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Arts & Creative Industries Subject Guide: Art, Design & Communication

This is the subject guide for the School of Arts & Creative Industries

In this guide:

Image of Lighting design artwork


Finding Journal Articles  /  Browsing Journals  /

Standards, Technical Data & Market Research  /

Key resources in Merchiston Library  /  Film, images and sound

Internet Resources: a selection to explore  /  E-books

Finding Journal Articles

The best way to find journal articles is to try keyword searching in LibrarySearch, using the Everything tab.  However, you may also want to try searching directly in some of the databases that contribute to LibrarySearch.  Here's a list of the best ones for the subject area.

  • Art Index

       Print version only, not current, shelved in Merchiston Abstracts & Indexes Section

Key Resources In Merchiston Library

Key reference books

These can all be found in Merchiston Library. Search for them in LibrarySearch to find the shelfmark.

The dictionary of art (Grove, 34 vols.) 
Designers international index 
Encyclopedia of interior design 
History of industrial design 
The international design yearbook 
The designer's handbook 
The One Show

Domus: facsimile/reprint of issues from 1928-1999 of the Italian style magazine


Image of Domus book spines

Architects' data 

Encyclopedia of American architecture 
Encyclopedia of vernacular architecture of the world 
Edinburgh: an illustrated architectural guide 
The Buildings of Scotland: Edinburgh 
Phaidon architecture guide: Glasgow 


DVDs and videos

You will find a range of titles relating to art and design in the classification range 700-769.

Film, images and sound

A list of specialist databases to explore:

  • Capital Collections- a choice of images from the collections of Edinburgh City Libraries and Information Services
  • Bridgeman Images  - Thousands of images from museums and galleries around the world. All images on this site are copyright protected and displayed for reference only. Images are available for reference only.
  • Scholars' Resource - Images for the teaching of art history and related subjects. Thumbnail images can be viewed on the site for many artists.
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art Collection  -  more than 400,000 high-resolution digital images of public domain works in the Museum’s world-renowned collection may be downloaded directly from the Museum’s website for non-commercial use, including in scholarly publications in any media. Works included are identified by the acronym OASC.
  • Internet Archive Book Images - hosted on Flickrhistorical photos and drawings sourced from more than 600 million library book pages scanned in by the Internet Archive organisation.
  • OpenGLAM Open Collections  - OpenGLAM (Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museum) is an initiative coordinated by the Open Knowledge Foundation. Provides a list of openly licensed datasets from several cultural institutionsthat can be freely used without any restrictions.

Quick guides to print out

Browsing journals

  • Call into Merchiston Library to browse your favourite journals.  We have a number of art, design & communication journals in print format:
    • Access by design  -  Aesthetica (also online)  -  Architects' journal  -  Architectural digest  -  Architectural review  -  Architecture and urbanism  -  Blueprint  -  Computer arts  -  Creative review  -   El croquis  -  Design week  -  Detail  -  Domus  -  Eye  -  Form (Germany)  -   Form (Sweden)  -  Frame  - Icon  -  ID  -  Interior design  -  Print  -  RIBA journal  -  Urban realm /Prospect  -  Volume  -  Wallpaper

Image of El Croquis journal spines

    • You'll find all these filed alphabetically by title in the rolling shelving at the ends of the Main Stock area. These are for use in the library only.

You can explore electronic journals by using LibrarySearch, clicking the e-journals option at the top left, and typing in keywords.  

  • You'll find titles like Design Journal, Design Week,  Architectural design, Space and culture, Design issues, Lighting research and technology, and many others in electronic format.  Sometimes we have older back issues of these titles in print format too.

Standards, Technical Data & Market Research

Internet Resources: a selection to explore

Design - general

  • Design Council Information about the work of the Council, education, projects, Design Journal, industry links
  • RSA student design awards The RSA's student annual awards scheme offers a range of challenging projects which comment on the changing role of the designer in relation to society, technology and culture.
  • Design Observer  -  design news website presented by AIGA, professional association for design based in New York
  • Designers & Books Designers recommend books that inspire creativity, innovation and invention
  • Design Research Society "The Society is international in outlook, with a design research network across 35 countries". The site includes a small collection of links.
  • Design History Society Information about the society, conferences, competitions, electronic discussion list, regional network, links to related sites
  • The Design Business Association "The Design Business Association exists to promote professional excellence through productive partnerships between commerce and the design industry to champion effective design which improves the quality of people's lives."
  • TED: ideas worth spreading "Riveting talks by remarkable people, free to the world". Includes a Design section.

