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Magazines That Broaden Your Design Knowledge and Skills

Whether you’re just starting out as a designer or you’ve been around the design block a few times, there is so much to learn and such design wonders to discover between the pages of the following design magazines. Here is a list of our personal favorites. They represent an eclectic design mix of different styles, media, and skill levels.

From the UK, Web Designer is for the online designer. Aimed at the intermediate to professional level within the 20-35 age range, its 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.

Layers magazine provides in-depth tutorials, cutting-edge techniques, secret tips, 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, product reviews, and current industry news that make Layers a useful resource for the creative professional.

Photoshop® Creative is the ideal magazine for learning more about Adobe’s Photoshop application. Each issue is packed with inspirational tutorials covering the scope of the software, from creative projects, to practical guides to using tools and techniques. Readers also benefit from a CD-ROM in each issue. Photoshop creative will help users become better digital artists.

Advanced Photoshop magazine helps people refine their Photoshop skills. It’s aimed towards Adobe Photoshop professionals and enthusiasts alike. Every month readers develop techniques with numerous creative and challenging Masterclass and Workshop tutorials. The intention is to give readers the chance to learn new tricks and fine-tune their skills. Enjoyed by design students, enthusiasts who are considering going into the design industry full-time, or established pros, the magazine is tailored for the serious user.

.net is for web designers and developers providing 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 a wide range of design agencies. Each month includes a CD, including an hour of video projects, full software, templates, tutorial files, and more! Every issue covers new sites from around the web, features a variety of tutorials, and news of the major issues affecting designers and developers.

Print is a bimonthly magazine about visual culture and design. Founded in 1940 by William Edwin Rudge, Print is dedicated to showcasing the notable in design on and off the page. Covering publication and book design, animation and motion graphics, corporate branding and rock posters, exhibitions and street art—Print follows commercial, social, and environmental design from every angle. Written by cultural reporters and critics who look at design in its social, political, and historical contexts, Print explores why the 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.

I.D. covers a wide range of topics: 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.

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.

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

Published in the UK, Digital Arts is a helpful resource for creative professionals, both in print and online. Digital Arts addresses the needs of those within the digital media market by providing relevant content, and by offering exclusive reviews and features. Now in its fifth year, Digital Arts delivers high-quality content, providing its professional readership with the latest news and reviews. Digital Arts provides product 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.

Before & After magazine has been sharing its practical approach to graphic design since 1990. Because the modern world has made designers of all people, 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.


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.

Computer Arts is the one-stop shop for professional advice on creating digital art and illustrations. Computer Arts, offers a line-up of tutorials every issue, covering everything from manipulating photographs with Photoshop to creating amazing vector illustrations with Illustrator. Each issue is filled with lots of tips and tricks for web design, typography, 3D, animation, motion graphics and multimedia.

Computer Arts Projects provides an in-depth guide to a different creative subject every month. It is the successful monthly spin-off of Computer Arts magazine. Each issue offers 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 a design business. Inside every edition are step-by-step tutorials and tips from digital artists, showcases and profiles of up-and-coming talent and established creatives, as well as explorative features on a variety of subjects.

Graphic Design USA is a monthly news and information magazine for and about the professional design community including graphic design firms, corporate and publishing inhouse departments, advertising agencies, institutions and non-profits, and other creative businesses and organizations. The magazine is FREE to creative professionals within the United States. This includes art, design and production titles at graphic design firms, advertising agencies, corporate and publishing inhouse design departments, and more. For those who do not qualify as working creative professionals or for international subscribers, paid subscriptions are available by clicking the paid subscription link.

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