14 Essential Magazines for Graphic Designers

In spite of the tremendous expansion of the Internet, the power of the printed word remains strong and popular.

Print media is where it all began and today we take a close look at some amazing design magazines that can really boost your productivity and expand your design knowledge.

In addition to their printed versions, some magazines also offer online versions on their websites as well as PDF downloads and single issue orders. Order online or pick them up at your local bookstore.

Here’s our recommended list with descriptions taken from each magazine’s website…

 


Web Designer

Web Designer is the UK’s premier publication for the discerning online author.

Aimed at all those at intermediate to professional levels within the trendy 20-35 age bracket, its predominantly tutorial-based format follows cutting-edge projects in Dreamweaver, Flash, and Photoshop.

Supplemented by the latest industry news and feature topics, Web Designer reflects all that is inspirational and exciting about working with new media content – representing the only choice of its kind on the newsstand.

More info | Subscribe

 


Layers Magazine

Layers magazine provides in-depth tutorials, cutting-edge techniques, secret tweaks, expert insights, and a wealth of information about the entire Adobe Creative Suite®, including InDesign®, Illustrator®, Photoshop®, Acrobat®, Lightroom®, After Effects®, Premiere Pro®, Dreamweaver®, and Flash®.

Published six times a year, Layers provides the design ideas, 3D rendering tricks, digital video concepts, artist portfolio profiles, unbiased product reviews, and current industry news that make Layers an absolute must-read for today’s creative professional.

More info | Subscribe


 


Photoshop Creative

Photoshop® Creative is the perfect magazine for learning more about Adobe’s outstanding application.

Each issue is packed with inspirational tutorials covering the whole scope of the software, from creative projects, to practical guides to using tools and techniques.

Readers also benefit from a collectable CD-ROM each issue. Whatever you use Photoshop for, Photoshop creative will help you become a better digital artist.

More info | Subscribe




 


.Net

.net is the world’s best-selling magazine for web designers and developers. As well as a host of great features, .net magazine also boasts more than 30 pages of tutorials each issue, covering topics such as CSS, PHP, Flash, JavaScript, web graphics, and more – all written by contributors from some of the world’s biggest design agencies.

Each month you’ll also receive a packed CD, including an hour of video projects, full software, templates, tutorial files, and more!

Each month .net includes the hottest new sites from around the web, features a bevy of brilliant tutorials, and covers the major issues affecting designers and developers.

More info | Subscribe

 


Print

Print is a bimonthly magazine about visual culture and design. Founded in 1940 by William Edwin Rudge, Print is dedicated to showcasing the extraordinary in design on and off the page.

Covering a field as broad as communication itselfpublication and book design, animation and motion graphics, corporate branding and rock posters, exhibitions and street art—Print covers commercial, social, and environmental design from every angle. Engagingly written by cultural reporters and critics who look at design in its social, political, and historical contexts, Print explores why our world looks the way it looks, and why the way it looks matters.

A four-time winner of the American Society of Magazine Editors’ National Magazine Award for General Excellence, most recently in 2008, Print has been honored many times by ASME, the Society of Publication Designers, AIGA, The Art Directors Club, and The Type Directors Club.

More info | Subscribe

 


I.D.

Looking for cutting-edge design from every discipline? Insight into what drives the hottest design trends? Unique coverage of the world’s best designers? Then discover I.D. and get the one design magazine that covers it all: concepts, products, environments, interactive, furniture, and more.

Published since 1954, I.D. Magazine is America’s leading critical magazine covering the art, business, and culture of design.

Winner of five National Magazine Awards, the publication appears seven times a year. Issues include the Annual Design Review (America’s oldest and most prestigious juried design-recognition program) as well as the I.D. 40, and Design + Business.

More info | Subscribe

 


How

HOW magazine’s goal is to help designers, whether they work for a design firm, for an in-house design department or for themselves, run successful, creative, profitable studios.

HOW strives to serve the business, technological and creative needs of graphic-design professionals. The magazine provides a practical mix of essential business information, up-to-date technological tips, the creative whys and hows behind noteworthy projects, and profiles of professionals who are influencing design.

Founded in 1985, the HOW brand now extends beyond the print magazine to annual events for design professionals, yearly design competitions, digital products and books.

More info | Subscribe

 


Communication Arts

Communication Arts magazine is the leading trade journal for visual communications. It showcases the top work in graphic design, advertising, illustration, photography and interactive design.

Since 1959, more graphic designers, art directors, creative directors, commercial photographers and illustrators have turned to Communication Arts for ideas and inspiration than to any other creative publication. What makes Communication Arts so special?

Our unique combination of respected juried Annuals, in-depth profiles in our multi-topic issues and numerous informative columns makes Communication Arts the premier publication to cover all aspects of visual communications.

