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    Membership FAQs

    AIGA is introducing new membership categories on August 1, 2012.

    AIGA is entering its second century, representing an extraordinarily dynamic design profession with relevance, leadership and opportunity. To that end, all designers must be included in One AIGA—thousands of unique and individual talents, yet one influential voice for the profession.

    The new membership model gives every designer an affordable chance to belong and an opportunity to express your appreciation; you can choose the membership category that best matches your commitment to the profession and the value of the organization in your career and future.

    AIGA offers community, inspiration, and opportunities for networking and social engagement through local chapter activities, complemented by regional and national activities that focus on professional development, advocacy, social change and communicating the value of design. Your commitment to a strong AIGA means that work can continue in your community and on initiatives such as advocacy, Design for Good, salary surveys and demonstrating the value of design to business and the public.

    Read more about the shift in Ric Grefé’s recent article, or see the FAQs below for answers to common questions.

    What are the new levels?
    Trustee, Design leader, Sustaining member, Supporter, Contributor. In addition, those who simply want to stay in touch will be classified as Friends, although this is not a membership category. Rates corresponding to each level will be published on the site on August 1.

    I’m a current AIGA member. What will my new level be as of August 1?
    Professional members automatically become Sustaining members; associate-level and full-time faculty members will be converted to the Supporter level; student members will be reclassified as Contributors. Students and educators will automatically be assigned a new attribute, “student” and “educator” respectively; students who have recently graduated will be designated as “emerging designers.” All members may select up to two attributes on My AIGA to help us serve you better:

    AIGA account attributes

    I joined or renewed my membership after May 1, 2012. What happens to my membership?
    If you joined or renewed in May 2012, your membership will be extended one month to June 2013. If you joined/renewed in June 2012, your membership will be extended two months, to August 2013. And if you joined/renewed in July 2012, your membership will be good through October 2013 (three-month extension).

    Am I still a member of my local chapter?
    Yes. When you belong to AIGA, you are able to select a chapter, allowing you to stay involved at the local level, participate in chapter events and receive communications and invitations. If you move during the year, you can update your chapter on My AIGA.

    My membership isn’t up for renewal yet. How can I shift to a lower category?
    Membership dues are nonrefundable; you will be able to select the category that’s best for you the next time your membership is due.

    I am a practicing professional. What level do you recommend I select?
    Practicing professionals are the core of AIGA’s community and are the greatest beneficiaries of an active and effective professional association. At the Sustaining member level and higher, membership fees cover the full costs of serving members. Thus, it is recommended that professional members belong as Sustaining members or higher.

    I am paying my dues in quarterly installments. What happens with my remaining payments?
    Your future payments will be adjusted to reflect the new rate for your current membership level. The exact amount will depend on the number of payments remaining (i.e., the discount for three payments remaining will be greater than if you have a single payment remaining). You can review your remaining payments on My AIGA under “My payment plan information.”

    As of August 1, we will be phasing out the quarterly payment program in favor of a monthly payment plan, available at the Supporter level and above at the time of joining or renewing.

    I have a full-time faculty membership, but that’s not an option anymore.
    Your educator status will now be captured as an attribute, so you can join or renew at any level. There is no longer the requirement to provide proof of full-time status.

    I am a student, but there isn’t a “student” category anymore.
    Your student status will now be captured as an attribute, so you can join or renew at any level. When you select this attribute, we’ll ask you for the name of your school as well as your expected graduation date.

    What is happening with student groups?
    Student groups continue to be a key part of AIGA’s local presence on more than 200 college campuses around the country. When you join or renew and select the “student” attribute, you’ll be able to select a group so that you can connect with students in your school and receive information and invitations for upcoming events from your student group as well as the nearest chapter.

    Is there a limit to the number of years I can belong at a particular level? 
    No. In the past, there were limits on some categories, like students. Under the new model, you may maintain membership at a given level for as many years as you would like. To fully support the activities of your professional association, we recommend a Sustaining membership or higher.

