Letterform Archive has launched its online archive, featuring nearly 1,500 items and 9,000 images integral to the history of typography, graphic design, and written communication. This unparalleled collection of typographical artifacts, the digitization of which has been a four-year labor of love, is debuting online in a moment when the world needs it the most.
"This has been a dream since before the archive opened five years ago, and this launch was planned long ago," commented Rob Saunders, founder and executive director of Letterform Archive. "But what a perfect moment for radical accessibility."
Normally, Letterform Archive, located in San Francisco's creative Dogpatch neighborhood, is strictly a 'brick and mortar' collection where artists, scholars, and the font-loving public come in and learn from - and touch - a collection ranging from a 4,000-year-old cuneiform clay tablet to a page from a Gutenberg Bible to style manuals from Apple Computer. From a fifteenth-century handmade Rothschild Book of Hours to psychedelic '60s posters and the early pixelated digital type designs of the 1980s, it is a collection unparalleled in the Bay Area and unique across the world.
For the last four years, Saunders and his team of librarians, curators, developers, and designers have been preparing for this moment: making its world-class digital trove of typographical artifacts available - free of charge - to anyone and everyone on the planet. The Archive's online repository of digitized materials related to lettering, typography, calligraphy, and graphic design spans thousands of years of history. Opened as a beta in 2018, the Online Archive was previously available to members only.
more: oa.letterformarchive.org (81)