More info | Subscribe

 


Digital Arts

Digital Arts is the UK’s leading resource for creative professionals, both in print and online. Digital Arts addresses the needs of those within the exploding digital media market by providing relevant and forward thinking content, and by consistently running more exclusive reviews and features than any other magazine or Web site in the market.

Now in its fifth year, Digital Arts consistently delivers high-quality content, providing its professional readership with the latest news and reviews first.

Digital Arts prides itself on providing unbiased product-led information and professional advice, across all platforms and disciplines. Digital Arts uses extensive in-house lab facilities for product assays, producing top-class reviews and trustworthy lab tests.

More info | Subscribe

 


Before & After

Before & After magazine has been sharing its practical approach to graphic design since 1990.

Because our modern world has made designers of us all (ready or not), Before & After is dedicated to making graphic design understandable, useful and even fun for everyone.

The magazine is available as a PDF or printed as other magazines.

More info | Subscribe




 


CMYK

CMYK Magazine is where aspiring creatives showcase their talents to an industry driven by inspiration and new ways of creative problem solving.

At the same time, CMYK Magazine is where creative directors, agency principals and art buyers recruit students and recent graduates at today’s top art-design schools: art directors, copywriters, designers, photographers and illustrators.

Each issue of CMYK Magazine features as many as 100 selections from more than 80 art-design students attending over 30 of the world’s leading art-design schools, departments and workshops.

More infoSubscribe

 


Computer Arts

Computer Arts is the one-stop shop for professional advice on creating digital art and illustrations.

Computer Arts, the world’s best-selling magazine for digital artists and designers, boasts a strong line-up of tutorials every issue, covering everything from manipulating photographs with Photoshop to creating amazing vector illustrations with Illustrator.

You’ll also find tonnes of tips and tricks for web design, typography, 3D, animation, motion graphics and multimedia. It’s the one-stop shop for professional advice.

More info | Subscribe


 


Computer Arts Projects

Computer Arts Projects is the only magazine to give you an in-depth guide to a different creative subject every month. Computer Arts Projects is the successful monthly spin-off of Computer Arts magazine.

Each issue gives you an in-depth guide to a different creative subject, and recent issues have covered themes such as print design, web design, Photoshop, typography, packaging, creative advertising, and how to start your own design business.

Inside every edition, you’ll find great step-by-step tutorials and tips from the best digital artists in the business, showcases and profiles of up-and-coming talent and established creatives, as well as explorative features on the subject in hand.

More info | Subscribe

 


Advanced Photoshop

Advanced Photoshop magazine is the perfect magazine for polishing up already great Photoshop skills. Aimed towards Adobe Photoshop professionals and enthusiasts, every issue prides itself on its unbeatable quality and sophisticated content.

Every month you can have the chance to develop your techniques with a bunch of creative and challenging Masterclass and Workshop tutorials. Our intention is to give you the chance to learn new tricks and fine-tune your skills.

Whether you’re a design student, an enthusiast who is considering going into the design industry full-time, or an established pro, we guarantee that there will always be something new to get your teeth into.

More info | Subscribe


Did we miss any good magazines?  Which ones do you read?

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  • http://www.siambookmark.com siambookmark

    thank you

  • http://www.twitter.com/brandonacox Brandon Cox

    I’m tempted to spend money on these, but I’m afraid the huge number of inspirational feeds I read each day (for free) seems to defeat the purpose. Nonetheless, everybody needs something to read in those moments each day when you’re in a spot where you really shouldn’t take a laptop, but really need some reading matieral. :-)

  • http://blog.insicdesigns.com/ insic

    Computer Arts is awesome i have issues of this mag. i want to try the others.

  • http://phirebase.com brtak

    Nice list!!!

  • Dirk

    Brandon, good one, perhaps it’s time for a post to this blog about good feeds ;)

  • http://fabrikade.sg Jonathan Kong

    Useful list and short intro on the mags which will be appreciated by both new to design and to seasoned ones as well.

    I really like Before & After magazine’s approach and highly recommended to people new to design. Seasoned designers will find them handy for the timely reminders about the good old foundations.

  • http://web.raptordesign.eu Bogdan Pop

    The heading for CMYK Magazine is wrong (CYMK)

    • http://www.webdesignerdepot.com Walter

      Corrected, thanks :)

  • http://justcreativedesign.com Jacob Cass

    Computer Arts and Layers are my favs :)

  • http://falith.com nicholi

    This is a great list. I’ve recently been looking for some magazines to subscribe to. I want to have something to flip through while I’m not at the computer. I’ll check out some of these.

  • http://www.dileepsharma.com/ Dileep K Sharma

    This print stuff is in fact great source of inspiration.