Products & interiors 

  • Alessi The official website of the Italian design company. Designers and products, special projects, history, news
  • Philips Design Philips Design's corporate website includes information about the company, design awards, job opportunities
  • Braun Braun's official webpage includes company news and images of their product range
  • Mitsubishi Current projects and company history
  • Sony UK Overview of Sony range of products. Includes links to Sony global websites.
  • The Textile Institute Based in the USA, the Textile Institute is "the worldwide professional association for people working with fibres and fabrics, clothing and footwear, interior and technical textiles". Their Virtual Library section contains a good selection of links.
  • Lighting Research Center This site focuses strongly on the USA, but there are many industry links and useful information about residential and commercial lighting.
  • Bauhaus Archive Museum  Details of exhibitions and Bauhaus history
  • Ergonomics and Human Factors Information about the Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors, news, features, events, competitions, and links to many related organisations
  • Bad Human Factors Designs This is old but still quite entertaining.  A scrapbook of illustrated examples of things that are hard to use because they do not follow human factors principles". Essential reading to see how NOT to do it!

Graphic design / typography / multimedia 

  • Society for Experiential Graphic Design  the global, multidisciplinary community of professionals who plan, design, and build experiences that connect people to place.
  • Typetoken online magazine showcasing the world of typography, icons and visual language
  • Village Website of a group of foundries and distributors of typefaces. 
  • Digital Producer Magazine "The premier resource for information on Digital Video, Animation, Effects, Imaging and Technology"
  • Computer Graphics World Online Web version of the monthly magazine
  • Adobe News, tips and technical information on Adobe products, e.g. Photoshop, Cold Fusion, Dreamweaver, Flash, Acrobat, Shockwave
  • Designspiration Designspiration provides a diverse selection of high quality, user-submitted images as a means of sharing inspiration
  • Featuring the best of graphic design from around the world
  • Emigre Includes some articles from Emigre magazine, now discontinued.


  • RIAS Website The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland. News, events, competitions, Internet directory of Chartered Architects and their services.
  • Edinburgh Architectural Association The Association is a Chapter of the Royal Institute of British Architects and the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland, and the website highlights some recent Edinburgh projects.
  • Archinet.UK - a web resource on UK architecture and construction. Includes UK award winners, a timeline of British architecture, a directory of product guides to suppliers of specific construction products. 
  • All about architecture, run by the Royal Institute of British Architects. News, exhibitions, list of architects.
  • Abacus Construction Index A directory of recommended websites relevant to construction in the USA and UK. Incorporates Archinet UK.
  • The Great Buildings Collection "the leading architecture site on the web, the Great Buildings Online. This gateway to architecture around the world and across history documents a thousand buildings and hundreds of leading architects, with 3D models, photographic images and architectural drawings, commentaries, bibliographies, web links, and more, for famous designers and structures of all kinds." Not everything listed on this site is available for free, and some items require you to download special software.
  • DiCamillo Companion- Database of Houses The Database of Houses is a continuing effort to list every country house built in Britain and Ireland, standing or demolished. The Database is updated daily and currently lists over 6,500 houses, with images for over 800 houses.
  • Architectural review The website of the monthly magazine. A few selected articles and images are available online.
  • Metropolis "Metropolis is a renowned architecture and design publication founded in 1981 to explore the contexts--economic, environmental, social, cultural, political, technological - that surround objects, interiors, buildings, streets, and cities."
  • The Lighthouse Scotland's Centre for Architecture, Design and the City. Details of exhibitions and educational activities
  • Charles Rennie Mackintosh Society Information about Mackintosh and details of Mackintosh buildings open to the public.
  • Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation  - information about his life and work, with links to sites that can be visited.
  • Wright on the Web a virtual look at the works of Frank Lloyd Wright
  • Santiago Calatrava Official website with images and information on Calatrava's bridges and buildings.
  • Foster and Partners News, projects and information about the company.
  • Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners The new name of Richard Rogers Partnership. Company profile, projects, environmental statement, and a bibliography.

Art - General

  • RSA: Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures & Commerce Information about the Society's projects, and podcasts of lectures.
  • Artcyclopedia Their stated mission is to become the definitive and most effective guide to museum-quality fine art on the Internet
  • Axis "Axis is a national contemporary visual arts service providing information about artists and makers living/working in Britain to a national and international audience. It is the largest interactive database of contemporary British art on the Internet."
  • Iniva The website of the Institute of International Visual Arts. "Iniva creates exhibitions, publications, multimedia, education and research projects, designed to bring the work of artists from culturally diverse backgrounds to the attention of the widest possible public."

Museums and heritage interpretation

  • Culture 24 "Latest news, exhibition reviews, links, event listings and education resources from thousands of UK museums, galleries, heritage sites, archives and libraries, all in one place."
  • National Museums of Scotland News and events, details of the collections
  • Artfund  -  providing funding for purchases for a huge range of galleries and museums in the UK.  The website is excellent for keeping up to date with exhbitions and events around the country.