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Our 15 favorite design podcasts

4 min read
Dominic Vaiana  •  Jul 9, 2019
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Designers get their inspiration from all sorts of places: real-life experiences, current events, mentors, and of course, industry podcasts. Design podcasts are one of the best ways to keep a finger on the pulse of the creative industry. They can give you insights from some of the world’s most talented people and introduce you to a world of new ideas—all through your earbuds.

But where should you start?

Design podcasts can help shake up your workflow—but we don’t want you to spend your free time digging around for the best shows. Here’s a roundup of the 15 best design podcasts that are sure to keep you sharp, motivated, and entertained.

1. The Crazy One (Stephen Gates)

The Crazy One podcast by Stephen Gates

As InVision’s Head Design Evangelist, Gates advises leaders at 97% of the world’s Fortune 100 brands in addition to delivering enterprise-level keynote speeches across the planet.

His podcast, The Crazy One, is the byproduct of his experience working with companies like Apple, Google, Nike, and Airbnb. A few times a month, Stephen offers solo lessons on leadership, confidence, collaboration, and more—all tied back to how designers can (and should) apply them.

Episodes to start with:

2. The Design of Business | The Business of Design (Jessica Helfand and Michael Bierut)

The Design of Business | The Business of Design by Jessica Helfand and Michael Bierut

How does design shape decisions, ideas, products, and people within complex organizations? This is the question Jessica Helfand and Pentagram cofounder Michael Bierut (both designers and co-founders of Design Observer) explore once a week.

Recorded at the Yale School of Management, the hosts of DB | BD interview creative visionaries such as Forest Young who led Uber’s redesign and Maurio Porcini, PepsiCo’s chief design officer. If you’re looking for surface-level discussions, this isn’t for you. Jessica and Michael probe every guest to get to the core of how design moves the needle in each of their respective fields.

Episodes to start with:

3. Clever (Jaime Derringer and Amy Devers)

Clever by Jaime Derringer and Amy Devers

Clever was started on the principle that designers are human beings above all else, not just cogs in a wheel. Designers are visionaries and aesthetes, but they also face struggles just like any other person.

Clever is hosted by Jaime Derringer (founder of Design Milk) and Amy Devers (a designer and Emmy-winning television personality.) Together, they tackle conversations with big thinkers ranging from Google VPs to freelancers about the human element of design and how designers can make a more meaningful world.

Episodes to start with:

4. The Deeply Graphic DesignCast

Deeply Graphic

If you’re looking for a blend of practical and creative design advice, The Deeply Graphic DesignCast has you covered. Twice a month, the podcast covers different graphic design-related topics such as freelance client management, hand-lettering design, brand strategy, and more. 

The podcast has six different hosts (all designers) based in different cities from LA to London. DGDC puts an interesting twist on their show by answering listener-submitted questions, like “What’s the most efficient way to find new clients?” and “How do you convey your value besides ‘someone who makes pretty things’?”

Episodes to start with:

5. The Honest Designers Show

The Honest Designers Show

The Honest Designers Show started when Tom Ross, founder of Design Cuts, found he was regularly chatting and sharing tips with fellow designers Ian Barnard, Lisa Glanz, and Dustin Lee. The group had a weekly call to help each other with areas they were struggling with and soon realized they might as well publish those conversations.

Now, every week, the show gives listeners a look at the not-so-sexy side of the design industry in a straight talk style. Episode formats range from interviews with designers like Chris Do to vent sessions about getting out of one’s comfort zone. There’s no navel gazing, and the four hosts make you feel like you’re right in the studio with them.

Episodes to start with:

6. Design Matters (Debbie Millman)

Design Matters

Design Matters is the first and longest-running podcast dedicated to design. It’s hosted by Debbie Millman, who was named “one of the most influential designers” by Graphic Design USA and “one of the most creative people working in business” by Fast Company.

Each week, Millman interviews industry icons such as Massimo Vignelli and Milton Glaser about the intersection of design and life—but equally as impressive as these guests is Millman’s interviewing style. She has a knack for getting to the heart of her guests’ success stories, making the show equal parts entertaining and educational.

Episodes to start with:

7. UI Breakfast (Jane Portman)

UI Breakfast

Hosted by UI/UX guru Jane Portman, UI Breakfast is a window into the minds of some of the world’s greatest designers, developers, and strategists such as Jeff Gothelf, author of Lean UX.

UI Breakfast interviews typically come out three times a month. They’re a bit shorter (about 35 minutes) compared to the rest of the shows on our list, but each one is jam-packed with expert insights on user experience, digital product strategy, and the culture of remote work.

