"Graphic Means: A History of Graphic Design Production"; Champaign-Urbana Premiere; Nov 14, 2017


Decades before every desktop had a computer, it was the hands of industrious workers and ingenious tools that brought type and image together. Using rare archival footage and interviews, this groundbreaking film uncovers the hidden history of the graphic design industry’s “cold type” era.

photograph of a photo typsetting disc

Graphic Means: A History of Graphic Design Production explores the rapid changes in design from the mid-century modern era of Mad Men to the introduction of the Macintosh computer. It explores the methods, tools, and evolving social roles that gave rise to the graphic design industry as we know it today.

Levit and her team spent years traveling around the US and UK, interviewing design legends like Steven Heller (AIGA medalist, New York Times art director, author of over 60 books), April Greiman (AIGA medalist, educator, digital innovator, “new wave” design guru), Art Chantry (AIGA medalist, educator, author and lo-tech design guru), Ellen Lupton (designer, author, educator), Tobias Frere-Jones (designer of typefaces like Gotham), Ken Garland (designer, author, educator), and many others.

photograph of a burnisher

Digging into archives, university libraries, and even thrift shops to uncover forgotten tools and materials, Graphic Means gives viewers a look at the history of the ever-evolving design industry, and what’s in store for the future.

Though design is more popular than ever, with countless books and magazines dedicated to its new trends and thousands of students hoping to enter the field each year, its recent history has been largely ignored until now. Graphic Means: A History of Graphic Design Production is a must-see film for anyone who loves design, art, history, or the intersection of all three.

Graphic Means is currently making the rounds at film festivals, film societies, museums and specialty cinemas in Australia, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, New Zealand, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Thailand, UK, and across the US.

illustration of a woman working on a photo typesetting machine

Graphic Means: A History of Graphic Design Production

Produced and directed by Briar Levit
Music by Norm Chambers
Cinematography by Dawn Jones Redstone
Film editing by Emily von W. Gilbert
Sound editing by Brett Rothfeld
Animation by Emily Skaer

Run time: 85 minutes
Sound: 5.1 Surround
Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Released April 15, 2017
Official Website: www.graphicmeans.com