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Graphic Design: Blog

Graphic Design and Typography research resources.

What’s Your Type?: Researching for Typography I

By Ammie Harrison | Published August 19, 2011

If you are looking at the title of this entry and saying…huh? Then, this blog is probably not for you. However, our wonderful graphic design students perked right up, didn’t you?

Finding research on typography or typographers, especially more recent artists, can be difficult. To some extent, little is published on the history of current and recent typographical artists. However, I have a couple of good places for you to start with your research.
You can also see the TCU Library Guide for Graphic Design. A tab entitled ARGD 20323 Typography I is there just for you!!

One Thing To Remember:  You can use one encyclopedic source (these will come from items with words in their title like history, encyclopedia, or dictionary). The entries are short and offer only basic information. You need one scholarly source. This includes articles from databases or items from books on specific artists, their philosophies, and design history.  They will be more in depth and focus on one artist.  WIKIPEDIA and GOOGLE are not scholarly resources.  The information has not been verified.


TCU Library > Databases

Begin your search with the following databases:
Art & Architecture Source (this database includes Art Index/Art Index Retrospective) contains index and abstracts of articles that we may have in our collection in either print or electronic form. When searching this database, type the designer’s name in quotes.  An example would be “Margo Chase”.  The database will provide you with articles including her name.  On the right had side of a screen, you can narrow your search through different limiters (the artist, time period, etc.)
Design and Applied Arts Index (DAAI) -contains index and abstracts of articles that we may have in our collection in either print or electronic form.
If these two databases do not produce anything, look in the more multidisciplinary databases:
Academic Search Ultimate and JSTOR
If you find an article or book that we do not own, search WorldCat to see if any other libraries have it. You can request the item from Interlibrary Loan (they do the foot work, you just pick up the article or book from TCU Library)You can search this database using the same method as Art Index/Art Index Retrospective.  If you used the “Advance Search” tab, make sure you put the designer’s first and last name underneath each other in the same column.  If you put them in the boxes side by side, the database will search for either “Margo” or “Chase” but not Margo Chase.

This is a list of journals you are likely to find information on graphic design artists/typographers mentioned.

Online access from 9/1/1944 to 01/31/2005

Online access from 07/01/1998 to 06/30/2001

Online access from 2016 to present

Step-by-Step Graphics
Online access from 05/01/1998 to 06/30/2002

Online access from 06/01/1940 to 12/31/2017

Online access from 01/01/1997 to present

Creative Review
Online access from 02/07/1986 to 01/31/2016

Eye Magazine
Online access from 01/02/1991 to 01/31/2016


Online access from 01/01/1970 to present

Communication Arts (CA)
Print only
Access to current print issues is available in the TCU Library Periodicals Alcove
(March/April 2020 – Present)
Access to back issues available via the TCU Library Annex
(1969 – present)
Search for articles in the database Art & Architecture Source
Click on the Check for Full Text Sources link under the article entry to be taken to the request page.
Articles scans fulfilled via the Request form link (a PDF file will be sent).

Need Help?
If you are still having problems locating information, a number of current graphic artists have their own websites and provide information about interviews they have given or articles written about their work.

You can email me or our Art & Design Librarian, Laura Steinbach, for assistance.

Have a good one!

Ammie E. Harrison
Humanities & Theatre Librarian