Members of the Icograda Executive Board at the Icograda Archive in Brighton.

Icograda Archive

The Icograda Archive is held by the University of Brighton in the United Kingdom. It comprises the Icograda poster collection, library holdings, and a significant body of documentation relating to governance, administration and educational activities of the Council.

The poster collection includes more than 1500 posters from 33 countries dating from the early 1960s through to the late 1980s and affords the opportunity to study aspects of the visual history of countries whose output has been largely overlooked in mainstream histories of design.

The Icograda Archive joins the FHK Henrion Archive (FHK Henrion was Icograda's third president), the James Gardner Archive and the extensive Design Council Archive and Photographic Library, thereby contributing to a major bank of twentieth century design archives, both physical and virtual, already housed and managed by the University of Brighton.

The design history research centre

The Design History Research Centre (DHRC), University of Brighton has gained a considerable reputation with regard to archives. The DHRC promotes research in the form of publications, exhibitions and seminars. It also supports a wide range of projects from investigations into teaching and learning practice to artist residencies.

As a part of the agreement with Icograda, the DHRC will undertake to develop an effective strategy that promotes research as well as greater knowledge and understanding of Icograda through the systematic development of its archives, which contain material of major historical and professional importance.

The Icograda steering committee

In 1991, Icograda's Founding President Willy de Majo set up the Icograda Steering Committee for the International Design Archive and Research Centre Project which was formally launched at the Glasgow International Design Renaissance Congress in September 1993, shortly before his death. In 1996, the Committee released a policy document which sought to develop the projected archive in digital form: 'Digital Immortality: Encapsulating the Work of the World's Top Twentieth Century Designers.'

The primary objectives were to set up an Icograda archive network and to establish a comprehensive Icograda Archive, thus retaining a cultural history of contemporary graphic design with the goal of making archives available as a teaching tool for generations to come.

In 1993, the Icograda Archive Committee (Nicholas Jenkins, David Playne, Mike Hope, Anne Lowthian, John Miles, James Pilditch and Teal Triggs) produced a CD-ROM about FHK Henrion. It also produced video interviews with a number of leading designers for future development as part of the archive project.

Following a visit to the DHRC at the University of Brighton, it was felt that the Icograda Archive's aims were largely synonymous with those of the DHRC, which also enjoyed the material resources of a design archive, supported by full-time curatorial staff, with considerable experience in digital archival developments and a good track record of attracting funds for allied research and development.

For more information: University of Brighton Design Archives