With office work coming back into fashion, many of us must also endure the commute again. Ugh.

Personally, with the patchy reception and a day’s worth of screen‐time ahead of/behind me, I cannot bear to look at my phone for the entire train journey; and so I thought I could do something useful with the time.

I have a growing number of design books to get through, but late last year I started acquiring copies of the long‐defunct UK magazine, Grafik. Trying to complete the set was one of those fleeting obsessions that I take on from time‐to‐time!

Just in case you catch the collecting bug yourself, here are some of the graphic design magazines that I have picked up over the years, with some brief thoughts on each. I have given each publication a general mark out of five, just to put them in order of personal preference — there definitely aren’t any bad magazines here. Some titles are much easier than others to acquire in Britain, but here we go:


Three copies of the British design magazine, Eye. Isolated on a white background

United Kingdom
Eye Magazine Ltd.

Eye is fairly expensive, but is infrequently published and a typical issue has around 100 pages. The content draws a good balance between copy and visuals — long book reviews, interviews, and features sit alongside large full‐colour work samples and photography. I very much like that it looks back at historical movements/figures as well as providing commentary on contemporary design output. More recent issues use a variety of paper stock throughout, in what is clearly a publication that is put together with great passion.
four dark circles and one pale, indicating a four rating

Creative Review

Three copies of the British design magazine, Creative Review. Isolated on a white background

United Kingdom
Centaur Media

Creative Review has had an incredibly long existence, beginning in 1981 as a quarterly supplement to Marketing Week before becoming a stand-alone magazine. Covering advertising, photography/film, fashion and music… as well as design; I would say that CR is possibly not the best choice if you are purely seeking a graphic design read. However it can be argued that being aware of the wider creative world can not ever be a bad thing.
three dark circles and two pale, indicating a three rating


Three issues of the international design magazine IdN. Isolated on a white background

Hong Kong
Systems Design Limited

IdN is produced in Hong Kong, and so, unless you have found a stockist then you may have to wait a while for delivery. Luckily the quality of the magazine is well worth it. It is published in special editions — so an issue will be dedicated to a specific subject, such as wayfinding, pattern making, or packaging design. Packed with high quality work from around the world, each spread has clearly had a lot of effort and love put into its assembly. I highly recommend you pick up a copy and see for yourself.
five dark circles, indicating a five rating


Three issues of the British graphic design magazine, Grafik. Isolated on a white background

United Kingdom
Adventures in Publishing Ltd. / Pyramyd

What would become Grafik, actually began life as Hot Graphics Internationalin the mid‐1980s. Billed as a ‘journal of the best in international graphic design’, Grafik ran in this form until 2011 — although there is a movement to bring it back! What I like is that they often threw a spotlight onto recent graduates, and even current students. It has been fun going through the issues i’ve recently collected and picking up ideas.
three dark circles and two pale, indicating a three rating


A copy of the French design magazine étapes. Isolated on a white background

Pyramyd / SAS Editions

Étapes is a design magazine hailing from Paris. Between 2004 and 2012, there was a quarterly international edition in English, which reproduced some of the best articles from its monthly-printed French counterpart. I have just the one example of this publication, and its packed with interesting visuals — feeling like a high quality design book. I will be looking out for more.
four dark circles and one pale, indicating a four rating

Computer Arts

Three copies of the British design magazine, Computer Arts. Isolated on a white background

United Kingdom
Future Publishing

Beginning in the 1990s, Computer Arts grew a following with effects tutorials, and covering the exciting developments of design/3D software. It even came with a cover-mounted disc, packed with demos and other goodies. In the final few years of its run, Computer Arts changed course — becoming less software-centric and focusing more on contemporary graphic design and illustration. In this final form it did a good job of covering the industry, with interesting interviews and even business guidance for freelancers. I was sorry to see it fall victim to the pandemic after such a long run. It does live on in blog form, however!
three dark circles and two pale, indicating a three rating

Where to find them

Some of the above titles are still in production, so you can easily purchase back issues or subscriptions from their respective websites. Naturally, for used magazines, sites like eBay, Facebook Marketplace, and Abe Books are great places to keep an eye on.

I also really like Magalleria, which is a Bath‐based shop who sell interesting magazines from around the world. Who says print is dead?

Header Image: Blair Fraser on Unsplash.