International Council of Graphic Design Associations (ICOGRADA) Archive

Scope and Content

The ICOGRADA archive comprises posters, library holdings, and a significant body of documentation relating to the administration of the organisation and its activities.

Administrative / Biographical History

The International Council of Graphic Design Associations (ICOGRADA) has been the professional world body for graphic design and visual communication since it was founded in London in 1963 with Willy M de Majo as its first President. A voluntary grouping of more than 70 independent associations from 45 countries, it has a strong educational remit and promotes the role of graphic design in both society and commerce.

As the world's non-governmental and non-political representative and advisory body for graphic design and visual communication, ICOGRADA serves the international community of graphic designers. Its aims have remained consistent since its foundation, and it seeks to raise the standards of design, professional practice, and ethics; raise the professional status of the graphic designer; further the appreciation of designers' professional achievements; extend design's contribution to understanding among people; promote the exchange of information, views, and research; contribute to design education - theory, practice and research; coordinate matters of professional practice and conduct; establish international standards and procedures; hold congresses, conferences, seminars, and symposia; publish and distribute information concerned with graphic design.

The Icograda Executive Board comprises members nominated by the Member associations. The organisation is managed by a Secretariat which moved from Brussels to Montréal, Canada in 2005.

Professional design organisations join Icograda as Full Members with voting rights. Promotional or technical organisations join as Associate Members with voting rights. Non-voting Members include: Patron Members, who contribute financially; Subscriber and Education Members, engaged in education, the raising of standards, or design research and practice; Corresponding Members, residing in a country not represented by a Member organisation; and Affiliate Members,international organisations concerned with professional practice in fields related to graphic design.

ICOGRADA has consultative status with the Council of Europe; UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization); UNIDO (the United Nations Industrial Development Organization); and WIPO (the World Intellectual Property Organization). In 1999, Icograda was one of the founding members of Design for the World (DW), a non-profit multi-disciplinary organisation formed to solve global social, humanitarian and habitat problems through design.


The archive is arranged as follows:

ICO/1 Inauguration, Governance and History

ICO/2 Executive Board and Secretary General

ICO/3 Posters

ICO/4 Presidents and Past Presidents

ICO/5 Members

ICO/6 Congresses and General Assemblies

ICO/7 Biographies and Tributes

ICO/8 Marketing, Publicity and Communication

ICO/9 Audio and Visual Resources

ICO/10 Education, Events and Initiatives

ICO/11 Finance and Administration


ICO/13 Commissions

ICO/14 ICOGRADA Foundation (Charity) and ICOGRADA Trading Company

ICO/15 Projects

ICO/16 Multi-media

ICO/17 Objects

ICO/18 Library

ICO/19 Unplaced material

ICO/20 Mary Mullin

Access Information

Researchers wishing to consult the collection should make an appointment. Telephone 44 (0)1273 643217 or email

Acquisition Information

Transferred to the Design Archives by the governing body of ICOGRADA in 2003.

Other Finding Aids

Listing on Filemaker database available for consultation at repository.

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

typescript, ink and pencil on paper and card; CDs; slides; video tapes; cassettes tapes; floppy discs; black and white photographs; colour photographs; photographic negatives; photostat; diffusion transfer; telegrams with text stuck on; contact sheets; black and white proof strip of photographs;

postage stamps; gummed envelopes; tippex; post it-notes; glue / adhesive; sellotape; labels (polyester front?); fax paper; newspaper cuttings; tracing paper; ink on acetate; label backing paper; metal; fabric (cotton); ribbon; felt; cord; wood (chop sticks); glossy ring binder; plastic; perspex (?);

Archivist's Note

Collection level record created in 2007 and amended by Sue Breakell, 2010. System of Arrangement amended by Ellen Taylor on 10/01/2014 from:

The archive comprises four series:

ICO/1 Governance, administration, and operations

ICO/2 Library

ICO/3 Posters

ICO/4 Graphic work

Conditions Governing Use

Permission must be sought to publish any material from the collection. Email

Custodial History

The material at Brighton derives from numerous sources including the Council's former Secretariat in Brussels as well as archival material previously deposited at the University of Reading and Bolton College of Art and Design.