The Archive was founded by Rob Saunders, a collector of the letter arts for over 40 years, as a place to share his private collection with the public. The Archive now offers hands-on access to a curated collection of over 50,000 items related to lettering, typography, calligraphy, and graphic design, spanning thousands of years of history.
Students, practitioners, and letterform admirers from every creative background and around the world come with specific research ideas in mind or simply looking for inspiration.
Courses and workshops in type design, calligraphy, and typography are offered, and exhibitions of the Archive's holdings are curated. Also lectures by visiting artists and designers, and salons and receptions to showcase collections or celebrate out-of-town guests.
A 1.5-hour guided tour considers some of the most treasured pieces of Letterform Archive’s collection. See a curated selection of books, periodicals, posters, sketches, original art for reproduction, and related ephemera that chronicle the history of written communication. From the invention of writing and medieval manuscripts to modernism, the advent of print to the proliferation of digital type, our collection tells the story of civilization through graphic design.