The Society of Typographic Arts (STA) has a long history as a professional association for designers in Chicago. Originally established as the Society of Typographic Arts in 1927, the organization existed until 1989 and during that time sponsored many memorable events, seminars, and conferences; including the ICOGRADA "Design that Works" Conference in 1978. STA publications include "Trademarks USA," 1964; "Fifty Years of Graphic Design in Chicago," 1977; "Herman Zapf and His Design Philosophy," 1987, and many others. Throughout its existence the STA offered the Chicago design community both formal and informal opportunities for exchanging ideas and getting to know one another. In 1989, the organization changed its philosophy, direction, and name to become the American Center for Design. The American Center for Design ceased to exist on April 24, 2002. However, the new STA (which still exists) emerged in 1990 resurrected by a small group of former officers and board members of the STA and other affiliated organizations in Chicago who wanted to continue to focus on local and regional issues as well as on any global issues that might affect Chicagoland designers. The new STA began having annual conferences in 1994 in order to develop an in-depth dialogue among professionals in the Chicagoland area. In 2000, it was reincorporated in the State of Illinois and developed a Board of Directors from those attending its 7th annual conference.
The UIC Library has digitized a selection of STA publications and other materials, especially exhibition catalogs. The project came about through the cooperation and encouragement of the Society and funding through a gift from R.R. Donnelley.
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