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Kate Friedman papers

Identifier: Wing-Modern-MS-Friedman

Scope and Content of the Collection

Design work records of Kate Friedman, primarily from her business Kate Friedman Design. Commercial and private client files include examples of the finished product for Chicago area businesses, such as stationery, booklets, announcements, and other publications. Collection also includes items related to Friedman’s work at the Chicago Reader, other business records, and some personal correspondence and notes. Digital project files stored on disks and CDs have not yet been processed.


  • Creation: 1978-2012



Materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

The Kate Friedman papers are open for research in the Special Collections Reading Room; 1 box at a time (Priority III).

Digital project files have not been processed and are unavailable for use at this time.

Ownership and Literary Rights

The Kate Friedman papers are the physical property of the Newberry Library. Copyright may belong to the authors or their legal heirs or assigns. For permission to publish or reproduce any materials from this collection, contact the Roger and Julie Baskes Department of Special Collections at

Biography of Kate Friedman

Evanston, Illinois based graphic designer and artist.

Kate Friedman grew up in Evanston and received a degree in cultural history and studio art from Earlham College. From the mid-1970s to 1982, she was a production assistant at the Chicago Reader and later served as art director from 1994 to 1996. In 1982, she started Kate Friedman Design. Later in her career, Friedman shifted from client-based work to developing her own vision as an artist. One of her final projects was “Reading the Landscape” at Fort Sheridan Openlands Lakeshore Preserve in Highland Park.

Friedman’s artist statement was: “My work explores the interface of nature and technology, using digital tools and industrial materials in combination with photography, painting, drawing and collage. Variations in scale reveal recursive patterns, referencing visible structures in nature, macroscopic or microscopic views of the body or the planet, or complex data visualization in medicine, topography or computing.”

“Abstract and intricate, the paintings and installations are open to personal interpretation. Each viewer brings one’s own history to the piece and can read one’s own experiences there, recognizing visual patterns - maps, branches, medical scans - as well as biological, cosmic, or data systems.”

My work seeks a common language: of order and complexity, the organic and the built, the rational and the intuitive, the mark of the hand and the mark of the machine - a shared presence in the world...around us and inside us.” [Accessed from, January 2024]


4 Linear Feet (6 boxes and 1 oversize box)

160 items (122 zip disks, 32 CDs, and 6 DVDs)


Design work records of Kate Friedman, primarily from her business Kate Friedman Design.


Materials are arranged in the following series:

Series 1: Biographical and Correspondence, 1978-2012
Box 1
Series 2: Commercial clients, 1982-2011
Boxes 1-5
Series 3: Private clients, 1980s-1990s
Box 6
Series 4: Business records, 1985-2012
Box 6
Series 5: Photographs, approximately 1981-2000
Box 6
Series 6: Oversize, 1984-2011
Box 7
Series 7: Digital project files
In process

Collection Stack Location

3a 59 3


Gift, Dan Brauner, 2016.

Processed by

Robert Williams, 2018 and Catherine Grandgeorge, 2024.



Kate Friedman papers, 1978-2012
In Progress
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the The Newberry Library - Modern Manuscripts and Archives Repository

60 West Walton Street
Chicago Illinois 60610 United States