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DIGITAL DESIGN: Research Guide | Find Writing About Design

Search tips and resource suggestions for research in graphic design.

Your Librarian

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Amanda Walch
Raugust Library, Reference & Instruction Office
701-252-3467 ext. 5441

In This Section

multiple computer monitors with websites openIn this section, you'll find:


Do I need scholarly or popular resources?

It depends on what you're researching and how you're presenting your findings. Some professors require that you use scholarly or academic journals in your research projects. Some fields and topic areas - especially one like graphic design - use less formal online publications to communicate information and share ideas more often than scholarly journals. You'll need to find a balance that fits your research questions and your assignment.

More info here:

Online Resources

double arrow pointing rightBlogs and online magazines are great for quick, accessible, up-to-date information on graphic design topics, tools, and practice. These sites are created by and for active professionals - they're trade publications, not academic or scholarly sources.


double arrow pointing rightTry books for historical overviews, in-depth introductions to design principles and why design matters, and long-form research on graphic design topics of interest. You probably won't read these books cover to cover, but they can be helpful for your research and your creative process.

Searching the Catalog

The library catalog is your gateway to the books on our shelves and the articles in the databases we subscribe to.

This video tutorial gives a walk-through of how to search the library's catalog:

Library Databases

double arrow pointing rightLibrary databases contain articles from scholarly journals, trade magazines, news sources, and popular magazines. If you're looking for in-depth research about a graphic design topic, try one of the databases below. The nature of your topic will help you decide which database to search.

question mark iconNeed help finding articles?

Contact the Reference & Instruction Librarian for help...

  • Finding a Database
  • Identifying Search Terms
  • Citing Resources
  • Creating a Research Plan
  • Getting the Most out of Library Resources!