This week’s MoW is one of graphic design’s venerable titles. Print: A Quarterly Journal of the Graphic Arts began in June 1940. Its editors sought to provide a forum for discussion of visual concepts, and education about design. Its continuing mission examined the intersection of design and culture by seeking the causes and contexts of changing styles. By showcasing the best design in the world, it also sought to drive and inspire. Sadly, it ceased publishing hard copies (6 times a year) in December 2017.
Our holdings begin in 1971, with a lot more black and white pages. All of the artwork shown was created with film or pencil. The focus hasn’t changed much, however. Content has continued to provide a display of current packaging design, book and magazine graphics, posters and advertising campaigns as well as articles discussing graphic design trends and historical evolution.
The Jan/Feb 1971 includes articles about Swiss design and the art deco revival of the late 1960s-70s, and the art of Nelson Howe’s dance notation. This is accompanied by call for submissions for the first annual American poster competition for 1960-1970, ads for acrylic paints, photo finishing studios, photo process lettering.
By 1983, the title reviewed new CAD systems for their applications in graphic design. An article in the May/June 1983 issue declared “though computers are involved in a variety of design tasks, their general use in print communications is still very limited. The future isn’t here yet.” (Stevens, Carol & Tom Goss, 57) But by 1987, the magazine featured imaging technologies. By 1997, the title included articles about national use of the internet to help countries establish tourist identities, and added a column “Technologies & Techniques”.
The title remained visually enticing until its recent demise and remains an important online presence in the industry. It showcases both regional and international designers regularly by running highly respected annual design contests. It provides a window into the zeitgeist, expressed visually, for much of its run, using awards, design issues, and regular columnists from the industry to drive design education and inspire new and better work. It remains one of the most important influences upon the world of graphic design.