Communication Arts is arguably the best magazine in the United States on the topics of Graphic Design. I believe that a designer, student or professional, first year or fiftieth, needs outside inspiration and motivation. You can’t be very creative in a vacuum with no outside stimulation. If this is true then every designer should seek out as much design stimuli as possible. Although quantity of stimulus will help it is not the only answer, we must try to control the quality as well. This is where national and international design publications make great additions. They not only expose us to a wide variety of design but also the best design. They show us the trends and let’s be honest, Design is a trendy business. Yes, it is true great design is timeless but even great design needs updating occasionally. CA has a great student discount rate of $39.00 for a one-year subscription. This is a great price, considering the Design Annual issue pictured above costs $24.00 by itself on the news-stands. I have student discount order forms in my office and I highly recommend you drop by and pick one up. Then when you start receiving your personal copies, pour over every issue and try to absorb everything, even the ads. You might even try putting it under your pillow, maybe you can absorb it during sleep. What ever your method, start eating, sleeping and practicing great design.
To get you started there is a great article in the current Design Annual about Michael Bierut, a current master of Typography. Here is an excerpt to wet your appetite:
Not everyone is equally impressed by Michael Bierut’s typographic expertise. He like to tell the story of explaining to his daughter how he intended to handle a complicated new design project. After his detailed description, she quipped, “Oh, you mean you’re going to handle it like the Saks logo? Just cut things up and shuffle them around”
It’s true, Bierut did cut up an old Saks Fifth Avenue logo and shuffle the pieces to make the new one—but it took virtuosity to create a design that is striking, memorable and immediately identifiable. . .
All Typography students, this is a must read. Go, now, and find this issue of CA (September/October 2012) and finish reading this article of one of our modern masters of design. There is a copy in the Design office, UCO Library and you can even go to the Barns and Noble on Memorial get a cup of coffee and read it off their news-stand, then come find me and get your discount subscription form.