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Inspirational PDF Magazines

PDF magazines are a great promotional tool used by companies and collectives. They are quick to put together, can be attached to emails, or made available as free downloads. Numerous visual arts publications from around the world are available for you to draw inspiration from. These magazines serve as excellent sources of both conceptual and visual design. Furthermore, it’s both interesting and important to know what other artists do — to explore new artistic style, learn new techniques and make new contacts.

View great illustration, photography, graphic design, painting, typography, and various other visual and communication arts. Dig into ideas with artist interviews and articles. Or flip through these pages to discover new visual solutions and styles. Below you’ll find both well-established and new PDF magazines for you to download and to draw inspiration from.

You may also want to consider visiting

  • the post /03/19/40-designtech-magazines-to-read/”>42 Design/Tech Magazines To Read which presents an overview of over 40 established international design/tech-related magazines, blogs and resources.

PDF Magazines Link

  • Adobe Magazine
    Adobe sets a high standard of professionalism with this visual communication publication. It’s a quarterly magazine filled with practical information and design inspiration. “You’ll see work that’s breaking new ground, get an insider’s perspective on how it was created, and find new ideas and tools to enhance your own projects.”

    Adobe Magazine 1
    Adobe Magazine 2
  • Font Magazine
    While this magazine promotes fonts, it also provides inspiration and commentary on design and visual communication. This magazine brings us interesting articles from a global perspective. In Issue 006 the magazine has the theme of “Think globally. Design locally.” It focuses on design that makes a difference in various places around the world in order to broaden our perspective on design.

    Font Magazine 1
    Font Magazine 2
  • Candy
    Candy Collective puts out an engaging visual arts and design magazine. Over the course of two years, the magazine has grown into a large publication with a polished feel. It showcases photographers, designers, illustrator, painters and other forms of visual arts. It does this by, both interviewing the artists and displaying their work.

    Candy 1
    Candy 2
  • Blanket
    This is an interesting magazine. It’s well designed. There is a good mix of excellent writing, colorful layouts, and good content. The magazine promotes authors form around the world. It also has a varied editorial staff. They write about their individual interests.

    Blanket 1
    Blanket 2
  • VVM
    This magazine is about Vector and Vexel art. A large part of the Mags format is made up of half page spreads of artist’s work. Each piece has a brief explanation of the design and a link to the artist’s portfolio.

    VVM 1
    VVM 2
  • Vektorika
    This magazine is all about Vector Graphics. It is predominately an artist promotional magazine. The quality of their interviews are really good. Each issue has a theme. Issue 10 was based on Character design. For a review of this Mag see the article /inspiration_vektorika_magazine”>Inspiration: Vektorika Magazine.

    Vektorika 1
    Vektorika 2
  • Etel Magazine
    This is a young mag that presents numerous artist interviews. It covers art, design, literature, architecture, and fashion. A small sample from each genre is on display in the magazine. It will be interesting to see how this magazine grows.

    Etel 1
    Etel 2
  • Revolutionart
    This is a large artist promotion magazine. Artists have full wide page spreads and often get more than one page to display their work on. There is work from artists, designers, musicians, photographers, and models. Revolutionart magazine publishes work from accomplished and untrained artists indiscriminately. There appears to be little editorial limitations on the scope or quality of work displayed. There is an interesting mix of great work and mediocrity.

    Revolutionart 1
    Revolutionart 2
  • FF3300
    Numerous types of art and design are on display in this magazine. An interesting aspect of this magazine is that most of the art is discussed conceptually as it is presented. It is also a dual language publication.

    FF3300 1
    FF3300 2
  • Royal
    The Keystone Design Union creates this publication that covers design, illustration, and photography. It is available via PDF or online via Flash.

    FreshCut 1
    FreshCut 2
  • Woosta
    This magazine is interview driven. It promotes each artist’s work alongside interviews with them.

    Woosta 1
    Woosta 2
  • Grafikal
    This magazine has a wide layout that uses plenty of white space. It promotes the visual arts. Numerous artist’s work is on display with ample explanations of the work running along the side. This Mag recently got started.

    Grafikal 1
    Grafikal 2
  • JPG Magazine
    While the PDF version of the magazine is just a sample, it still gives a good preview into this community of Photographers. You can also view the photos and stories online, as well.

    JPG 1
    JPG 2
  • Naked Wales
    This Mag covers the design scene in Wales. While this magazine has a local flavor, it also covers design issues we can all relate to, like speculative work. This magazine has only released one issue at the time of this writing.

    Naked Wales 1
    Naked Wales 2
  • FreshCut Magazine
    Although this magazine is not in English, it doesn’t really matter. This is because over 95% of the magazine is artist’s work on display with no commentary. You can quickly move through the pages for pure visual inspiration.

