Graphic Means: A Film by Briar Levit

Poster for the film Graphic Means featuring a woman at a desk surrounded by old school graphic design tools

Briar Levit is a graphic designer with a focus on book and publication design. A graduate of Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, her recent work focuses on graphic design history. Graphic Means: A History of Graphic Design Production, a documentary film directed and produced by Levit, tells the story of the transition from manual to digital means of production in the discipline of graphic design.

Up until just over 30 years ago, when the desktop computer debuted, the whole design production process would have been done primarily by hand, and with the aide of analog machines. The design and print industries used a variety of ways to get type and image onto film, plates, and finally to the printed page.

Graphic Means is a journey through this transformative Mad Men-era of pre-digital design production to the advent of the desktop computer. It explores the methods, tools, and evolving social roles that gave rise to the graphic design industry as we know it today. 

Levit is currently collaborating on The People’s Graphic Design Archive with Louise Sandhaus (Cal Arts) and Brockett Horne (MICA) as well as editing a book of essays, tentatively entitled They Were There Too: Previously Untold Stories of Women Throughout Graphic Design History, to be published by Princeton Architectural Press.

Man working at a drafting table working on paste up board for an ad