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Seven Great Graphic Design Organizations to Consider

January 7, 2011 IADT Nashville, IADT General, Graphic Design 0 Comments

If you're involved in the design industry, whether as a student or an established professional, you should consider joining a graphic design organization. While some organizations are wastes of resources, many others provide valuable educational and networking opportunities that you can't find anywhere else. The following seven design organizations can provide a strong return on your investment of annual dues:

AIGA has more than 22,000 members, making it one of the world's largest graphic design organizations. AIGA members have access to exclusive job databases, discounted products, educational conferences and industry news. While "AIGA" used to stand for "American Institute for Graphic Arts," it has recently broadened its focus to include all members of the design community.
Annual Dues: $315 for professionals, $95 for students

Art Directors Club
The Art Directors Club, established in 1920, is an organization for professionals in advertising, design, interactive media and communications. This organization offers plenty of benefits, including free admission to its core events and discounts for certain brands. Members also receive invitations to conferences, speaker events and exhibitions as well as a regular E-Newsletter. This organization also offers discounted memberships for professionals under 30 and international members.
Annual Dues $225 for professionals, $35 for students

The Design Management Institute
This organization is focused on providing education and training opportunities for design professionals who want to become leaders in their field. In addition to conferences and seminars, the organization's members also receive access to a library of hundreds of articles, videos and case studies.
Annual Dues: $400 for professionals, $150 for students

Graphic Artists Guild
The guild provides graphic designers services that many other organizations don't, such as lobbying power in Washington D.C. and health insurance. Members can also receive a pricing and ethical guidelines handbook as well as a conference and case studies videos.
Annual Dues: $200 for professionals, $75 for students

National Association of Photoshop Professionals
This is one of the best resources on the Web to learn Photoshop. Members get access to all sorts of Photoshop resources, including step-by-step tutorials, articles, videos, tech support, member discounts and subscription to the bi-quarterly Photoshop User magazine.
Annual Dues: $99 for professionals, $89 for students

The Society of Publication Designers
This is the only society that focuses exclusively on the needs of print and online editorial professionals. Articles and resources for both professionals and students are constantly being added to its website.
Annual Dues: $175 for professionals, $25 for students

ArtYears is more of a social media site than an actual graphic design organization. However, it is a great resource for designers looking for industry news, peer critique and other professionals to connect with. Best of all, it's free to join.
Annual Dues - None

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