There is a wealth of information for graphic designers of all stripes to be found on the web, but nothing beats the in-depth articles (not to mention the sensory benefits) of a good graphic design mag. Inkd has a bevy of resources, but our favorite remains the bound stacks scattered around the office.
Some magazines are highly focused on graphic design, some are great for general inspiration. Many have at least annual calls for design and competition. Most also have free trials and discounts for designers belonging to organizations or for students, and all of these magazines have resource rich companion websites.
So read on below, share your favorites with us, and maybe bookmark this one. Here are the top resources you can find in print, and about print, that we keep on our shelves.
Print Focused Graphic Design Magazines
The top graphic design mags on newsstands and public libraries everywhere:
Universally referenced by graphic designers everywhere. Print was recent awarded the top prize from the American Society of Magazine Editors in the category of General Excellence – for the second year in a row.
A staple in any creative’s library, every issue comes packs with extras on a companion disk. Their titles include a 3d focused publication, a tip-heavy Mac centric magazine, special print focused issues, and the incredibly in-depth Projects title.
Tons of fresh material from emerging designers and artists appear in this quarterly, along with insight from proven professionals. Great award winning design inspiration and coverage from a wide range of sources.
Profiles of professionals and useful information on the business of design in every issue. This publication is more than just tips and tricks and showcases.
An eclectic quarterly for anyone interested in informed, critical articles about graphic design and visual culture.
A leading trade journal for visual communications. Well respected annual juried competitions, and in-depth profiles.
Incredibly stimulating journal of graphic design and other creative disciplines. Set on the edge of emerging trends. Monograph, the companion inspirational booklet is a treat.
Graphic Design USA
A monthly news and information magazine for and about the professional design community. The publication is actually free for many professional organizations in the US.
Design Edge Canada
Voted Trade Magazine of the Year by the Canadian Society of Magazine Editors. Special sections on trendspotting, case studies, and design for print. And yes, that Canadian “something”.
The sophisticated Canadian visual arts magazine (not to insinuate that others aren’t), it covers the very best creative work produced in northerly and abroad. They publish a special design and advertising annual as well.
Before & After
Making graphic design understandable, useful and even fun for everyone is this magazine motto. This point of view can bring about some surprising insights.
Anything and everything you want to know about Adobe creative products. This is the go-to for early tips around all the new Adobe software.
Design Related and Inspiring
Some of the most widely available mags that are generally design inspired, and certainly inspiring to graphic designers:
Regarded as the one of the highest authorities on design and style, and continually redefining magazine art direction – this publication wins all types awards. Page after page of just stunning design.
A terrific art and design showcase. Born during the explosion of ‘zines during the mid-90’s, this magazine has come a long way and is always fresh and interesting.
Billed as an art and culture magazine, at first glance it might seem like art and counter-culture. A closer look shows some of the most intriguing arts coverage available.
In the same vein as Print and How, International Design Magazine covers the business, and culture of many design disciplines, showcasing more product and industrial design.
Virtual Libraries and PDF Downloads
Many designers are even publishing some wildly creative and useful mags in a virtual format – not just as websites or blogs; check out this directory to find some material to fill your preferred hand-held e-reader:
PDF Mags – Design
Lots of new material on a range of subjects. The edge of what many organizations are trying with self-publishing, which is bound to bring about info you won’t see anywhere else.
New Magazine Emerging From the Recently Out of Print STEP Inside Design
Not to be disregarded is the recently defunct STEP Inside Design.
STEP Inside Design
Just last month STEP made an announcement that seemed a blow to print everywhere, that the 25 year old publication just put their last issue on the stands. The world of STEP and sister magazine Dynamic Graphics is combining to launch Create Magazine sometime soon. From their announcement online:
“In short, Create will be everything we hope you value STEP for—only more of it, with a wider perspective on the visual culture of the 21st century.”
Keep your eye out for that.