If you’re a graphic designer, it’s important to join an association. Not only will you meet other professionals in your field, but you’ll also have access to resources that can help you improve your skills. In this article, we’ll discuss five graphic design associations that you should consider joining. We’ll also talk about the benefits of joining these organizations and why they can be helpful for your career. So if you’re looking for networking opportunities and access to valuable resources, be sure to check out these five graphic design associations!
Benefits of Graphic Design Associations
It’s true that when you roll with a pack, you’re much stronger. As a graphic designer, I wanted to take some time to explain why you should join an industry association and some of the organizations that you should be looking at. So without further ado, let’s go ahead and jump into those three C’s: community, content, and competition.
Graphic Design Associations Offer Community
The first reason you should strongly consider joining an industry association is the community aspect. We’re going to talk about three C’s: community is absolutely important. The people that you surround yourself with are either going to bring you down or bring you up. There’s actually a statistic that says that you’re 10 times more likely to achieve your goals if the people you surround yourself with are positive and supportive. So it’s really important that you surround yourself with a strong community of like-minded people who are also in your industry. They will understand your pains, struggles, and wins, and they will help you level up.
Graphic Design Associations Create Content
My second point is that content is a huge reason for joining an industry association. The amount of content that these organizations put out between all of their members and people and trustees and students is absolutely powerful. You’re going to find training and resources and blogs and content that you won’t be able to find anywhere else. This is locked up in their vaults, something that I’m doing inside of my community and my organization. So this is something you should be considering as you’re going to find the best content on the planet – like design education content that is absolutely going to change your life and career.
Graphic Design Associations Foster Competition and Collaboration
My third point of why you should join an industry association is simple: competition. A lot of people are afraid of their competition, but there’s no reason for you to be when you join an industry association. You’re surrounding yourself with your competition – right? These people are going to help you grow, level up, and keep you motivated. They’ll also give you insights into what they’re charging, and you’ll be able to see people’s hands a little bit more.
They’re going to be sharing their struggles transparently, and you’re going to realize that collaboration is more important than competition. Community content and competition are two of the three c’s that are really important pieces of why you should join one of these organizations. Any business owner doesn’t matter if they’re a graphic designer, web designer, or motion designer should join one of these organizations to surround themselves with the right kind of people.
Graphic Design Associations You Should Join
Let’s dig in and discuss how to choose which agencies are best for your needs. I’m going to focus on the five organizations that you should be assessing if you’re a graphic designer, motion designer, or web designer.
The first organization on this list is the American Institute of Graphic Arts, also known as the AIGA. This is the oldest and the largest graphics association on the planet, having been around for a really long time. The AIGA has members from all over the world, and chapters and members from all over the United States. They offer job boards, training, technology info, and they do a once a year conference that’s pretty big. The AIGA offers job boards, training videos and sessions, tutorials, technologies, and even design competitions that you can be a part of and win.
These board members within their chapters will get together on a somewhat regular basis and they’ll even talk about what’s happening in this street – the trends, the challenges, and things that they can do to help each other raise to the next level. Once a year, the AIGA and all of its members will get together for their main big event that they do. That event was virtual last year because of everything that was going on in the world.
So if you have not ever been to an AIGA event and you’re a graphic designer, I would encourage you to grab a ticket. The event is coming up I believe in September or October. And you’re probably wondering what is the cost to join the AIGA. Well, the good news is they offer monthly payment plans. But it is a yearly membership, and that yearly membership ranges from $250 on the low end, which for a new designer can be a lot, to $2,500 for the trustee level. We actually joined at the trustee level, so I’m super grateful and honored to be a part of AIGA. This is an organization I’m looking to plug into; they have the design educators council and a lot of great things that are coming, which I really wanted to be a part of.
