However, a quick look at the redesigned AIGA website can leave you feeling more than a little jealous. The AIGA is the American Institute of Graphic Arts, founded way back in 1914, now representing over 19,000 designers, and it's like a combination of all the better elements of our own design organisations.
Their site is (and always has been) a treasure trove of information for graphic designers, particularly those running design firms.
There's quite a lot to get through, so for those who are short of time, our personal highlights are:
The Design and Business Section, with lots of great stuff about running a design company, and downloadable PDFs including a Client's Guide to Design and a Standard Form of Agreement for Design Services.
They also have a frankly invaluable sample letter about doing spec work that they've created as a resource for designers to use and adapt when approached by clients who want some creative ideas for free. There's also a great article all about spec work here.
And, to top it all off, a complete set of 50 passenger/pedestrian symbols developed by the AIGA is also available to download.
Now, wouldn't it be good if all of that was available through a British design organisation? Our own lot do good work in specific areas – D&AD is great for awards and education, The Design Council is good at pushing design to businesses – but there doesn't seem to be anything with quite the focus, passion and sheer damn usefulness of the AIGA.
Time for us to think BIGA?