When leafing through the pages of a beloved magazine, we grow ever-so-reluctant to believe that print can possibly be dead. After all, graphic design magazines are a reliable source of inspiration that’s been around for a very long time. And despite changes in the publishing industry, they’re not showing signs of going anywhere anytime soon.
With immaculate production value and striking visuals in each new issue, the following 15 leading print publications are a recommended read (and coffee table decor) for all creatives. Whether you’re interested in typography, illustration, website design or anything visual, you’ll find something to love in each of these beauties:
Top graphic design magazines
Eye on Design
A New Type of Imprint
Harvard Design Magazine
Published quarterly | London, UK
Having been around since 1990, Eye has grown into an established journal for graphic design and visual culture. It boasts critical and informed writing on a wide range of topics, from book design to technology.
The visually rich pages of the magazine are full of in-depth design writing, including critiques, opinion pieces, interviews with industry leaders, analysis of design history, and more.
Published monthly | London, UK
Founded in 1996, Wallpaper is a design and lifestyle publication that covers the spheres of architecture, fashion, travel, design and art. With exquisite photography of buildings, artworks and more, the magazine has become somewhat of a benchmark for quality and style in the design world.
Wallpaper is also the initiator of Handmade, an annual craftsmanship and design exhibition that’s currently in its eleventh year. For each new Handmade exhibition, designers, makers and manufacturers are commissioned to create one-off items, extending the concepts and values of the print version into real life.
Published biannually | Karlsruhe, Germany
Award-winning graphic design magazine Slanted first debuted in 2004. It showcases select graphic design portfolios and discusses major events in the international design and culture scenes.
Each issue of the magazine focuses on a specific geographic location. In doing so, it transports readers to destinations such as Rwanda, Prague, Dubai and Tokyo, offering a fascinating inspection of the local design world in each one. In addition to the magazine itself, Slanted also operates a type foundry and a publishing house, focusing on art and design books and its own online blog.
04. Creative Review
Published monthly | London, UK
Operating since 1980, Creative Review champions commercial creativity across disciplines. The magazine provides analysis and insights of anything from growing design trends to pressing cultural issues, and offers practical advice for creative professionals. It also features designers, artists, and studios, introducing their bodies of work through image and text.
Every year, the magazine releases a special issue titled the “Creative Review Annual,” announcing the winning entries of the magazine’s annual competition. This special issue highlights the best creative work from various fields, including advertising, design, music, film and games.
Published bimonthly | California, USA
Communication Arts is a three-generation family-run business that was first established in 1959. The magazine encompasses the various disciplines within visual communication, such as graphic design, art direction, advertising, interaction design, illustration and photography.
The magazine hosts six creative competitions a year, with the winning entries published both in print and online. As an additional means of promoting creative work, the family behind the magazine has founded the Richard and Jean Coyne Family Foundation, which aims to increase diversity in visual communications through education.
Published annually | New York, USA
When 3x3 formed back in 2003, it was the very first publication devoted solely to the art of contemporary illustration. The magazine’s mission is threefold: to archive contemporary illustration in print; to promote top illustrators’ work; and to encourage the use of illustration across published media.
On top of the magazine itself, 3x3 achieves those goals through conferences, design podcasts, portfolio reviews, gallery shows and workshops. It also holds the 3x3 International Illustration Awards Show, whose winners are announced both online and in print.
Published monthly | California, USA
Rooted in genres such as psychedelic and street art, Juxtapoz is all about underground art that is “unpretentious and raw.” This clear editorial direction results in a cohesive style that readers have come to expect from the magazine. The mediums featured are diverse, ranging from painting and fashion to collectibles, installation, and photography.
Juxtapoz, which was first published in 1994, features artists, art fairs and galleries. Each issue is released with two different cover images: one for the newsstand version, and another for subscribers only, turning the magazine into a collectible item.
