Students: Join AIGA

In Professional Practice we have spoken several times about AIGA. As you know, despite my sometimes love-hate relationship with AIGA (the national organization, not AIGA San Francisco which I unequivocally love), I believe joining AIGA is a wise choice and a smart investment — particularly for students about to graduate. If you’re looking for a design job most employers will have added respect for a young designer who is a member of AIGA. It shows you;re taking your career seriously and that you want to be a part of a larger design community. If you’re looking for work outside of your current city, AIGA is a great way to connect with designers in almost any market (not to mention you’ll have access to their job listings). If you want to get more involved in your local design scene, further your skills, stay inspired or simply socialize and compare your early professional experiences with those of your peers, AIGA offers these opportunities and more.

And there has never been a better time to join.

From February 1-20, students may join or renew online for just $50, a $25 savings off the normal $75 student rate. If you are already a student member and are up for renewal between January 31-July 31 you’ll receive the discounted rate if you renew before February 20. I had some trouble logging into my account, so if you experience any difficulties call David Hall at 212-710-3133 or email him and he’ll get you sorted out. Remember they’re on New York time.

Although students are welcome (and encouraged) to attend all AIGA events, here are a few upcoming AIGA SF events exclusively for students:

AIGA SF Student Member Mixer
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
AIGA SF Student Lecture
Wednesday, March 7, 2012
AIGA SF Portfolio Day
June 2, 2012 (note: this is still last year’s link. I’ll update it when the new info goes up)

And of course you’ll be eligible for the AIGA SF Enrichment Scholarship.


AIGA SF Student Membership Benefits

Half Price Associate Membership
Graduating student members can upgrade their membership to the associate level for half price—a savings of $105. To take advantage of this benefit, make sure AIGA has your graduation date on file by updating your anticipated graduation date at

Inneract Project
The Inneract Project introduces, teaches, and informs inner city youth about careers in design through classes, field trips and awareness programs.

AIGA SF Student Member Fall and Spring MixerThe mixers offer student members the opportunity to meet their fellow Northern California design students and the AIGA SF board and learn about our student programs. These events are free  for AIGA student members.

AIGA SF Student Fall and Spring Lectures
This new lecture series is designed for college level design students and features inspirational speakers from around the world. Speakers will hold a workshop the following day.

AIGA SF Portfolio Day
Known as the best portfolio review on the West Coast. Consider this required if you are in my TPP class.

AIGA SF Enrichment & Tharp Scholarships
AIGA SF awards $500 scholarships to each of the top students at 12 Bay Area design schools. One student receives the coveted Rick Tharp Scholarship.

AIGA San Francisco Design Library
Available to AIGA members by appointment (send a request through the AIGA SF website contact form). You can preview their collection online.

Online Designer Directory
• Listing in AIGA Designer Directory accessible by the 60 chapters on national site
• Add your portfolio to the AIGA Member Gallery, hosted by Behance
• Post or view complete job listings at AIGA Design Jobs

Community Building
• Meet, exchange ideas and build community with the greater Bay Area and nationally
• Meet and learn from professionals from across the design community
• Strengthen the voice of the industry by participating in the largest association for design professionals
• Shape the local agenda through Chapter leadership
• Support one of our many initiatives or chair a program

Professional Advancement
• Printed copy of the AIGA Design Business and Ethics series (Professional and Associate members)
• Printed copy of AIGA|Aquent Survey of Design Salaries
• Monthly e-newsletter AIGA Communique
• Semi-Monthly e-newsletter AIGA San Francisco
• Periodic e-newsletter AIGA Design: Business
• Information on operating your business in the AIGA Center for Practice Management
• Access to Creative Business articles
• Access to AIGA SF Design Library of design publications and periodicals
• Attend member-only events, such as Studio Tours and special workshops with our design partners
• Discounts to all AIGA events

Other Discounts
• Apple: discounts on products and accessories
• Adobe: 15% discount on all products in the Adobe store
• Shutterstock Images: 15% discount on image subscription
• Blurb: 20% discount on Blurb books (up to $40 per order) until Sept. 30, 2011
• 20% discount on training
• FedEx: up to 26% discount on FedEx shipments, up to 20% discount on FedEx Office
• F+W Media: discount subscriptions on HOW and Print
• Rockport Publishers: 40% discount on books
• FontShop: 10% discount on fonts and their FontBook
• PaperSpecs: 15% discount on membership
• LightSource: 20% discount on archival inkjet printing, drum scans and digital capture
• Group Health Insurance
• AIGA Online Store: discounts on AIGA books
• AIGA Design Jobs: over 50% discount on postings

What are you waiting for?