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Graphic Means is the major new documentary to watch ASAP


have amassed a vast collection of design production manuals (1960s, 70s, and 80s) from the Goodwill over the years” says Briar Levit, the producer and director of Graphic Means, the major new documentary that charts the evolution of graphic design production and premiered on 15 April 2017 at ByDesign film festival in Seattle.

“As the stack grew, it became clear I was naturally drawn to this period of design, and the skills and processes that went along with it. I missed these production methods by about 12 years (I started studying design in 1996), and worked almost exclusively with a computer during my education and after. I had some vague knowledge about production before the Mac, but it was only based on brief references my teachers made, or the little-used-tools that remained in various studios I worked in” she says on the film which marks around 30 years since desktop publishing revolutionised the graphics industry, and explores the progression to this point from the 1950s.

For decades before that, it was the hands of industrious workers, and various ingenious machines and tools that brought type and image together on meticulously prepared paste-up boards, before they were sent to the printer. Funds for the film were raised via Kickstarter.

Briar Levit is an Assistant Professor of Graphic Design at Portland State University. Her professional graphic design practice consists primarily of publication design, identity and packaging.

She cut her teeth as an Art Director at Bitch magazine, and still maintains a close relationship with the organization. In addition to this, she makes self-initiated work that is centered around visual representations of nature and place. Other people involned in the making are Dawn Jones Redstones,  a Latina DP/Director best known for her award-winning short film, Sista in the Brotherhood, Emily Von W. Gilbert who has edited documentaries, experimental projects, fundraising films, television shows, and more, for 10 years, Emily Skaer, an enthusiastic freelance motion designer, illustrator, midwest refugee and more.

“It occurred to me that if I knew so little, my graphic design students know even less! So with this, I set out to document the tools, processes, and people, of this brief moment in the design world. I hope you join me along the way!” she adds and we are more than willing to do so.