You can learn a lot about a career just by figuring out what magazines the professionals are reading. In the case of graphic design magazines—whether you read them in print, on a tablet, or on the web—you can find out everything you need to know about the latest trends in graphic design, new and exciting tools, and even graphic design jobs you might be interested in. Here are 7 top magazines for aspiring graphic designers.
Wallpaper is so gorgeous that you just want to hold it in your hand and stare at it. Or course, it gets even better when you leaf through its pages to find a ton of information about all kinds of innovative and inspiring design projects from all over the world. This is the only design magazine we know of that features fashion, arts, travel, and lifestyle sections and we love how much we can learn from all these different (but related) fields.
Communication Arts is where those who are in the know go for profiles of designers, illustrators, and other creatives in the design industry. Some of the best content on their site is for subscribers only, but they do have a student subscription rate, so you’re in luck. This is also a good place to get your foot in the door and start building up your reputation in the industry, so try interviewing someone you admire and then submitting it for Communication Arts’ “News” section using the link in the sidebar.
If you can’t get enough illustration, you need to hunt down 3×3. The best part of this magazine (aside from the production value) is that they’re looking for the best work out there rather than imposing one visual aesthetic. Don’t forget to look into their annuals for a peek back at the best illustrations from the last decade or so.
Take a broader look at design with Juxtapoz. The editors there know how important cross-discipline inspiration is and they’re not afraid to feature work by architects and product designers alongside the latest images from graffiti artists who will knock your socks off. This hip periodical is our go-to magazine when we need to step back and draw inspiration from the world at large.
Computer Arts is a great resource on the business of design. Their print edition features insight on the latest design info from thought leaders around the world. And check out their blog and iPad edition for up-to-the-minute graphic design news on everything from a rundown of the latest conference to fun features on products only a designer could love (8-bit sneakers, anyone?).
When you need insight on the design industry, there’s no better resource than How. Whether you’re starting out or a career veteran, there’s always something you can learn from their advice on client relationships to targeted tips on portfolio updates and self-promotion. They’re also really good at productivity-boosting articles like “How to Manage Every Day Disruptions.”
A sister publication of How, Print covers the full spectrum of a design career. One of our favorite things about this magazine is their competitions which celebrate everyone from legends of the advertising world to the up and coming designers of tomorrow. The featured “Image of the Day” is also wonderful when you need a quick shot of inspiration.
What are your favorite graphic design magazines? Share with your fellow students in the comments. And if you’ve been reading some of these mags for a good long time wondering if you’re ready to start a degree in graphic design, it might be time to take the next step and request info today.
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