The Society of Illustrators
The second organization is The Society of Illustrators. This one is from my fellow artists, the graphic artists of the world, who do illustrations – maybe book design things like that. They offer design education, they offer competition, and they actually offer local meetups where you can get together with other illustrators. They do a yearly event as well. Now, the cost to join The Society of Illustrators is actually cheaper than the AIGA and it starts at only 35 a year and goes up to as high as 500 bucks. So, this is a really good option for you if you’re an illustrator or an artist looking to join an organization. I would highly encourage you to consider joining this one – I haven’t joined it yet, but it’s something you should definitely think about.
The Futur Pro Group
The third organization and honestly one of my favorites something I joined last year is The Futur Pro Group. You may be familiar with The Futur on YouTube, which is actually led by a fearless, creative, and amazing guy who’s actually an introvert by the name of Chris Do. The Futur pro group has actually their own community on Circle, where they have discussions and job boards and competitions and announcements and all kinds of stuff, but they do events almost every day it seems. They have a calendar of events of what they’re doing.
You can find them on Clubhouse, Facebook, and all over the place. They’re always doing talks and they have a lot of amazing resources within their organization. The cost to join is only 150 bucks a month, so this is something I joined because I wanted to be a part of and I wanted to put myself in proximity with people like Chris Do. So, joining that group, I’ve already met some really great people and I’m continuing to grow and try to spend more time within The Futur pro group so that I can get closer to Chris Do and help lift up this industry as a whole.
Graphic Artists Guild
The fourth organization is called the Graphic Arts Guild. The Graphic Arts Guild’s whole mission and purpose are dedicated to helping people advance throughout their careers, giving them the tools, education, and any of those other resources skills, and just support in general. It’s 200 bucks a year to join, it’s fairly affordable. I’m not a member of this one, so I’m not as familiar with it, but I know that they’ve been around for a while. They’re a trusted association with a stellar reputation for helping graphic designers and graphic artists to reach higher levels of success.
Instagraphics Pro Network
The last one here is number five and it’s our organization, and hopefully, soon to be your organization. This organization is called the Instagraphics Pro Network. There are going to be different levels of the pro network, and the prices are going to range. But right now we’re just going to talk about the free version. It’s also on Facebook – it’s a free Facebook group with an additional private Circle community, similar to the Futur Pro Group but instead, it’s the Instagraphics Pro Network.
My whole mission with that is to bring together the best graphic web and motion designers on the planet and help everybody level up. I’m giving training, tutorials, events, contests, and more. I have a free group that you are more than welcome to join. This is your invitation to join it. This is a really honest, genuine invitation. I want you to be part of this community. You got to make sure you fill out all the questions when you go to join now. My mission for this is to improve the overall graphic design industry as a whole.
In order to do that, we’re going to have to start creating more well-rounded designers. Designers that are focused on becoming three-dimensional; not just 3-D in terms of their visuals, but also in terms of their health, wealth, and relationships. I’m going to be focusing on all these areas in our community, not just being a good creative or professional. If your life isn’t healthy, wealthy, and fulfilling in terms of your relationships, then every other part of your life and business is going to struggle. So I really want to encourage you if you haven’t joined us yet, this is your chance. I would really love to have you there.
Which Graphic Design Organizations Have You Joined?
That leads me to a question for our readers: what associations, if any, have you already joined? Are you part of the Graphic Arts Guild or AIGA? Maybe you’re part of The Futur Pro Group and you saw this article. One of my articles was recommended on their website, so you may know me already. If not, drop me a line and tell me what organization you’re part of. If you’re not part of any of those, your first stop should be the Instagraphics Pro Network. I look forward to seeing you there!
The last point I want to make and the biggest takeaway that I have for you is that you should put yourself in proximity with titans – people who have achieved the success that you are wanting to achieve in your career, life, and business. When you surround yourself with people who are hungry, passionate, and coachable, it will help you level up. That’s why you took the time to read this article today. So thank you guys so much for reading. Make sure you share this article with a friend and invite more of your friends and people that are in your community that are designers as well to join us. I look forward to seeing you guys in the next article again. I’m Adrian Boysel. Thank you for reading and as always, keep looking up.