wave

10 Great Podcasts for Designers

There’s nothing like a great podcast to help you get through the day, especially if it can provide you with a bit of inspiration.

What’s great about podcasts is that you engage in 15 minutes to an hour or a deep dive on a certain topic. And there are plenty of great design podcasts out there to help you jumpstart creative thought and feel inspired.

Here are 10 great podcasts for anyone in the creative industry, from designers to creative directors to clients of design firms.

1. 99% Invisible

99& Invisible

Subscribe with iTunes

The best design is often invisible. Users don’t see the design elements; they just know that the design works. That’s the premise behind 99% Invisible. From the description, “Design is everywhere in our lives, perhaps most importantly in the place where we’ve just stopped looking.” This weekly podcast, produced by award-winner Roman Mars, will help you see that “hidden” design and its significance.

2. The Accidental Creative

The Accidental Creative

Subscribe with iTunes

The Accidental Creative podcast is almost like hiring a creative consultant. The podcast, which is hosted by Todd Henry, centers on productivity and how to communicate creative elements and understand the language of design, even for non-designers. The weekly episodes are easy to listen to thanks to Henry’s background as a speaker and creative consultant.

3. Adventures in Design

Adventures in Design

Subscribe with iTunes

Adventures in Design is your daily news show. Guests engage in “shop talk,” which provides insight into the industry as a whole – many creatives (and teams and clients) face the same issues all the time. Host Mark Brickey makes it fun with topics that explore how to stay happy and fulfilled professionally and by going off topic from time to time. Episodes last about an hour each and can be great for that morning commute into work.

4. The Allusionist

The Allusionist

Subscribe with iTunes

While The Allusionist isn’t really about design, it’s a podcast that anyone in the creative industry can benefit from. The short episodes (20 to 30 minutes each) focus on language and words. From meanings of certain works – such as the history of roller skates or zazzification – to the evolution of cursing, this podcast will inspire you to craft great copy (or at least provide some watercooler conversation).

5. Creative Pep Talk

Creative Pep Talk

Subscribe with SoundCloud

Creative Pep Talk has gotten plenty of attention – featured as an iTunes Editor’s Choice, and by Design Sponge and BuzzFeed – and the content will definitely inspire you. Host Andy J. Pizza’s show will help you hone in on your ability as a creative and how to keep your spark and stay motivated. Recent topics include everything from ways to kick butt in 2018 to tips for being a better public speaker.

6. The Design of Business | The Business of Design

The Design of Business | Business of Design

Subscribe with SoundCloud

The Design of Business | The Business of Design takes a good look at how the decision-making process works in creative industries. From coming up with ideas to developing products, hosts Jessica Helfand and Michael Bierut talk to clients and designers from a variety of industries. Episodes are relatively short (less than 30 minutes) and are released in seasonal blocks ( great for binge listening).

7. Design Matters with Debbie Millman

Design Matters

Subscribe with iTunes

Design Matters claims to be the first podcast dedicated solely to design. And there’s an extensive backlog of episodes featuring interviews with designers, writers, artists, curators, musicians and others. This podcast is a great at-work listening option because the insights from other creatives are sure to jumpstart the brainstorming process.

8. The Futur

The Futur

Subscribe with iTunes

The Futur is about branding, design, user experience and business, but host Chris Do reaches much deeper than that. The podcast really is about helping people find success and even close business deals. And he has the background to back it up; Do is the founder of Blind, a design consulting firm. Part of his mission with the weekly podcast is to make learning about design easier and more accessible for all.

9. The Honest Designers Show

The Honest Designers Show

Subscribe with iTunes 

The Honest Designers show features a quartet of hosts that want to help you find a place in the modern creative world. Tom Ross, Ian Barnard, Dustin Lee and Lisa Glanz talk about what it takes to make it in the creative world – and it’s not always easy. They provide actionable advice that applies to creatives at different career stages and for those who work independently or with agencies. Episodes come out weekly; recent topics include what to do when someone steals your work and how stress can impact your creative self.

10. Note to Self

Note to Self

Subscribe with iTunes

Note to Self is one of the oldest, and maybe most well-known, podcasts on this list. Weekly episodes focus on life in the digital age. The podcast isn’t about design per se, but about how to deal, and function, in a digital world. Host Manoush Zomorodi also has a book based on a project from the podcast, “Bored and Brilliant,” with a premise that boredom can actually spark creativity. (Maybe that’s a sign to slow down a little bit, right?)

Conclusion

All you need to start listening to a podcast is a computer (or phone) and a set of headphones (so that you are respectful of the people around you). These podcasts are great to listen to at work, in the car or when you are working out.

The best part is many of them are free – although you can support your favorites with a donation – and because most of them are on a weekly or biweekly schedule, you can subscribe to multiple podcasts on this list and still have time to give them all a listen.