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Gifts for Graphic Designers: A Wish List

Whether you’re getting ready for the holiday season, a birthday or even without an occasion here’s some graphic design related gifts that are on my wish list.


PRINT Magazine

The gift that keeps on giving. What could be better than a subscription to PRINT: America’s Graphic Design Magazine filled with trends, commentary, reporting and ideas.


“STEP Inside Design” Magazine

Another magazine subscription worth considering is STEP Inside Design which tends to be a topical look at the current state of design. Each issue highlights creative people, design in the business world and hot design topics.


Wacom Intuos3 9 x 12-Inch USB Tablet

The Wacom Intuos3 9 x 12-Inch USB Tablet is an interface made perfectly for designers which allows you to access features and techniques in programs like Photoshop that you can’t access any other way. This tablet includes shortcut keys and a five button mouse.


Pantone 100 Top Colors

Pantone 100 Top Colors is an affordable (under $30) set of colors for quick reference. For the price you get a pretty decent set of 1,114 colors.


“Hillman Curtis Designer Series”

The “Hillman Curtis Designer Series” has short films featuring Milton Glaser, Paula Scher, Stefan Sagmeister, David Carson, James Victore, and Pentagram Design


“How To Be a Graphic Designer Without Losing Your Soul”

The book “How To Be a Graphic Designer Without Losing Your Soul” by Adrian Shaughnessyis a business guide to being successful in the field. This book isn’t about effects or visual tricks, but the business of being a commercial artist. New designers are often surprised at how important the business side of their career is and how little they learned about this in their formal education.


“Thinking with Type: A Critical Guide for Designers, Writers, Editors, & Students”

“Thinking with Type: A Critical Guide for Designers, Writers, Editors, & Students”, a book by Ellen Lupton, isn’t about fonts but working with type effectively on the page. Update: Read the full book review.

In “Making and Breaking the Grid: A Graphic Design Layout Workshop” by Timothy Samara the topic discussed is one of the most important aspects of design: grid layout. It seems like many designers are unprepared to deal with the grid and there is always more to learn. It’s essential to learn how to handle the many elements you will be asked to include in your designs. Learn the rules and how to break them effectively.

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Tips for a More Perfect Design Portfolio

Trying to put your best foot forward in your portfolio is a task all designers strive to improve at. Here's a guide to get your started. photo credit: Unhindered by Talent Select the best of the best The number of pieces in your portfolio will vary from person to person. However many pieces you decide to include, make sure they are all great work. The order counts too, make the first and last pieces the best ones to start and end on a good note. The first and last impressions are the ones they'll remember most. Don't put in work ... Read more

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15 Paths to More Sustainable and More Green Graphic Design

Graphic designers can help apply the principles of efficiency and waste reduction in our industry. This can save us money and time if we're creative about it. photo credit: jessicareeder After watching The Story of Stuff with Annie Leonard, I'm just beginning to understand the meaning of sustainability. Recycling works and buying recycled goods helps because there is only so much space on the earth to put all the trashed plastic so we might as well put it back in our stores. That principle might be applied to all kinds of things and on this page I've looked for an ... Read more

Brian E. Young is a graphic designer and artist in Baltimore, MD.

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Brian E. Young

I'm a graphic designer (portfolio), classical pianist and artist in Baltimore, MD. I host the Uncanny Creativity Podcast helping to demystify the creative process and creator of Funlooksfun.com, an online shop for apparel and games. Twitter: @sketchee

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