Featured Contributor - Elizabeth Resnick
It has been nearly six months since The People’s Graphic Design Archive’s (PGDA) permanent site launched. Since then, it has been exciting to watch PGDA contributors uploading work from an array of backgrounds and experiences.
This year The Archive is heading up an interview series with our Frequent Contributors to share insight behind building this compelling and unique collection of graphic design. And with that I would be excited to introduce Elizabeth Resnick as The PGDA’s first Featured Contributor of 2023. Elizabeth is a practicing designer, curator, writer, and design educator at Massachusetts College of Art and Design (Mass Art). She has consistently been uploading design materials to PGDA since hearing about the project through professional colleagues and PGDA Co-Directors, Louise Sandhaus and Brockett Horne. Elizabeth’s efforts expand the mission of graphic design history preservation as told by a collective of diverse working designers, educators, and real people. Elizabeth inspires us to share project credits for archival purposes and to celebrate all the women in the industry who have not received much deserved celebration.
Upload your graphic design finds 10+ yrs and older to peoplesgdarchive.org and please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions on uploading to The Archive.
PGDA: Of the items from the archive that you have uploaded, are there 1-3 items that are your favorites? How do you view these items contribute to graphic design history?
Resnick: At this time, I have only uploaded my early work as I had all the details available. I do plan to devote some time in 2023 to upload the early design work of women I have admired for decades. I have been committing my research to “rebalancing the design canon” by researching, writing, and publishing articles about talented, creative women who lead successful lives and careers but were not well known or celebrated during their most creative periods in practice. They were in the minority, and the men they worked with often received all the credit.
PGDA: Some of your uploads are of your own work, while archiving these items have you discovered or remembered something?
Resnick: It was fun to rummage through my archive to share the early illustrated ads created in the 1970s/80s for Store 24 (a chain of 24-hour convenience stores), which were published in the alternative Boston newspapers, The Phoenix and The Real Paper. The ads reflect the youth and counterculture of that time. I also enjoyed sharing the hand-rendered typographic/calligraphic drawing learned while employed at Hallmark Cards in the Creative Lettering department (the early 70s). This skill was later developed by copying the published work of Tom Carnese (who worked with Herb Lubalin) and Tony di Spigna. I was always good at drawing. This particular lettering work consisted of drawing the letters and swashes in pencil, then “inking” the pencil strokes with a Rapidograph (ink) pen. Touch-up was done with opaque white paint as this work was created for reproduction. Besides numerous greeting cards, I was also commissioned to design calligraphic logotypes for private clients and Boston advertising agencies from the mid-1970s through the mid-1980s.
PGDA: What is missing from graphic design history?
Resnick: I am delighted to support this fantastic project by uploading material for the benefit of new audiences. There is so much design and illustration work that was produced before the advent of the internet and digital reproduction. The website enables everyone to choose what they like to share, bringing new life into work initially marginalized and considered not worth examination.
Please reach out to email@example.com if you have any questions on uploading to The Archive.