Graphic Design Roadshow with People’s Graphic Design Archive
– Gray Area Festival Workshop

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Graphic Design Roadshow with People’s Graphic Design Archive
– Gray Area Festival Workshop

Similar to the fun and festivity of Antiques Roadshow with a splash of StoryCorps, this event invites the public to bring treasures that they feel should be part of graphic design history, counterbalancing conventional gatekeeping and allowing anyone to challenge who writes and collects history.

Workshop attendees will share their items with “experts” who may help provide additional factual and contextual information. Next, the attendees will digitally document items via a photography or scanning station. After data is gathered and documented digitally, a People’s Graphic Design Archive team member will demonstrates how to add material to the Archive. Additionally, attendees can share anecdotes that give personal relevance and meaning to the items.

This workshop is part of the Gray Area Festival 2022: Distant Early Warnings, and the C/Change Initiative.

Now in its 8th year, this year’s Gray Area Festival partners with the McLuhan Institute to explore artistic practice as an important sensing agent in a world of rapidly evolving media and technology. Building off work by media theorist Marshall McLuhan, who in 1964 compared artists to Cold War–era distant early warning systems which were designed to raise alarms at signs of impending nuclear catastrophe, this festival stakes a role for arts and technology experimentation as a critical research & development department for society.

C/Change is a joint initiative by Goethe-Institut San Francisco and Gray Area, exploring ways emerging technologies can shape and support digital cultural exchange.

Course Logistics

Sunday, October 2, 2022

Gray Area
2665 Mission Street
San Francisco

3PM – 6PM

$20 – We also offer Diversity Scholarships, find out more and apply here

Experience level

Course Requirements
Participants are invited to bring their own design treasures to archive.

A selection of items will be available onsite for those who do not bring their own items but would like to see first-hand how the Archive works.

About The People’s Graphic Design Archive

The People’s Graphic Design Archive is a crowd-sourced virtual archive that aims to expand, diversify, and preserve graphic design history. It includes finished projects, process, correspondence, oral histories, articles, and other material in the form of images, documents, videos, audio, as well as links to other relevant archives and websites.


Briar Levit is an Associate Professor of Graphic Design at Portland State University. Levit’s feature-length documentary, "Graphic Means: A History of Graphic Design Production," which follows design production from manual to digital methods, established an obsession with design history—particularly aspects not in the canon. She currently collaborates with Louise Sandhaus & Brockett Horne, and Morgan Searcy on The People’s Graphic Design Archive. Princeton Architectural Press published the book of essays she edited, called "Baseline Shift: Untold Stories of Women in Graphic Design History."

Morgan Searcy is an independent designer well-versed in social media strategy and design for social change. She has worked on political campaigns and other progressive messaging.