08. Printed Pages
Published biannually | London, UK
Printed Pages is a biannual compendium of the best creative work featured on the It’s Nice That blog over a six month period. The beautifully designed pages of the publication showcase the works of both well-known and emerging creatives, alongside essays on anything from the influential Bauhaus movement to the evils of millennial pink.
The magazine is made up of several different types of paper, boasting unique layouts on each page and different visual languages that adapt in accordance with the content. That, together with the featured works, amounts to an engaging magazine that’s full of design surprises throughout.
09. Eye on Design
Published triannually | New York, USA
Published by AIGA, the professional association for design, Eye on Design offers insightful analysis into the world of graphic design. Each issue is designed by a guest art director, who’s at liberty to visually interpret the entire magazine. The only constant is the cover, which always retains its laser-cut eye icon - but even this element gets a new spin every time.
Each issue is centered around a conceptual theme, such as “Utopias” or “Distraction,” which is then explored from various angles. The thought-provoking essays raise many burning issues like gender at design conferences, a designer’s responsibilities in the face of climate change, and more.
Published quarterly | Oslo, Norway
A New Type of Imprint is a magazine for design and creative culture, first launched in 2014. Based in Norway, it dedicates many of its issues to the Scandinavian creative industries, taking a closer look into countries such as Iceland, Denmark and Sweden.
With handy dimensions that “fit right into the inner pocket of your vintage denim jacket,” this graphic design magazine is a visually pleasing and tastefully curated publication, covering the topics of design, history and contemporary art.
Published quarterly | Oregon, USA
Kinfolk is not a design magazine per se but a slow lifestyle one, focusing on hospitality, community and food. Nevertheless, its clean and sophisticated style has made quite the mark in the world of design. Since its relatively recent launch in 2011, the magazine has coined a distinct visual language with far-reaching influence.
The independent magazine’s iconic aesthetic is centered around imagery with neutral color palettes, earthy tones, and soft lighting. It features elegant typography and a minimal layout, and is entirely free of ads. Kinfolk is also released internationally in Chinese, Korean, and Japanese editions, and the brand has published several books.
Published annually | London, UK
Wrap celebrates the best in illustration, design and creative culture. The magazine, founded in 2010, promotes up-and-coming illustrators and designers by showcasing their work in high quality and large format. Each magazine includes interviews with creatives, accompanied by five double-sided pull-out prints.
Aside from the magazine, Wrap also produces a collection of products in collaboration with favorite illustrators and designers. This includes greeting cards, scented candles, and of course, the magazine’s namesake - wrapping paper.
Published quarterly | Tokyo, Japan
Idea is a magazine about graphic design and typography that was first published in 1953. It’s a bilingual publication written in Japanese, but many of its texts also appear in English.
Idea’s design is a play on colors, layouts, and paper types, creating a one-of-a-kind printed product. The magazine examines different creative scenes both locally and internationally, showcasing the works of Japanese designers from various regions, highlighting Arabic typographers, and more.
Published quarterly | London, UK
With long-form reporting on architecture, design and fashion, and critical analysis of current events in the design world, Disegno emphasizes the written word. The magazine’s diverse content includes interviews, reviews, photo-essays, and more.
The pages of Disegno form an interesting reading experience through surprising combinations of image and text. In some instances, elements appear stacked on top of one another, and in others, the typography becomes its own visual element, single-handedly adorning the page.
Published biannually | Massachusetts, USA
This distinguished publication by the Harvard University Graduate School of Design seeks to expand the scope of design discourse, and explore the role of design in our culture. First introduced in 1997, the magazine relaunched in 2014 with a redesign and a new editorial perspective.
Each of the magazine’s issues are themed, with intriguing titles like “Inside Scoop,” “No Sweat” or “Well, Well, Well” to hint at their subjects (those being architectural interiors, work, and wellness). The Harvard Design Magazine’s stories are intellectual and scholarly, with bibliographical footnotes for every article. At the same time, they also manage to retain a playful, dynamic character.
Text Eden Spivak
This article is not sponsored or endorsed by any of the brands featured, other than Wix.com.