Emigre, Inc. is a digital type foundry based in Berkeley, California. Founded in 1984, coinciding with the birth of the Macintosh computer, the Emigre team, consisting of Rudy VanderLans and Zuzana Licko, with the addition of Tim Starback in 1993, were among the early adaptors to the new digital technology.
From 1984 until 2005 Emigre published the infamous Emigre magazine, a quarterly publication devoted to visual communication. Emigre created some of the very first digital layouts and typeface designs winning them both world-wide acclaim and much criticism. The exposure of these typefaces in Emigre magazine eventually lead to the creation of Emigre Fonts, one of the first independent type foundries utilizing personal computer technology for the design and distribution of fonts. They created the model for hundreds of small foundries who followed in their footsteps.
As a team, Emigre has been honored with numerous awards including the 1994 Chrysler Award for Innovation in Design, and the 1998 Charles Nypels Award for excellence in the field of typography. Emigre is also a recipient of the 1997 American Institute of Graphic Arts Gold Medal Award, its highest honors. In October 2010 the Emigre team was inducted as Honorary members of the Society of Typographic Arts, Chicago, and in 2013 Licko received the prestigious Annual Typography Award from the Society of Typographic Aficionados. Most recently Emigre received the 29th New York Type Directors Club Medal. Watch the video tribute shown at the presentation of the TDC Medal in the Rose Auditorium at The Cooper Union in New York City in July 2016.
Complete sets of Emigre magazine are in the permanent collections of:
- The Museum of Modern Art in New York
- The Design Museum in London
- The Denver Art Museum
- The Museum of Modern Art in San Francisco
- The Museum fur Gestaltung in Zurich
In 2011, five digital typefaces from the Emigre Type Library were acquired by MoMA New York for their permanent design and architecture collection.
In 2016, Emigre donated its entire archive to San Francisco-based Letterform Archive. The gift included archival material in various media, such as every Emigre type catalog, development files for original Emigre typefaces, audio taped interviews and mechanicals for Emigre magazine, and various correspondence. The Online Archive hosts a complete run of the magazine, digitized in high fidelity for on-screen reading.
Complete sets of Emigre magazine can also be viewed at the following libraries:
- Academy of Visual Arts, Leipzig, Germany
- Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA
- The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, CA
- Bibliotheque Nationale de France, Paris, France
- Cecil H. Green Library, Stanford University, Stanford, CA
- The Goldstein Museum of Design, St. Paul, MN
- Houghton Library, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA
- Koningklijke Bibliotheek, The Hague, Netherlands
- Letterform Archive, San Francisco, CA
- Merrill-Cazier Library, Utah State University, Logan, UT
- Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
- RIT Cary Graphic Arts Collections, Rochester, NY
- Smith College, Neilson Library, Northampton, MA
- University of Amsterdam, Netherlands
- University of Reading, Special Collections, Reading, UK
- Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN
- York University, Toronto, Canada
The Emigre Endowed Scholarship at California College of the Arts, S.F.Hoping to ensure a bright future for generations of promising designers, the Emigre Endowed Scholarship at CCA is available to graphic design students who display a combination of financial need and academic merit.
Information on CCA’s Graphic Design program can be found here.