Designers Online: 20 graphic design blogs to follow
Looking for inspiring graphic design blogs? Here are 20 interesting, useful destinations, in our opinion, and many of them enjoy significant social followings. These 20 bloggers, listed in alphabetical order, speak to a broad audience of experienced professionals, designers just starting out, and students at art colleges or interior design schools. The sites reveal design in all its forms -- graphics, industrial design, typography, illustration, Web design and more.
Abduzeedo: In 2006, Brazilian designer Fabio Sasso founded this site, which now features a team of masterminds. Published in both Portuguese and English, this online collection has contributors and readers worldwide. The site shares tutorials on Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator as well as Web design software. Themes include architecture, illustration, logos and photography. As an open community, the site encourages input like submissions for the Daily Inspiration.
AisleOne: Beyond graphic design, the A1 site delves into grid systems, minimalism and modernism. The author, Antonio Carusone, contributes to the Thinking for a Living Network, an alliance of those dedicated to the craft of design. Learn about Salon.io, a website creation and portfolio building tool, or cool designs from Geometry Daily and Numerografia Numbers. Recent blog features include posters depicting popular drum sequences and books on themes like airlines and graphic design.
Booooooom Design: Jeff Hamada, an artist from Vancouver, created Booooooom to foster creativity and community. This free online art gallery promotes drawings, photos, paintings, paper sculptures and other cool stuff. A post discusses skeuomorphs, which add ornamental elements to suggest familiarity, such as file folders on computers or an app that makes a laptop sound like a noisy typewriter.
Core77: Targeting industrial design since 1995, Core77 provides a community through competitions, lectures, exhibits…and parties. DesignAwards span categories like social impact, furniture, food design, DIY and packaging. Discussions range from folding electric bikes for urban mobility to crowdfunding platforms as a venue for product design. Professionals or fans of industrial design can browse through portfolios, discussion forums, articles and more.
Creative Review: The CR blog extends the reach of the Creative Review magazine, dedicated to all aspects of visual communication, from advertising to digital media. Launched in 1980, the UK-based magazine has readers online in over 120 nations. The CR blog doesn't just talk about design -- it makes art, as in the annual cover created from blog stories and photos.
Design Observer: This blog publishes promotions, book recommendations and debates you can comment on, like "Arial vs Helvetica: War is Hell." Designs to enjoy include "31,000 Flights Over Holland." Through Observer Media, the site also dabbles in audio and video design. Design Observer originated in 2003 thanks to Michael Bierut, William Drenttel, Jessica Helfand, Rick Poynor and Ruby Studio.
Designer Daily: This blog for designers and Web designers serves up daily visual treats like Batman movie posters for collectors, Pinterest favorites and awesome t-shirts. Mirko Humbert, a Swiss graphic designer, shares ideas, links to beautiful stuff and more. Articles explore topics like designing better infographics, using stickers for marketing, time management for Web designers and how to convince clients of the importance of white space.
Dexigner: Founded in 2001 by Levent Ozler, this online portal counts more than 40,000 subscribers. The website and the free app share updates on events, competitions, exhibitions and conferences. Dexigner's approach is wide-ranging, from industrial design to fashion to animation. The directory lists selected design firms, studios, museums, organizations and resources. News items include industry trends reported by The American Institute of Architects and The Royal Institute of British Architects.
FormFiftyFive: In 2005, a group of young designers and self-proclaimed vagabonds founded this international showcase of creative work. Imagery covers many aspects of graphic design, plus art, product design, architecture, advertising and multimedia. Creative types can find interviews as well as links to resources and tutorials.
GoMediaZine: What started as a blog morphed into a community resource, full of real world advice from working designers about art, graphic design and the business smarts needed in this field. The site offers videos, tips, tutorials and freebies like plug-ins and presentation templates. Articles include Blank Canvas discussions like "Students -- What's Missing From Your Classes?" and "How Do You Learn?"
Grain edit: Classic design from the 1950s through 1970s rules on this site, along with contemporary work that connects to the design of that time period. You can sample interviews, articles, designer libraries, rare design annuals, type specimens, posters and recommendations for vintage kids' books. The team, based in Oakland, California, includes Dave C., Elizabeth Surya, Ethan Davis and Grace Danico. Check out sections on Thrift Hawks, product reviews and found design.
I Love Typography: Built in 2007 by a British-born writer and graphic designer living in Japan, the site reflects a passion for typography and type design. Explore where letters come from, why they look the way they do and what makes for good type. Guest blog posts touch on themes like font creation, typeface revivals and typography as art rather than science. ILT spreads its love of type through the magazine CODEX and a typeface-identifying app, The Font Game.
Inspiredology: This Design Inspiration Lab, maintained by Projekt19, shares links to freebies like stock photos, brushes and other resources. Get advice on picking the best logo for a personal brand, or check out photo filter apps for iPhones and iPads. Tutorials include skin retouching and icon design, while video discussions range from James Bond to typography.
It's Nice That: Will Hudson founded It's Nice That in 2007 and was joined by Alex Bec in 2008, with other team members coming on board later. The site publishes original work from both well-known and up-and-coming creators across a range of disciplines. The group also hosts real-life events like a one-day creative symposium, a field trip at the Rag Factory in East London, and talks on themes like digital experience and motivation.
Smashing Magazine: Created by Smashing Media in Germany, this website offers treasures for artists and techies, sharing resources like new free fonts. Founded in 2006, this site speaks mainly to Web designers and developers, with posts on creative and technical themes like emotional design and responsive design. Also helpful are the coding Q&A on CSS and the Best of Coding and Best of Design sections, with thoughts on usability, mobile design and more.
Subtraction.com: Khoi Vinh has used this domain since 1997, first as a portfolio and showcase for non-commercial design work, and later as a blog. Former Design Director for NYTimes.com, Vinh also co-founded Lascaux Co., which launched the free iPad app Mixel, described as the world's first social collage app. Posts span design, publishing, technology, pop culture and real life. Aspiring entrepreneurs can read "What I Learned When I Started a Design Studio" or "In Defense of Client Services."
Swiss Legacy: Initiated by Xavier Encinas, this blog focuses on typography and graphic design, with posts on advertising, fashion and Helvetica. One book review looks at how companies like Apple make design a competitive advantage and an integral part of business. Illustrating the tension between print and digital publishing, a post on Process Journal shows how a print publisher redesigned its content to create an iPad app.
Swissmiss: This blog, started by Tina Roth Eisenberg in 2005, has evolved from a personal visual archive into a design journal. This Swiss designer in NYC talks about how side projects allowed her to go clientless and focus on her own products and apps. Examples of visuals from an eclectic Friday link pack include Converse sneakers decorated with lettuce and a dining table that fits in an envelope.
You The Designer: Cadence Wu and Mark Geno Arguelles offer news, design trends and tutorials. Freebies include icons, brushes, textures, vectors and wallpapers. Articles cover the many facets of logo design: why less is better, reasons to avoid using stock art, the choice of raster or vector graphics, and decisions about color and shape in logos.
Veerle's blog: As a child, Veerle Pieters wrote words as an exact mirror image of the correct spelling, demonstrating her unique approach to life. In 2000, she founded Duoh! with Geert Leyseele. She shares her passion for art, typography, CSS/(X)HTML and the Web in blog posts, tutorials and interviews. The design obsession here extends to modern homes, including furniture, offices and gardens. Pieters also honors Belgian graphic design, from the traditional to the contemporary.
These 20 blogs reach out to students, newbies and professional designers. More than just eye and brain candy, these sites share tips and support on building a business and blending talent with technology. These creative thinkers ask us: "What designs inspire you?"