Best Graphic Design Magazines
If you are looking for graphic design inspiration and insight from industry leaders, graphic design magazines are always a good source. Especially nowadays with publishers delivering amazing content in many ways for your convenience.
Even though digital magazines are great for a number of reasons, there’s just something special about an actual printed magazine. In fact, I’ve always loved taking a break from the computer to look through, and feel a printed magazine. The good news is lots of graphic design magazines are still available in print.
No matter what format or type of graphic design magazine you are looking for, there’s a wide variety of options. Read on to see our recommendations.
Communication Arts Magazine is considered to be the premier source of inspiration for graphic designers, art directors, design firms, advertising agencies, corporate design departments, interactive designers, illustrators, and photographers. Their feature articles and annual competitions provide insights from the highest professional standards in the field. Overall, one of the best graphic design magazines out there.
Lets go over what Communication Arts offers. They publish great free articles on their site. However, their best content is only available within 2 subscription options. The first option and best value is the print and digital combo. This option gives you print and PDF editions of the Design, Advertising, Illustration, Photography, Interactive and Typography Annuals + unlimited access to the Commarts website. The second option is just digital content. To clarify, you get everything I mentioned above, except for the print editions. In conclusion, whether you want print editions or not, Communication Arts subscriptions offer great value for anyone interested in visual communication.
If you are a student, there’s good news. Communication Arts offer a discounted student subscription rate.
Computer Arts Magazine is a great resource on the business of design. Computer Arts feature insights on the latest design trends, styles, techniques, and processes from thought leaders around the world. Overall, this graphic design magazine is a must-have for creatives regardless of the role.
When it comes to the offerings, Computer Arts Magazine is available in digital and print editions. You can choose from just print, digital and print, or just digital. Whatever you prefer, there are payment plans for 3 months and 1 year. In summary, if you’re passionate about visual design, and looking for a magazine that provides the insight and inspiration you need, there’s a variety of buying options for you to check it out.
For over 30 years, Applied Arts Magazine has been the go-to place for creative advice, insight, and inspiration. Applied Arts feature annual awards that celebrate innovation, creativity, and capture the current visual arts landscape in Canada and beyond.
The magazine’s companion website offers a wide range of tools, information, and inspiration, designed to enhance their print offering, featuring unique articles, greater prominence for their awards winners, trends and other industry-focused content. Overall, this is another magazine I highly recommend.
Applied Arts Magazine has 2 offerings. The first is print + digital. The second is just digital. Keep in mind, Applied Arts is released quarterly (fall, winter, spring, and summer). In addition, both offerings come with a monthly newsletter. Overall,
Every issue of the premium monthly magazine features the best in graphic design, illustration, photography, corporate design, and typography, and also highlights new talent in the field. For over 90 years novum has been providing an inspiring bilingual mixture of international graphic design and advertising.
Inside each issue, there is a separate section called novum plus, which pays close attention to a specific graphic design area, such as print design, illustration, and typography, among others. In this additional section, every aspect of the theme is covered by technical experts, clients and designers, which makes this whole publication a truly collectible design item, and a relevant source of reference.
More than 200 pages of insight from leading designers, expert practitioners, creative studio profiles from around the world, and analysis from prominent leaders from the art and design niche, makes each issue of the HOLO magazine a thorough record of trends and paradigms, mixing long-form journalism with striking photography in premium print.
HOLO is published by the Creative Applications Network and represents the biannual kaleidoscopic mixture of the emerging trajectories in contemporary art, science, and technology. As they say, it is all about designing and prototyping fantastical futures that enroll before our eyes.
Take a broader look at art and 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.
If you can’t get enough illustration, you need to check out 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.
Slanted is an independent publishing house focusing on projects and publications in the field of graphic design, typography, illustration, and photography. They publish the award-winning print magazine that covers international design and culture biannually. Slanted also posts daily content on its blog, which provides education and inspiration in the field of design.
Slanted has a wide variety of offerings. From different annual subscription options and student rates, Slanted also offers one-off magazine purchasing. Overall, they have tons of options to get you the content that will keep you inspired.
Print Magazine has been a staple in visual culture and the design community for more than 50 years. From print media to online, from corporate branding to indie-rock posters, from exhibitions to cars to monuments, Print showed its audience why our world looks the way it looks, and why the way it looks matters.
Print was completely redesigned in 2005, and ceased publication in 2017, as they began to focus on creating an online community. Overall, now only on digital channels, Print brings readers the best design content from the most prominent authors, legends and critics in the field.
Since 1994, net has been the number one choice for professional web designers and developers; digging deep into the latest web trends, technologies and techniques to keep you at the cutting-edge of the design scene.
When it comes to the offerings, Net Magazine is available in digital and print editions. You can choose from just print, digital and print, or just digital. Whatever you prefer, there are payment plans for 3 months and 1 year. In summary, if you’re passionate about visual design, and looking for a magazine that provides the insight and inspiration you need, there’s a variety of buying options for you to check it out.
Founded in September 2006 in Germany, Smashing Magazine delivers reliable, useful, and practical articles to web designers and developers. If you design for web or mobile, Smashing is the place for you. Most importantly, they provide learnings from actual projects, with a focus on quality content. Overall, having learned a ton from Smashing Mag over the years, I highly recommend them.
Smashing Magazine offers free and paid content. Both I recommend. However, it depends on your needs. Looking at the 3 available plans, there is great value here for those who care about their craft.
Founded in 1980, Creative Review, once a print magazine, is now available across more platforms than ever. They deliver expert opinions, analysis, and advice on life in the creative industries. In addition, Creative Review shares insight and inspiration across disciplines and borders, connecting brilliant minds to make brilliant things happen.
Creative Review has 2 main offerings.
IDEA magazine is focused on graphic design and typography, published quarterly in Tokyo, Japan.
I hope you liked this list of our favorite graphic design magazines. I know that reading design magazines have been a big part of my journey as a designer. For this reason, I would encourage you to take time away from the computer and be inspired by some of these awesome magazines.
Before we end this article, I want to mention that, for me, getting inspiration can come from anywhere. From going on a long walk and tapping into your subconscious, to immersing yourself in other niches, experiencing different things can lead to your next breakthrough. As a Graphic Designer, I’ve always loved checking out Photography and Architecture magazines. With that in mind, here are some great resources to add to your reading list: