Communication Arts is the largest international trade journal of visual communications. Founded in 1959 by Richard Coyne and Robert Blanchard, the magazine’s coverage includes graphic design, advertising, photography, illustration and interactive media. The magazine continues to be edited and published under the guidance of Coyne’s wife Jean and their son Patrick Coyne. Currently, Communication Arts (CA) publishes six issues a year and hosts six creative competitions in graphic design, advertising, photography, illustration, typography and interactive media and two Web sites, commarts.com and creativehotlist.com
The first issue debuted in August 1959 as the Journal of Commercial Art. Among a number of innovations, it was the first U.S. magazine printed by offset lithography.
Within six months, paid circulation grew to 10,000. Paid advertising, however, was low and CA was not a financial success. After Blanchard left to go into business by himself, Coyne and a small staff continued to write, design, and produce the magazine. Eventually, paid circulation increased to 38,000.
CA’s current audited paid circulation is 63,043 and an average of 3.1 people see each issue, giving Communication Arts an estimated reach of 189,129 readers.
To generate additional income and editorial content, the magazine began an annual juried competition in 1960.
Within a few years, the annual competition grew, and eventually segmented into four annual competitions: graphic design, advertising, photography and illustration. A fifth competition, interactive, was added in 1995. All the CA competitions are juried by creative professionals.
CA was the first major design publication to launch a Web presence (Communication Arts) in 1995. In addition to showcasing creative work in visual communications, it included job listings. The jobs section grew, and was relaunched in 2001 as a standalone website, Creative Hotlist.
These two websites receive approximately three million page views and 250,000 unique visitors per month.