Many amateurs and professionals alike find creative magazines one of the compelling sources of inspiration. Bringing together strong visual and informative components, they combine design, photography, illustration, and much more. What can be better for stimulating imagination than going through inventive magazine designs and curated quality content?

Although we’re living in the digital age, creative magazines are the best proof that print is not dead — right on the contrary, readers’ interest in print versions doesn’t seem to be waning. There is nothing comparable to flipping through the pages of a nicely designed magazine and feeling the smell of fresh print. With a wide variety of creative magazines of different topics and styles, it’s easy to find a perfect fit!

To save you time, we’ve put together a list of the best-designed magazines to keep you inspired, informed, and entertained.

8 Best Design Magazines for Creative Inspiration

1. Aperture

Aperture is a quarterly photography magazine founded in 1952 and published by Aperture Foundation. It has a long-standing reputation as one of the most ​​innovative magazines, being known to professional and general audiences alike. Aperture covers a wide range of topics: from portrait to architecture photography, but it’s not one of those magazines filled with technical aspects of taking pictures. It features one of the best articles on art theory and history, as well as iconic authors and photographers. Each issue covers a different topic, narrating it through interviews, stories, and photography projects.



2. 032c

032c is a bi-annual creative magazine on contemporary culture that covers art, fashion, and photography. It’s named after the Pantone code of vivid red color featured on each issue cover. Founded in 2001, 032c triggers the audience with provocative topics and visuals. The magazine showcases a huge diversity of contributors: from graphic designers and fashion experts to architects and pop stars. Apart from appealing content and visuals, 032 is flawlessly printed and bound.

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3. i-D

i-D is a bi-monthly creative magazine founded in 1980 and published by Vice Media. It’s dedicated to fashion, art, music, and youth culture. Starting as a hand-stapled fanzine, i-D has since developed into one of the biggest brands in the industry, known for its innovative design and experimental style. Every magazine issue comes with several covers, featuring well-known artists from all over the world. Most of the cover models replicate the recognizable winking smiley of the logo, cheekily smiling to the reader.

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4. Foam

Published quarterly, Foam is one of a few innovative magazines that received worldwide recognition and numerous awards for high-end visual content and stunning design. Each issue centers around a new subject upon which interviews, articles, and portfolios are selected. Foam features both established and up-and-coming photographers, covering a variety of genres: from fashion to documentary photography. Every issue is printed on multiple types of paper, carefully selected by the editors to align with the visuals. The magazine also runs an annual photography competition that seeks to discover new talent around the globe.

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5. Slanted

Slanted is a bi-annual innovative magazine dedicated to typography, illustration, and graphic design. Emerging in 2005 as a continuation of the online blog, it evolved into one of the most prominent European magazines in the creative industry. With each issue devoted to a selected topic, this award-winning magazine showcases experimental designs from different countries. It invites readers to discuss non-mainstream topics and in-depth stories.

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6. The Gentlewoman

The Gentlewoman is a new biannual style magazine that celebrates modern women, founded in 2010. It features stories, interviews, and images of strong and inspirational female characters, pairing them with different perspectives on how they look, think, and dress. This creative magazine offers an intellectual take on fashion and style, covering the newest trends, new clothing lines designer information for everyone who wants to keep up with new tendencies. The Gentlewoman combines a creative magazine layout and cutting-edge journalism being one best print magazines to read.

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7. ​​Aint-Bad

Aint-Bad is a quarterly magazine that aims to promote contemporary art and support the creative community. Founded in 2011, it initiates discussions about the human condition and natural environment by engaging with exceptional artists, curators, and institutions. Each issue is dedicated to a specific topic, featuring thought-provoking visuals and touching upon fundamental questions of modern culture. Apart from this, Aint-Bad is a kind of magazine that can give you fresh layout ideas and design inspiration.

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8. ​​Little White Lies

Established in 2005, Little White Lies is one of the best magazines to subscribe to if you are a movie lover! This bi-monthly publication brings the reader an insider look at the film industry, highlighting talented directors, actors, and writers along with must-watch movies that you may never hear about. Each issue is inspired by a different film that is usually featured on a cover page. It determines all the interior design elements, such as chapter headings, typefaces, and other unique features. ​​

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To wrap up

It’s incredible how many resources are available at the tip of our fingers. Yet, with quality editorial content, impressive layout designs, and beautiful printing, creative magazines offer more to picky readers. They seem to fill our imagination with expressive colors, shapes, and forms, encouraging us to explore our creative side. Check it out yourself by going through one of these creative magazines — there is something for everyone on the list! We guarantee that they will provide you with a dose of inspiration and food for thought.

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