Design and Illustration Research Resources

Online Design and Illustration Research Resources

Along with the online resources and journals the NGI Library and Archives subscribe to, the below list outlines a selection of free online resources that apply to design and illustration research.

The Cooper Hewitt Blog

The Cooper Hewitt Blog is the official blog of the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum in New York. Contains a wealth of short signed articles or blogs on the history of design and the decorative arts.

Artifact: Journal of Design Practice

An Open Access journal with a focus on practice-based design research aiming to explore conditions, issues and tasks pertaining to design development. 

Daily Heller

Design news and insight from Steven Heller which was recently described by WIRED as “CliffNotes to the history of graphic design”. This blog is issued by one of America’s most respected design historians, an inductee of the Art Directors Hall of Fame and recipient of the AIGA Medal for Lifetime Achievement.

Illustration Art

Illustration Art is a blog researched, compiled and written by David Apatoff. It has been issued frequently since 2005 and contains short, often well-illustrated articles the history of illustration.

Quad Royal

Quad Royal is a blog about British posters of the 1940s, 1950s and occasionally 1960s. It has been issued regularly since January 2010. As well as short, informative and well-illustrated articles on the poster designers and the art of the poster, the blog also contains news about recent and forthcoming exhibitions, a bibliography on the history of the poster, a list of poster dealers, and links to other Internet sources on the poster.

Comics Book Stories

Contains hundreds of informative and well-illustrated blogs on aspects of illustration.

The Political Cartoon Gallery

A commercial gallery selling a variety of original political cartoons from Britain, Australia, USA, Soviet Russia and beyond. While the site is commercial, it can also be used for research purposes as it offers imagery and useful information about each illustration. As well as providing information about cartoons for sale, they also have an archive of the cartoons they’ve sold.

Lambiek Comiclopedia

Biographical information on nearly 14,000 comic artists and cartoonists.

Dictionary of Scottish Architects 1660-1980

Indispensable source of biographical information on mainly Scottish architects.

The International Archive of Women in Architecture (IAWA)

Archive documenting "the history of women's contributions to the built environment by collecting, preserving, and providing access to the records of women's architectural organizations and the professional papers of women architects, landscape architects, designers, architectural historians and critics, and urban planners." Website offers a IAWA biographical database, blog and features online collections.

The Cities and Buildings Database

A collection of digitized images of buildings and cities drawn from across time and throughout the world, available to students, researchers and educators on the web.