computers

910 511 Derek Kimball


If you stay current with design news, you may already be aware of the film “Graphic Means” – a documentary that takes an in depth look at the world of graphic design before the rapid advancement of computer technology.

The film garnered some attention in early 2015 when it reached it’s funding goal on Kickstarter. Just here recently the writer and director (Briar Levit) released the trailer for her new flick. You can watch it below.

Here is what the film maker had to say about why she wanted to create “Graphic Means”:

I thought I knew how things worked before the desktop computer. It wasn’t until I  started collecting obsolete design production manuals on my regular Goodwill treasure hunts, that I realized that I actually didn’t understand the level of skill, process, and various technologies that predate the computer.

I would pore over the manuals, admiring the tools and trying to imagine myself executing the projects demonstrated—from calculating the number of words that would fit in a brochure design to preparing layout mechanicals to go to print—all by hand! I was mesmerized. And certainly if I had such limited understanding, my students had even less.

And so I set out to tell this tale. This film will allow designers of my generation and after, to learn about how it all worked before computers, and it will serve to honor the folks who made that transition from hand to digital, for their experience and skills that most designers and illustrators will never know again.

The film (which was created by an all female crew) includes interviews from a variety of folks who worked in this pre-computer era of graphic design. Due for release in June 2017, this flick is one I’m looking forward to watching for sure.



Derek Kimball

Derek is the founder of DesignBuddy and a full time graphic designer. He specializes in logo creation and visual branding. Over the past 13 years Derek has helped hundreds of clients grow their business and establish a stronger brand identity. View his portfolio, or get in touch. If you'd like to receive an occasional free newsletter with useful design related content, please subscribe here.

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