The American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA), representing 22,000 members, is the largest and oldest membership organization representing designers. Since 1914, the AIGA has been a place for creative professionals to network and work towards improving graphic design as a profession.
The AIGA offers many benefits to its members. These include health insurance, access to the AIGA job board, a listing in the designer directory, and access to the National Design Center Library in New York City. Members also get discounts on AIGA conferences, events and competitions, books, and online training. Vendors in the discount program include Adobe and FedEx, with an impressive 15% discount in the Adobe store.
The AIGA offers a large selection of events all over the country. They range from networking parties to poker tournaments to seminars on design and business. With over 450 events each year, from local classes to conferences, there is a wide selection for all levels of designers. The well-designed AIGA website makes it easy to browse upcoming events in your area.
The AIGA offers many networking opportunities. The designer directory allows users to search by name and type of work, a great resource for browsing designer profiles and portfolios. Local chapters allow designers to meet directly with other creatives in their area. Student groups let students network and join the design community while still in school, and affinity groups bring together designers with similar interests.
The AIGA Website
The AIGA website is a great resource in itself, available to members and non-members. The site is divided into six sections: inspiration, professional resources, education, design and business, society and environment, and writing. The extensive site offers features such as the AIGA design archives, the popular salary survey, and a large selection of articles and resources for designers.