    FreshCut 1
    FreshCut 2
  • ANTI Magazine
    ANTI Magazine aims to showcase outstanding visual content as an online magazine and also through future exhibitions all around the world.

    ANTI Magazine
    ANTI Magazine

Further Magazines Link

  • Artzmania
    Artzmania is an independent venture showcasing outstanding international creativity and culture. According to the authors, it is supposed to be the “platform for Designer’s Territory to inspire, express and share with fellow art enthusiast profiling diversified design”. What makes Artzmania different is its touch for graphics works from different cultures. For instance, the latest issue covers Asia’s finest artists and designers, a representation of the arts crowds that are existing in the Asia region. If you are looking for fresh and creative inspiration, that’s a nice place to start. Only executables can be downloaded, but not the .pdf-files.

  • BAK Magazine
    This Flash-magazine is being edited by Turkish graphic designers. The magazines contains interviews, graphic design-related articles as well as numerous showcases of designers’ works. You can also submit their work to the magazine and thus can get featured in one of the upcoming issues.

    Bak 2
    Bak 1
  • Encore Magazine
    This Flash-magazine comes from Germany and focuses on graphic design as well as on photography. Written in German and English.


The selection presented above is, of course, not complete. You may want to browse through >, a growing repository of free PDF magazines which presents recent issues of nearly 175 PDF magazines from all over the world with main focus on art, design, illustration and culture.

You have further suggestions? Please comment on this article!

SmashingConf Barcelona 2016

Hold on, Tiger! Thank you for reading the article. Did you know that we also publish printed books and run friendly conferences – crafted for pros like you? Like SmashingConf Barcelona, on October 25–26, with smart design patterns and front-end techniques.

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Sean Hodge is the creative mind behind AiBURN, a weblog about design, creativity, inspiration and graphics.

  1. 1

    I’m like… O_o

  2. 2

    so great list.
    just discovered your siteweb one week ago.
    it’s amazing !

  3. 3

    i like pdf magazines especially artzmania! great list, thnks guys

    keep em coming!

  4. 4

    Your first entry evokes some kind of nostalgia in me. I have learned a lot from Adobe Magazine in late 90’s.

  5. 5

    Great list, however I am kind of sad to see Artzmania included in a list of PDF magazines when the developers of such a great magazine do not provide a PDF for download. That one is wrapped around spotbits executable, that makes it unavailable to us Mac or Linux users.

  6. 6

    Nice list indeed! …I missed Before and After Magazine however. Though its commercially available, it’s greatly done with inspirational articles and all the used resources listed per article including links to them. Eeach PDF contains a set of pages ment for screen and a print layout section.

  7. 7

    Vitaly Friedman & Sven Lennartz

    April 22, 2008 5:49 am

    @jesusOmar: thank you, fixed.

  8. 8
  9. 9

    I agree with jesusOmar about Artzmania. anyway, great list !

  10. 10

    Minor typo: “Wales” not “Whales”.

    Nice article, it’s always good to get inspiration.
    So, when is the PDF version of Smashing magazine coming out?

  11. 11

    Just in case it was missed:

    I only scrolled through the article, since I like looking at the pictures :)


  12. 12

    No mention of Phirebrush??

  13. 13

    hmmmmm…aother new issue form pdf magazine (i like tha)!!!! it seem to be a alectric magz like a…webpick in hongkong and many more

  14. 14

    Joshua Goodwin

    April 22, 2008 8:52 am

    A nice collection as ever :)

    “Whales” should be “Wales” though, in the blurb about Naked Wales.

    This Mag covers the design scene in Whales.

  15. 15

    I don’t know guys. I’ve never been a big fan of PDF magazines. Although they of course serve a purpose, they’re by no means ideal and are no substitute for flicking through the pages of a printed mag. There must be a better way to enjoy the delights of print in an online format, without having to put up with the constraints of PDFs?

    Nice list though…

  16. 16

    Great collection. Please also check out

  17. 17

    andres ayala

    April 22, 2008 1:29 pm

    hey, i think the best inspirational digital magazine (not PDF) , is, same flash based technology used by issuu but you can download…. keep the great work. Always Smashing !

    by the way…. WE ALL WANT NEW FREE FONTS….can’t wait to “Free fonts of the month” post.

  18. 18

    While not updated often, this flash magazine and its previous issues are all really good too:

  19. 19

    Superb list Keep it Up………………………

  20. 20

    Princess Miau

    April 22, 2008 3:44 pm

    Thanks you very muchhhhhh!!!!


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