Episodes to start with:

8. The Design Better Podcast (Aarron Walter and Eli Woolery)

Design Better

World-class design is about much more than the finished product: it’s about the process that produces it, and that’s where InVision’s Design Better podcast comes in.

Conversations with all-star designers, such as Airbnb’s Benjamin Evans, span from scaling to storytelling, and that’s just scratching the surface. Design Better is hosted by industry veterans (and InVisioners) Aarron Walter and Eli Woolery, both of whom have resumes longer than this entire article.

Episodes to start with:

9. User Defenders (Jason Ogle)

The screen is the most important place in the world, and the sky’s the limit for UX designers who can satisfy the world’s demand for better digital experiences. But while some designers fixate on brands or technology, Jason Ogle emphasizes the user. That’s what User Defenders is all about.

Ogle, a UX designer and founder of User Defenders, delves into topics such as user empathy, checking your ego at the door, and how improv fuels innovation. The only downside of the show is the infrequency of the episodes (about one each month).

Episodes to start with:

10. Method Podcast from Google Design (Travis Neilson)

Method Podcast by Google Design

When more than a billion people interact with your designs (that’s how many people use Google search), there’s no shortage of pressure to perform. That’s exactly what it’s like for the folks at Google, and the Method Podcast gives listeners an inside look at the role of design at the world’s largest search engine. 

Host Travis Neilson, a Google Interaction Designer, gives listeners a peek behind the curtain to learn about Google’s hiring process, their creativity-boosting workshops, and even anonymous confessions from members of the design team.

Episodes to start with:

11. Presentable (Jeff Veen)

Presentable

As a member of Google and Adobe’s design leadership teams, Jeff Veen knows a thing or two about the future of design. Twice a month on Presentable, Veen teams up with other design experts like Jina Anne (former designer for Apple, Salesforce, and Amazon) to explore the role of designers in shaping our digital future.

Veen and his guests always find a way to help listeners see design through a new lens—whether that’s reminding us of the value of print or how to hack government bureaucracy through design. 

Episodes to start with:

12. The Futur (Chris Do)

Futur

After making hundreds of award-winning commercials, music videos, and broadcast spots for clients and screens of all sizes, award winning designer Chris Do decided to distill his experience through The Futur—an online education platform, including this podcast, that teaches the business of design to creative thinkers.

On the show, Do speaks with designers about what it takes to translate skills and passion into success. Guest include motion designer Handel Eugene, who worked on the Spider-Man: Homecoming film and Jamie Myrold, Adobe’s design VP who discusses the intersection of AI and creativity. 

Episodes to start with:

13. The Reflex Blue Show (Donovan Beery)

Reflex Blue

For readers who aren’t color nerds, “reflex blue” (hex code #171796) was a color created by a company called Ault & Wiborg in the late 1800s out of Cincinnati, OH which specialized in manufacturing of printing inks, dyes, and pigments.

Now, more than a century after Ault & Wiborg made a name for itself, The Reflex Blue Show tells the stories of modern design visionaries such as Greg Paprocki who illustrated Curious George among other books. Host Donovan Beery (lead designer at creative agency Eleven19) conducts the interviews one a month, all of which are done in person. Conversations range from personal stories to practical advice on carving out a meaningful career as a designer.

Episodes to start with:

14. Logo Geek (Ian Paget)

Logo Geek

The title gives this one away: logo guru Ian Paget interviews some of the most sought-after designers in the world to find out what it takes to build the face of a brand. The Logo Geek chats with the art professor who designed Google’s logo, a designer who made a name for herself without attending college, and that’s just the beginning.

If you’re a logo aficionado or just want to know what goes into some of the world’s best designs, this is worth binge-listening.

Episodes to start with:

Designing the Google Logo – An interview with Ruth Kedar

Getting your dream design job – An interview with Charli Prangley

15. Grits and Grids (Joseph Szala)

Grits and Grids

Here’s a podcast for branding inspiration that will also make you hungry. Seriously.

Grits and Grids is dedicated specifically to food and beverage industry design. Restaurant branding expert Joseph Szala hosts “small talk over big ideas” for creatives looking to make visuals that are as enticing as the food and drinks they promote. You’ll hear from designers like Scott Fuller about the nuances of the color yellow, and entrepreneurs like Jason Frostholm about the parallels between cooking and design

Episodes to start with:

Did we miss anything?

We listed enough shows to get you through a year’s worth of commutes, but if there’s a design podcast that you think is worthy of designers’ ears, give us a shout on Twitter @InVisionApp.