  • http://www.pushingbuttons.net Timothy

    Ya, I agree with insic, Computer Arts is good. I have a number of issues of that mag but need to try some others. Plus, in the states, a subscription to Computer Arts is pricey.

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  • http://www.newmediacampaigns.com Joel

    At a conference we met an editor of Website Magazine. It is a free(!) print magazine that is delivered monthly:

    http://www.websitemagazine.com/content/

    I wouldn’t say it is as good as the others listed yet, but it is young and improving. Being free you can’t really go wrong either.

  • http://www.r1designs.net Michael

    A great list, I’ll probably subscribe to one or two of these.

    I do have to wonder how .net and Web Designer manage to stay in business with subscription costs that high.

  • http://www.designsheffield.co.uk Abbas

    Grafik Magazine is a must read in my studio. Some people find it a bit pretentious but it’s inspired me no end.

    http://www.grafikmagazine.co.uk – still updating the site for which seems like an eternity. But you can view a virtual copy of the magazine.

  • Stephen

    I think you mean “CMYK” in the magazine title, not “CYMK.”

    Also, I don’t know why magazines still come with CD-ROMs. Seems a little silly to me, when everyone has broadband. It’s really a waste of packaging.

    • http://www.webdesignerdepot.com Walter

      CMYK! Thanks, corrected! :)

  • http://technologystory.net Rakibul Islam

    Good Collection of Graphic Design

  • http://www.instantshift.com DKumar M.

    I’m a reguler subscriber and a great fan of Computer Arts!!

  • http://cdharrison.com Chris Harrison

    Another to consider is Photoshop User, the official publication of the National Association of Photoshop Professionals:

    http://www.photoshopuser.com/

  • http://www.webdesignerdepot.com Walter

    Thanks to everyone for suggesting further resources. A great reason to always read comments! :)

  • http://www.eggrage.co.uk John

    Good list, I read most of them – my only other comment would be that digital arts magazine is terrible, I mean really really bad. Poor concept, poor content, poor execution.

    Best ones IMO are .NET and Advanced Photoshop Techniques

  • http://www.misty-blue.net Sarah

    Computer Arts Projects is a really great resource. I really like that each issue focuses on a specific subject rather than throwing everything into one issue. I’m glad that some of the good Photoshop mags are picked out– some of them are pretty bad.

    The only problem I have with some of these though is how expensive they are, even just to buy a single issue. An AIGA discount helps, but Print is still pricey even then.

  • Iñigo

    Wow! It seems the magazines I buy made the list. Im a reader of most though i havent encountered layers, Digital Arts, ID and Before and After although looking for one here where im located, its hard to find it.

    I’ve always believed the power of magazines, although i read a lot of the blogs, the inspiration you get is just different. The magazine itself or its layout is inspiration alone. You just have to have the creativity to use it.

    Nice post! now i have new magazines to look for.

  • http://www.penflare.com penflare

    very nice post, thanks, i think im going to subscribe to I.D – looks awesome! keep up the great posts!

  • http://alanvalek.com/ Alan Valek

    Have to agree on this—should have Photoshop User up there too though.

  • http://www.dcglobal.us/ Website Graphic Designer

    A lot of thanks from a great list of reference to choose from nice article…

  • http://www.DreamStation.cc cnc137

    I subscribe to .net (Practical Web Design in the U.S.) and really enjoy every issue. I also pick up Computer Arts, Computer Arts Projects, and Web Designer from time-to-time when I am in my local Borders or Barnes & Noble and they catch my eye.

    Another magazine I have been thinking about checking out is Scroll (http://scrollmagazine.com), which Veerle Pieters (http://veerle.duoh.com) helped with recently.

  • http://www.graphikfood.com/ Zeb

    And the new french mag called ” Web’design’ ” !

    Pretty list ! thanks ;-)

  • http://blog.adrian-rodriguez.net Adrian Rodriguez

    If I had the money to spend on magazines like these, I would purchase them.

  • http://benjacob.in Ben Jacob

    Looks like none if this is available in my country to subscribe :(

  • http://www.designbyego.co.uk John milton

    That’s a pretty good list, but i would still prefer to go through various website in graphic designing.

  • Brian Bron

    I usually buy Advance Photoshop at a local bookstore :)

    Really nice and a ton of help!!!!

  • Steve

    I think Eye magazine should have been included here somewhere

  • http://www.truenorthe.com Courtney

    Oh no, now I want to subscribe to so many of them!

  • http://www.sketec.com SKETEC

    I’ve never heard of any of these. Thanks!

  • http://creamycss.com/ Creamy CSS

    Nice list, thanks! I like the Before & After magazine :)

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  • http://www.decentweblog.com Jahangir agha

    Thanks for such a great list of magazines. I wanted to know good magazines like that and I searched Google but didn’t land on any good magazine. May be I was not using the right keyword.