    Where can I see the new rates?
    Membership rates will be updated on this site on August 1, 2012. Current members received an email about the new rate structure in late July 2012; if you did not receive it, you can see it here.

    What are the new group membership options?
    Any three or more people from the same company may join or renew as a group at a reduced rate; the memberships are owned by the firm. Group administrators will be able to update the roster online, and will have the ability to add additional members at a very affordable rate.

    What is “One AIGA”? Is the name changing?
    “One AIGA” is a concept of inclusiveness developed by former national board member Jamie Koval and his team at VSA Partners, and described by AIGA Executive Director Richard Grefé in this Insight article. The organization is still called “AIGA, the professional association for design.”

    Does the Trustee level mean you can buy a seat on the national board?
    No. Purchasing a Trustee-level membership does not mean that you have a seat on the national board of directors; AIGA directors are still self-nominated and selected by committee, then ratified by members—learn more about the process. In the past, AIGA board members have been required to "give or get" $10,000 during their term of service. This commitment has been replaced by a request to maintain a Trustee membership for their three-year term, in effect eliminating an obstacle that some nominees have faced in the past. A person can be nominated for the national board; if they are elected, they would be expected to join at this level.

    Does the Sustaining level provide a seat on a chapter board?
    No, although it is a necessary level of commitment to be considered eligible for election to a chapter board. A proper description of this benefit is that sustaining membership offers eligibility to serve on a chapter board.

    What can I expect from my AIGA membership?
    Your member experience is comprised of events and activities at the local level as well as information, inspiration, validation, representation and education at the national level. Click here for some of the benefits members receive.

    I have an AIGA account. Why can’t I get into member pages or Design Jobs?
    There are two types of accounts on this site: a free one for nonmembers, and a paid account for current members. If you haven’t paid membership dues recently, it probably means you need to join or renew—check your status here.

    When I send in my application for membership, how long will it take for me to receive my membership materials?
    After we receive your application, you can expect to receive your membership card within approximately two weeks. For new members, a welcome packet will follow shortly thereafter. If you have not received your membership card after a month, please .

    Are the membership fees paid annually or one-time only?
    Membership dues are annual; once you join, you will receive an invoice about one month before your membership expires. You can return the invoice and payment or renew online using the same AIGA account.

    I recently moved (or changed my email address). How do I make sure you have my updated contact information?
    You can change your contact information through the website. From the “Membership” menu at the top of the page, select “My Account.” You will need your AIGA username and password. If you don't know your sign in information, select “Find Me” at the login and enter your email address. If this doesn't work (it won't if we don't have your correct email address), .

    If I’m a member in one chapter, but relocate, can my membership be transferred to the chapter in the city I move to?
    Yes. You can change it yourself by signing in to my.aiga.org to update your address, then click on “My Service Requests” to initiate a chapter change. Or, .

    Can you send me a list of AIGA members in my community? Can I search for AIGA members in my community using your online directory?
    AIGA's online Designer Directory allows a search by first name, last name, company, city or state. In addition, you can view members’ portfolios at portfolios.aiga.org.

    I would like to join as an international member. Do you have chapters in other countries?
    AIGA has members located around the world, but no international chapters. The reasons are partly practical and partly legal. AIGA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Chapters must be individually incorporated as nonprofits, and that's not really possible if they're not located in the United States.

    Then, even in the United States, it takes a great deal of energy to start and maintain a chapter. At least twenty current AIGA members (at the Supporter level or higher) are required to start the chapter. The chapter must sign an affiliation agreement and meet performance criteria on an annual basis. So at the current time, the organization is focusing on chapters located within the United States.

    Can AIGA help me with my visa request to the INS, documenting that graphic design is a “specialty occupation” and needs a bachelor's degree?
    Yes, AIGA can provide a formal letter for Sustaining members.

    Still have questions?

    Contact our membership team at 212 807 1990 or .

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