my-cumbria-logo, my-cumbria-logo Toggle navigation

Welcome to your library subject page. This has been compiled by your subject librarian and is here to help you find sources for your studio practice and written work.  It is not an exhaustive list of everything available, but will point you in the right direction. 

  • Getting the best from your searching

    OneSearch is a good place to start your research. However as you progress through your course you will need to develop your searching skills to incorporate other sources.

    Watch the tutorial below for an introduction to searching or access our Finding Information page for more advice.

    How to search

    howdoisearch_placeholder, how do i search placeholder image

    Click on the image above or use this link to view the tutorial: How to search tutorial

    You can also sign up to our webinar for guidance on how you can develop your search skills.

  • Eresources and Journals

    We have selected some key eresources and individual journal titles to help you locate relevant material for your subject.


    Eresources are databases of articles from academic journals and specialist maagzines as well as other scholarly content. Some eresources are subject specific and provide more tailored results.

    In addition to these key eresources you can also explore our full A-Z of eresources.

    proquest, proquest logo ProQuest Arts Premium This is a large database encompassing all aspects of the arts including art, design, architecture, humanities, film/screen studies, music, performing arts, and more. Publications are either peer-reviewed or highly specialist. Tick 'Full Text' to return results with a PDF of the full article.
    jstor, jstor logo JSTOR JSTOR is a highly-respected multidisciplinary database of over 12 million journal articles with a strong emphasis on the arts and humanities, especially philosophy and cultural studies. A good place to search for material on aspects of visual culture such as semiotics.
    taylor_francis, taylor francis logo  Taylor and Francis Journals Online  A multidisciplinary database of peer-reviewed journals on a full range of subjects. Relevant titles for illustration and graphic design include The Design Journal, Word & Image and the Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics. 
    proquest, proquest logo ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Global ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global is the world's most comprehensive collection of dissertations and theses with a strong representation from the visual arts. Theses are very useful for research as they contain rich bibliographies that you can use to expand your reading.
    The below resources are useful for market research and industry information 
    mintel, mintel logo  Mintel Mintel is a market intelligence company, providing detailed insights into consumer and business market sectors. Here you can access up-to-date industry information on topics such as packaging, branding and advertising and social media as well as specific sectors and demographics. Company profiles and trend forecasts are also useful.
    statista, statista logo Statista Statista is an online statistics, market research and business intelligence portal that contains market reports, infographics and key statistical information on topics ranging from branding to industry trends, including information on specific companies.


    Individual Journal Titles

    These are the key journals and magazines we subscribe to for yoursubject. Browse the print journal collection at Brampton Road Library to discover many more. For a full range of titles check our A-Z of journals via Journals Search.

    dl_journals, cartoon of an orange journal Creative Review

    Probably the best-known magazine on visual communciation and creativity. Contains portfolios and features as well as opinion and analysis of professional issues. Online from 2002 and in print in the Library from 1983.

    Illustrators Quarterly magazine from the Association of Illustrators profiling some of the greatest illustrators from around the globe. Available in print in the Library from 2019.
    Computer Arts Industry magazine for professional and aspiring designers covering a range of topics from branding to typography to freelancing. Online from 2016 (text only) and in print in the Library from 2008 onwards.
    Page Formerly Novum, this bilingual magazine published in Germany gives a European perspective on graphic design. Each issue focuses on a particular theme such as packaging or book design. In print in the Library from 1990 onwards.
    Communication Arts Communication Arts is a bit different in that it's a series of annuals of different disciplines published throughout the year featuring critical essays as well as showcasing work. Available in print in the Library from 2005 onwards.
    Uppercase Beautiful magazine with an emphasis on typography, illustration and vintage. Available in the Library from 2012 onwards. 
    Journal of Illustration Peer-reviewed scholarly research on the field and practice of illustration. Excellent for essays and dissertations. Available online from 2017 onwards. 
    Illustration Features, news and interviews with esatblished and up-and-coming illustrators. In print in the Library from 2019.
    Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics Critical discourse on the language of visual narratives in the form of peer-reviewed articles. Also covers non-Western comic culture such as manga. Available online from 2010 onwards.
    Eye Eye is one of the most long-standing magazines in graphic design, as useful for its critiques as its features on exciting design work. Available online 2008-2016 and in print in the Library from 1996 onwards. 
  • Streaming and visual resources

    Use your university login to access films, documentaries and tutorials streamed straight to your device.

    Streaming resourceDescription
    linkedin_learning, linkedin learning logo LinkedIn Learning  Online tutorials on creative software including Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign and many more. Also discover content for illustrators and designers such as grids and layouts, logo design, drawing, creative thinking and print production.
    Bloomsbury logo, Bloomsbury Video Library Bloomsbury Video Library An expansive collection of documentaries on a range of subjects in visual culture including design classics and visual communication as well as digital and analogue techniques. All available to stream in HD on and off-campus.  
    academic_video_online, academic video online Academic Video Online (AVON) Multidisciplinary video resource on a range of topics including social and cultural documentaries, news items and films. 
    Arts on Film, Arts on Film Arts on Film Archive  University of Westminster's repository of films on art and visual culture produced in the UK since the 1950s. 

    When using visual resources, you must be aware of copyright. The databases below provide access to copyright-cleared images for educational use. Remember that you need to provide references for any images of or works you use in your studio projects.

    Appropriation is a legitimate creative practice that involves the reuse of images or works without making any changes to the original. However, unauthorised or unattributed use of images of art works may mean you are in breach of copyright legislation. This video from LinkedIn Learning explains the difference between appropriation and copyright infringement. 

    CC, Creative commona Creative Commons Locate images under Creative Commons licenses for use in studio work and as reference. 
    vogue, vogue logo Vogue Archive Every issue of American Vogue has been digitised and made available through this resource from 1890 to present. See trends in editorial design over the decades as well as examples of advertisments from each era.
    VADS, VADS logo  VADS VADS is a carefully curated online archive of art and design. It comprises a wide variety of collections of images and text on all aspects of visual culture from paintings and posters to textiles and fashion. The archive can be searched by keyword or you can browse individual collections that pique your interest.


  • Web links for your subject

    Web LinkDescription
    dl_websites, orange cartoon of globe with computer mouse hovering over it  Association of Illustrators A wealth of information for professional illustrators from showcasing talent to legal advice.


    Interviews, essays, portfolios and commentary on various aspects of design.

    It's Nice That

    Online magazine with dedicated sections on illustration, graphic design and motion graphics.


    Chrome extension that delivers design each time you open a tab.

    Creative Bloq

    One of the most influential and authoritative websites in the field of design.

    Logo Design Love

    Site devoted to brand, logo design and visual identity.

    The Advertising Archives

    Enormous repository of British and American advertisements from 1910s to the present day. 

    Illustrator's Lounge

    Features, interviews and posts on all things illustration. 

    Book Cover Archive

    Created 'for the appreciation and categorization of excellence in book cover design'.

  • Getting help

    Help and AdviceLink
    dl_troubleshoot, orange cartoon of a computer screen with an exclamation mark on it

    If you are experiencing any problems accessing eresources, check our troubleshooting guide for advice.

    Accessing Online Resources
    dl_passwords, orange cartoon of a lock

    If you are experiencing problems logging into a resource, try resetting your university password using the MFA Password Reset Tool.

    If the problem persists, please contact the IT Service Desk (

    MFA Password Reset 
    dl_step, cartoon icon of info symbol The Student Enquiry Point is a new, simpler way to contact Student Services. Using the Student Enquiry Point tile on the Student Hub you can submit an enquiry relating to the wide range of services provided by Student Services. Student Hub



Edit page