We first wrote about Briar Levit’s documentary film Graphic Means in March 2016 and, this weekend, it is finally coming to the UK.
Design Manchester will be showing the film this Sunday at 1.30pm at Texture (details here), while screenings have now also been confirmed in Birmingham on November 6 (as part of the city’s Design Festival), and in London at St Bride on January 13 2018.
Graphic Means: A History of Graphic Design Production examines the sweeping changes that took place in graphic design from the 1950s onwards. The film features interview with Lucille Tenazas (below), Art Chantry, Ken Garland, Tobias Frere-Jones, Cece Cutsforth, Malcolm Garrett and April Greiman (also below), among a host of other practitioners.
“It’s been roughly 30 years since the desktop computer revolutionised the way the graphic design industry works,” Levit writes on graphicmeans.com.
“For decades before that, it was the hands of industrious workers, and various ingenious machines and tools that brought type and image together on meticulously prepared paste-up boards, before they were sent to the printer.”
“I have amassed a vast collection of design production manuals (1960s, 70s, and 80s) from the Goodwill over the years,” Levit says on the website.
“As the stack grew, it became clear I was naturally drawn to this period of design, and the skills and processes that went along with it. I missed these production methods by about 12 years (I started studying design in 1996), and worked almost exclusively with a computer during my education and after.
“I had some vague knowledge about production before the Mac, but it was only based on brief references my teachers made, or the little-used-tools that remained in various studios I worked in. It occurred to me that if I knew so little, my graphic design students know even less! So with this, I set out to document the tools, processes, and people, of this brief moment in the design world.”
Tickets for the Design Manchester screening of Graphic Means this Sunday are available from designmcr.com.
In this video, below, Levit discusses making the film:
Details on all the forthcoming screenings of Graphic Means are at graphicmeans.com