May 2006

What, beyond mastering the skills of your chosen profession, is the most important thing you can do while in school and after to improve your chances to succeed in design? Networking, networking, and more networking. will help you do that and a whole lot more.

AIGA, or the American Institute of Graphic Arts, was founded in 1914 and offers design companies, freelancers and students a place to gather and share their work along with offering tips for succeeding in the design world.

There’s so much information of value available on this site, like articles written by members who happen to be some of the industries most well know authors, that it’s impossible to list it all but here are some of the highlights:

  • The abc Ideas For xyz link gives food for thought to students, educators and businesses. In its easy to read writing style, the site offers tips on developing your portfolio to theorizing design.
  • The abc Need a Designer? xyz link allows a browser to search the member directory, review portfolio’s, or post a job. All of these links are valuable in the way in which they can give student ideas in the presentation of their own portfolio, search for designers in their area or review the skill sets employers are looking for in potential employees.
  • The abc Gallery xyz link offers examples of outstanding contemporary design that are accompanied by the artist’s motivation and steps in executing the work. In addition, the link also provides information in multiple media formats including podcasts that cover design issues as well as interviews with some of the fields most influential designers like Stefan Sagemeister.

Much of what is offered on this site is free but unlimited access is dependant upon becoming a member, AIGA is offering a $75 membership to current students (compared to $275 for a professional). What WWD does for fashion majors AIGA does for design so why not join today?

Reviewer: San Francisco Brian Seguin, FIDM Library Staff Member