5 Great Professional Associations for Graphic Designers

Five Professional Organizations Graphic Designers Need to Join

  • American Institute of Graphic Arts
  • Society of Illustrators
  • The Society for News Design
  • Society for Experiential Graphic Design
  • International Color Consortium

Graphic designers combine artistic skill and talent with knowledge of marketing concepts in order to convey a message or feeling, and the techniques they use change as the markets and technology evolve, so it is important to stay up to date by joining a graphic design professional organization. These groups allow graphic designers to learn new techniques and discuss industry trends with professionals from different backgrounds. Often, members come together once or twice a year to attend conferences where participants have an opportunity for professional development and networking.

American Institute of Graphic Arts

The AIGA is both largest and oldest professional association for design and includes members from countries around the world. This organization offers job boards, training tutorials in new techniques and technologies, and even graphic design competitions. There are local chapters in many metropolitan areas where members gather to discuss local trends as well as how those fit with the global graphic design picture. Each year, the AIGA holds one main conference event for members as well as an awards dinner for winners of their competitions. Both students and professionals can benefit from these events and the resources of this professional organization.

Society of Illustrators

Illustration is a branch of graphic design, and while graphic design focuses on all the different components that go into a project including things like font, text placement, primary and accent coloring, and margins, illustrators mainly work on drawings for a project. This professional group is strictly for the latter and offers art competitions, educational programs, and a variety of different local meet-ups. They also have an annual conference to provide training and discuss the role of technology in their industry.

The Society for News Design

Focusing on a more serious subject matter, this professional association for graphic designers is concerned with the style and design elements of newspapers and magazines as well as their online counterparts. The SND trains its members on the most effective means of drawing traffic to their news site from a stylistic standpoint. They also have annual conferences where they discuss best practices and case studies.

Society for Experiential Graphic Design

Experiential design is one of the lesser known branches of graphic design and involves using things like color, pictures, font, and paperwork design to send a message about a space. This position is beginning to catch the attention of the business world, and the SEGD is a great resource for graphic designers interested in this field. Their web site provides detailed tutorials and research findings as well as a calendar of events.

International Color Consortium

The ICC brings graphic designers from around the world to a handful of conventions each year, all held in different countries. These professionals understand the huge role color plays in branding and study the psychological and biological processes that drive human reaction to different colors. Members of the ICC study their findings as well as practical tips for incorporating color in graphic design.

Related Resource: Top 20 Graphic Design Degree Programs Online 2018

According to Forbes, graphic design is becoming increasingly more important to businesses. This is largely due to the evolution of technology and the importance of catching and holding a customer’s attention. In order to stay relevant in today’s world, joining a graphic design professional organization is more necessary now than ever.

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