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Welcome to the subject page for Graphic Design and Illustration.

This page will help you to find information and resources for your studies, be it for written assignments, studio briefs or your creative practice. 

Research is an integral part of the creative process that enables you to find inspiration and develop your ideas. For an introduction to research for studio practice, have a look at this tutorial on An introduction to research for creative arts students produced by University for the Creative Arts.

Resources for Graphic Design and Illustration include:

  • Books
  • Academic journals
  • Professional magazines
  • Design organisation websites
  • Illustrator or designer portfolios
  • Blogs and social media sites

Use OneSearch to find everything that the library has to offer including print & electronic books, journals and more…

Take a look at the Using the library pages for more general information about using our services.

  • Books and Ebooks

    See OneList (online reading lists) for current lists of recommended reading for your course / modules.

  • Journals and Eresources

    This section introduces you to a variety of resources other than books that are available through the library. Here you will find information on key journals and magazines and how to locate relevant articles, as well as digital resources that may be helpful in your creative practice. 

    Top journals

    This is a small sample and there are many more publications in the Library and online that will help you in both your academic work and your studio practice

    Graphic Design




    These are just a select few titles from our journal and magazine collection. Search the Journals A-Z to see if we hold a particular title or check out the journals display at Brampton Road Library.


    Online Journal Collections

    Eresources are databases enable you to search for journal and magazine articles on a specific topic. While most are covered by a search in OneSearch, sometimes it might be easier to find relevant materials in these subject-specific resources.

    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. Key titles in both graphic design and illustration are all accessible as PDF. 

    More advanced researchers might want to make use of ARTbibliographies Modern (ABM) and the Design & Applied Arts Index (DAAI) which provide citation information of the contents of thousands of journals in design which can be found in our print journals archive or requested via inter-library loan. 

    For further information on using ProQuest Arts Premium, contact your Library and Academic Advisor.

    Art History Research net

    This visually-rich resource is an online archive of journals and periodicals in art and design from the late 19th and early to mid-20th Century. It also features the Arts + Architecture Profiles which bibliographical data of over 30,000 artists, architects and designers.


    Full text articles from JSTOR appear in OneSearch results but there are many more articles on JSTOR that are normally not available as full text. Register and Read is a new service that allows you to save up to three articles would normally be abstract only.

    To use this service, you need to log on to JSTOR and create a personal account by clicking MyJSTOR. Registration is free.

    JSTOR contains a lot of journals on art, culture and film etc so is useful for research for contextual studies.

    ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Global 

    ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global is the world's most comprehensive collection of dissertations and theses from around the world with a very large number available as PDF full-text. The database covers all disciplines including a strong representation from the visual arts.


    Slightly different to the eresources listed above, 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, advertising, social media as well as on specific sectors and demographics.


    Statista is an online statistics, market research and business intelligence portal that can contains market reports, infographics and key statistical information on topics ranging from branding to industry trends, including information on specific companies.


    Finding a journal article from a reference

    Sometimes your tutor might give you a reference or you may want to chase up an entry in a book's bibliography. If you have the details for a specific journal article, you can use the Journals A-Z to locate it quickly and easily. Search for the journal title and select the appropriate year and volume to find your article.

  • Image and Video Resources


    Academic Video Online (AVON)

    Academic Video Online is a streaming service featuring videos on a wide range of subjects, all of which are of a suitable level of quality for use in academic assignments. Results from Academic Video Online will show in a OneSearch, but accessing the resource directly gives you additional features such as browsing and related videos.

    Bridgeman Education

    Bridgeman Education is a copyright-cleared image database that includes images of works from the world’s major museums, galleries and private collections, from ancient history to the most recent exhibitions. The All Artists section allows you to locate images and works associated with specific artists which is especially helpful.

    Visual Arts Data Service (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 sculpture to textiles and fashion. The archive can be searched by keyword or you can browse individual collections that pique your interest!


    Image Databases and Copyright

    Be very careful when using images in assignments and studio practice. Appropriation involves the reuse of images or works without making any changes to the original for creative or artmaking purposes. However, unauthorised or unattributed use of images of art works may mean you are in breach of copyright legislation which can have serious consequences. This video from LinkedIn Learning explains the difference between appropriation and copyright infringement.

    Check out this InfosmART tutorial, produced by Learning Resources at the Glasgow School of Art, to learn how to make sure you are using images responsibly and ethically.

  • Websites

    Below is a selection of websites on key topics in Illustration and Graphic Design that have been hand-picked for their quality and usefulness for your creative practice.

    Professional Bodies

    Design Council

    Excellent site for the council representing design professionals. The Resources and About Design sections are especially useful.

    Association of Illustrators (AOI)

    Even if you're not a member, there is still a wealth of useful resources available here including portfolios and an informative blog.

    AIGA - The Professional Association for Design

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


    This is the website for the International Council of Graphic Design Associations and contains resources for visual communication, case studies and publications on best practice.

    Design and Art Direction (D&DA)

    Presentation of work by award winners, high-profile and up-and-coming designers



    Book Cover Archive

    This is a clever little website. You can browse until your heart's content through thousands of book covers and explore by typeface, genre, illustrator etc.


    Browse a large number of artist portfolios by illustration style or by name.

    Illustrator's Lounge

    Stylish showcase of illustrators' work.

    Illustration Served

    The best of illustration as trawled by Behance.




    Enormous online library of typefaces. You can also view work by individual typography designers.

    Typography Served

    A website from the Behance network featuring numerous typographic projects from leading designers that inform and inspire.

    Fonts in Use

    Examining the use of typography 'in the real world', this site looks at the use of an enormous variety of fonts in an equally enormous range of contexts.

    I Love Typography

    Excellent blog on all things typographic.

    Beautiful Type

    A blog dedicated to elegant scripts and hand-made type.


    Advertising and Branding

    The Advertising Archives

    Very useful for vintage and retro advert design covering changing styles over the decades and lifestyle magazines from 1910 to 2010.


    Site devoted to brand and logo design.

    David Airey

    The branding guru's personal website. Check out the advice for design students


    General websites

    Daily Infographic

    A witty infographic a day.

    Grain Edit

    Graphic Design from the 50's, 60's and 70's and contemporary designers influenced by it.


    Enormous blog mash-up of graphic design, illustration and web design