12 essential design podcasts
to add to your playlist right now.
If you're trying to connect with the best designers, architects, thinkers, and speakers in the design industry, there's no better way to get inside these professionals' heads than to catch them on tape. And while the guest can certainly make for a great episode, each of these hosts offer a unique take on the podcast format. So in the end, no matter your personal tastes, you're bound to love one of my favorite design podcasts.
Design Matters with Debbie Millman
Debbie Millman essentially invented the design podcast format with her groundbreaking show, Design Matters. Although it was originally a terrestrial radio-style podcast, recorded from old-school phone lines, today it's one of the most popular shows on iTunes, and certainly one of the most celebrated.
The Futur by Chris Do
I saw a single Tweet from Blair Enns and immediately began my way down the rabbit hole through the universe of Chris Do. This guy is a hustler in the hardest-working sense of the word, and quite possibly one of the most genius guys in the design business today. He's insightful, forward-thinking, and is sure to inspire.
You can't talk about design-oriented podcasts without mentioning 99% Invisible. Host Roman Mars weaves together amazingly well-crafted stories of the highest production value. From brutalist architecture, to the history of the octothorpe (that's hashtag for you millennials, or pound sign for you old-timers) Roman unpacks the impact that design has on our culture, even if you've never stopped to notice it before. #alwaysreadtheplaque
The Honest Designers Show
Being a designer is an amazing job, but sometimes freelancers need to hear that it's okay to charge what you're worth, take a vacation, or pursue your passions. Host and founder of Design Cuts, Tom Ross leads a team of fellow Brits though a variety of conversations sure to be relatable to solo designers and modern freelancers.
The Business of Architecture
Not to forget our friends in architecture, The Business of Architecture podcast is hosted by architect Enoch Sears. It's is focused on helping architects "discover tips and secrets for a profitable and impactful architecture practice." Special thanks to Enoch for having me on his show not once, but twice. If you're an architect, chances are this show is already on your playlist.
The Busy Creator Podcast
Prescott Perez-Fox focuses his conversations on the "tools, techniques, and habit" that help creative professionals do their best, most productive work. I met Prescott at an AIGA conference back in the day, and have followed his show ever since. We have a few guests in common, ranging from Armin Vit, to Debbie Millman, and plenty of great people we've not hosted yet, like writer Jeff Goins and author/speaker Todd Henry.
Maurice Cherry is the founder and principal of Lunch in Atlanta, Georgia, and the host of the Revision Path podcast. Revision Path showcases the world's Black designers, developers, and digital creatives. Check out his show to see what he's about, just don't call him "Mo."
Grits and Grids
You know what my favorite non-design subject is? Food. (Specifically, bacon... but that's a topic for another post.) So imagine how magical a podcast can be that's all about design for the food and beverage industries? Host Joseph Szala, founder of VIgor branding, invites guests to chat about their favorite designs and dishes.
The Observatory by Design Observer
Two of the most brilliant minds in graphic design today, Michael Bierut and Jessica Helfand unpack some of today's most important issues in the context of graphic design in current-events style conversations.
Host Ian Paget discusses "what it takes to design logos and brand identities." And in case you just can't get enough British accents into your podcast rotation, you're in luck. This UK-based show explores design tips, getting clients, how much to charge, portfolio mistakes, and other topics that are sure to be of interest to solo, and aspiring logo design professionals.
Lumi founder, Stephan Ango host the Well Made podcast. Well Made focuses on designers in the ecommerce space, both from a design and product perspective. Or as Stephan puts it, it's really just an excuse for him to "go deep with friends, entrepreneurs, designers and a few of our heroes."
Creative South Podcast
Last, but not least... Midwesterner-turned-Southerner, Jason Frostholm, hosts the Creative South Podcast. And although Creative South is an amazing annual conference (and you should go), the podcast connects with guests who aren't necessarily speakers or attendees. You'll enjoy the down-home sensibilities of many of his guests, and may even get the sudden urge to #HugNecks.
Who did we miss?
As you can imagine, that is nowhere near all of the incredible design podcasts that are available, but they are a few of my personal favorites. If you have other suggestions for who we should interview next, or ideas for what other shows we should add to our list of great design podcasts, tweet me or hit up our contact page and let me know. And of course, don't forget to subscribe to our show on iTunes while you're at it.