Click to follow
Indy Lifestyle Online
I don't know much about design, but I know what I like. (Since you ask, what I like is design that puts function above fashion.) What, I wondered, does the Web have to offer my little designer chums in the way of stimulating magazines? Quite a bit, as it happens.

Communication Arts (http://www. is a handsomely austere site spun off from the American paper publication, with several rich veins of stuff. Exhibit Online displays samples of outstanding graphic design work, with thumbnails giving access to larger images and links to relevant sites. In the Tools and Technology section, there are good catalogues of hardware and software of value to the digital designer (is there any other kind these days?), again with links.

Digital Creativity (http://www.mediacentral. com/DCMag) is another US print-based zine, with an emphasis on digital images. It has more conventional written content, and is strong on product info - there is a detailed piece on digital cameras, for example. A report on the 11th Seybold San Francisco conference scarcely counts as pace-setting use of the medium (it took place in September), but the content is sound, including the depressing observation for Mac-watchers that "Apple was always able to say it had the best software, but that's beginning to ring hollow".

The designers of these first two stylish zines would, I'm sure, be amused to take a look at the naff appearance of Eloquent Interfaces ( pharmofs/design/index.htm). But this Australian Web-zine contains some stimulating articles about interactive design and, as you might expect, the user interface has been given occasional thought. One long article, for example, starts with a contents list of hyperlinks to different sections of the piece - a rare thing indeed.

For hands-on guidance on the use of computers in graphics, head for Pixart (, where there are detailed tutorials from practising designers, among other things. The Articles section looks serious, but turns out to be mainly a series of links to pieces on other magazine sites - MacUser, Windows, PC World.

This apparently cheeky technique opens up all sorts of possibilities. Presumably, the original publishers are happy - anyone publishing a Web- zine wants people to visit their pages and so is likely to welcome the idea of others putting up links direct to individual pages. Perhaps we can look forward to a separate breed of Web-zine, consisting entirely of links to the "best" articles in a given subject area, wherever they are located.

Pixart is a nicely rounded site, with product reviews and product-oriented links. But for a software-oriented zine, you can't beat adobe.mag (, from the company that has a tighter grip on the US graphics market than it does here. Are there no UK-based zines? Well, there are some arty ones but none aimed at real-world designers, as far as I know. Suggestions welcome.