    Spending time on these magazines really give you lots of knowledge and you learn something new on every visit.

  • http://www.imagedpi.com Laith Ibrahim

    I personally like Layers Magazine. I prefer reading articles and design stuff on the web because you have more resources and IT’S FREE.

  • http://www.dennisvalenciano.com Dennis Valenciano

    Advance Photoshop, Computer Arts and .Net are the best magazines so far I have. Recommended for aspiring graphic designers and Web Designers. =)

  • http://www.techbreaking.com thai socialbookmark

    Wow is cool Collection of Graphic Design.

  • http://iwishshop.blogspot.com/ iwishshop

    Nice list!!!

  • http://www.flort.net/modules.php?name=Klipler Sohbet Muhabbet

    Nice list, thanks!

  • http://www.wahidqazi.com/ SEO Consultant

    thanks alot for the designs, really apreciate it, great blog keep it up!

  • http://www.denteme.com/clinicas-dentales-espana/ clinica

    The magazines look very nice though.

  • http://www.bwave.de Ben

    well. for the german speeking guys out there it’s although the “page”
    http://page-online.de/ I am reading it lately quite often and it’s fine!

  • http://www.si36.com sky

    One that is great and really surprised its not here is idn http://idnworld.com/mags/ a must get, edgy, with great design and art direction, the use of paper quality and creative use is excellent and always a dvd full of professional reals and conceptual experimental artist. There web site is great in viewing allot of there mags. Very top notch and pretty much priced with some mentioned above.

    On similar, from japan though so a bit hard to find some times, is Territory http://www.bigbrosworkshop.com/territory.html you can also find them on facebook. Also brings a dvd with reals experimental artist etc

    hummmmmm some on the list are repetitive, and some like Photoshop Creative, How, etc tend to be i think worthless and a waste of money, you can find allot of the tutorials on the web that tell you the same stuff.

    For younger artist and older who want to stay ahead of the curve for sure, Computer Arts Projects, Computer Arts, and Advanced Photoshop(extremely inspirational mags)

    Print and Communication arts is really very much after the facts and tends to favor a mixer of more established and old school artits. Great for people that want to see what there friends in the bizness are doing and pat them in the back, a nice look when your in the bathroom

    PS, if you have to get a mag about the web to learn about the web something is really wrong with you, LOL because its all on the web

  • Karen

    What about Eye Magazine? The magazine itself is always a piece of art.

  • http://www.iamafreelancer.net web design egypt

    very nice collection
    thanks very much

  • http://www.webdesignsouthyorkshire.com Sheffield Web Deisign

    Nice coffee table fodder, Im a .net subscriber! I couldnt afford to buy them all each month!

  • http://gwebmagazine.blogspot.com http://gwebmagazine.blogspot.com

    thank’s for the liste good work

  • http://www.wholesalediy.com koko

    Thanks for sharing

  • http://www.zenelements.com Alex Mitchell

    A few on my subscriptions and occasional buy list but will have to check some of the others out. Thank you for sharing.

  • http://www.kaplang.com/blog Michelle

    great list, I already read a few of these but hadn’t heard of a couple so thanks.

  • http://lava360.com zohaib

    very useful. thanks for share

  • http://www.geyrhalter.com Geyrhalter Design

    R.I.P. I.D. Magazine.
    Very sad to have lost one of the great ones in December.

  • http://twitter.com/geenius545 George Wiscombe

    Really suprised that iDN, Grafik, Eye and Creative Review didn’t make it into this post. I would say they are more relevant than most of the magazines above.

    Good topic though.

  • http://victoriaanndesign.net VictoriaAnn Design

    I know there’s loads of info on the web but you can’t beat curling up on the sofa with a nice coffee and a piece of cake to flick through a magazine! Thanks for the links and info.

  • http://www.incisivepoint.com IncisivePoint

    oke, nice list…

  • linda

    I’m wondering why all the good print magazines for web design and development come from the UK, and nothing comparable from the US. The American mags all seem cheesy, screaming about how to get rich quick. The UK puts out several glossies covering design, development, and even making money and I would subscribe except (1) they are too expensive and (2) the articles and advice are UK-centric, discussing UK laws and resources. Why can’t one quality publisher do something similar here in the land of plenty?

  • http://www.yanaki.net yanaki

    “IDN – International Designers Networks” should be in this ranking !
    It’s the best inspi for GD !

  • http://www.codewaresolutions.com Codeware Solutions

    veryyyyyy cool list!

  • http://www.web-lovers.de Rolf

    Very nice Collection, thanks for sharing

  • Vincent K

    Thanks, soem mags are new to me, I will dev. check them out.

  • Kelly J

    I would love to see more in the US. The UK mags are great but very pricey. A little too steep for me