Today I’m sharing with you my Top 10 Graphic Design Bloggers. Now, these aren’t big graphic design agencies or blogs with multiple contributors (barring the odd guest post). These are blogs written solely by one person, a graphic or web designer.
Several weeks ago, I posted a list of my 10 Favourite Creative Design Agencies. I also mailed/tweeted the list off to everyone involved. The reaction was great and got a whole load of new people talking to each other and that’s something I’d like to try and replicate with this post.
Without further ado and in no particular order, here are my ten favourite graphic design bloggers.
David Airey runs a multitude of great design related blogs, including his personal design blog on DavidAirey.com, Logo Design Love and Identity Design. He is also the author of two wildly successful books; Logo Design Love (the book) and Work For Money, Design For Love.
David’s style of writing engages his readers as he shares his thoughts on a variety of design related subjects, from logo design and the business of graphic design through to the world’s best swimming pools.
David is also a very friendly, knowledgeable and approachable guy. The last time I talked about him on the Canny Creative blog, he was the first to drop a friendly thank you email. He’s also very active on Twitter and makes the time to reply to as many people as possible.
I have only recently discovered Paul Jarvis’ blog but it’s chock full of great thoughts and articles. Although Paul is a web designer, I sneaked him into this list because his blog really is great and he does a lot of design work.
Paul doesn’t beat around the bush and you have to be willing to accept him for who he is. His article, Profanity In Business explains a little about himself and why he doesn’t water down or censor himself. He swears on his blog, he tells it how it is and that probably gets a few people’s backs up, however, that’s what I find the most entertaining about his blog.
One of my favourite article’s of Paul’s wasn’t massively graphic design related. It’s an article called Build an Audience From Scratch in which he talks about how he would build an audience for himself if he had to start all over again. A great read indeed.
Rather than running and maintaining a standard blog page, Jessica Hische runs a page called Thoughts. Doing exactly what it says on the tin, it’s a page for Jessica to post her thoughts on a whole matter of design related things. Jessica’s thoughts tend to be quite long and involved but they make for great reading!
My particular favourite of her thoughts is Getting Freelance Work in which she shares tips with freelancers, recent graduates and students alike about, as the title says, getting freelance work. In my opinion the best tip Jessica shares is this;
Learn Proper Email Etiquette
Do not write novellas to art directors—if you’re going to write an art director, keep it short and sweet. don’t attach massive pdfs of your work, don’t pressure them to write back to you with criticisms. Chances are, they are very busy, and if you make them “work” for you, it will annoy them and most likely tarnish future working relationships.
There are some great ways to promote yourself, but sending massive PDF files and pressuring for constructive criticism, definitely isn’t the best way to do it.
I’ve been reading Graham ‘Logo’ Smith’s blog for a while now, two or three years perhaps. In that time, he’s reincarnated his blog on several instances. On his blog, Graham discusses a variety of graphic design inspiration ranging from logo developments and case studies through to tools of the trade and new fangled computer software.
Graham has a serious amount of content on his blog and it’s chock full of great information. Posts such as Looking to Hire a Logo Designer? You Might Want to Read This act as “public service” posts for the general public/business owners/entrepreneurs etc and also have professional graphic designers nodding their heads approvingly.
Graham also shares a wealth of brand identity process posts on his website. There are also numerous free available downloads such as his logo spec sheets and brand identity guideline packs. He’s not secretive (just about one certain portfolio piece) and he’s always open for a Twitter natter. I think Graham looks at his blog as a place to help other designers, and that’s what is great about him.
As well as his blog, Graham runs the website Logo Stack, a website that curates real world logos, filterable by designer/design agency. He also runs the website Brand Legends, which indexes the iconic logo marks from the 20th century.
Jacob Cass is famous. He runs a great blog, does great design work and is a nice a guy as you can get. He’s spoke at TED conferences and has a list of awards that don’t fit “above the fold” on his website. He also used to work at Carrot Creative, one of my favourite design agencies.
When responsive web design became a thing, Jacob was one of the first designer come blogger guys to pioneer it on his own site. He also changed his award winning JCD pencil logo at the same time too. Jacob’s blog is clean, responsive and most importantly, pink (or magenta, or fuchsia, whatever). He has a smart and sexy website that allows the user to read without becoming distracted. I like that.
The article that brought me into Jacob’s site was Branding, Identity & Logo Design Explained, a fantastic article doing exactly what it says on the tin. Jacob gives short analogies for each of the terms and clears up a lot of things for the casual reader. You’ll find this article linked to and referenced everywhere online, it’s that good.
Will Carey runs WAC Design in the heart of Birmingham. He’s also a frequent visitor to my website Design Forums, I’m not biased though, promise. Will is very active in helping promote the Design Forums, and the design community, and has interviewed me on occasion for his site.
On Will’s blog you will find a whole host of great content; articles, interviews, news and more. Every week, Will runs a featured called The Creative Chair in which he interviews and talks with people across a range of creative disciplines. Will has featured creatives from the fields of graphic design and photography as well as absurd (yet interesting) creative fields like taxidermy.
One of the most impressive feats of Will’s (and I’m sure he will agree) was managing to land an interview with Sir David Attenborough. Whilst I’m not sure how far Will’s celebrity grabbing tentacles reach, the interview itself is a great read and I tip my hat to Will for managing to land the interview.
Andrew Kelsall’s blog is the main focus of his website even though he’s so busy he barely gets the time to update it. Andrew is based out of Leeds, England and is a dedicated family man. Andrew designs a lot of CD covers, logos and works with a lot of different church groups.
The first post of Andrew’s that I ever saw was his post called How to Build a Home Office. In this post, Andrew goes into a tremendous amount of detail, with photos, explaining how and why he built his own home office. The post is highly entertaining, well written and very amusing.
One of the things that catches me about Andrew’s blog is the level of technical details he serves up in comparison to other bloggers. He talks about colour consistency and why it matters, printing mistakes you need to avoid and more. Andrew’s blog is definitely worth a read and he probably has a post on whatever it is you’re trying to find out. And do make sure to check out his awesome home office!
Chris Spooner is a massive name in the world of online graphic designers. What started out as a small blog to run alongside his creative work has morphed into one of the go to blogs on the internet for tutorials, resources and techniques. As well as blog.spoongraphics.co.uk which is all about graphic design, Chris also runs Line 25, a blog more dedicated to the field of website design.
Chris’ blogs are full of inspiration, ideas, techniques and tutorials that can help even the most accomplished graphic and web designers improve. Want to know how to create an über trendy barbershop logo design? Chris has an article for that. Chris runs a great Links of the Week feature, bringing the newest and most exciting tidbits from around the web. His blog also touches a little on film-making, check out his awesome Alcatraz footage;
The tutorials on Chris’ site are really second to none as he gives some of the best and biggest walkthroughs to get to the desired result. His tutorials are packed full of useful images and normally a selection of free resources that have been used in the tutorial too. If you’re looking to get a start in the world of graphic design or web design, head over and check out what Chris has to offer.
Technically I’m cheating again here, but Paul Boag is such a force in the design world that really, he can’t be left off this list. So, here he is. Paul is a fountain of knowledge; web based, design based, marketing based, business based, you name it, he’s probably wrote about it.
Paul runs the website Boagworld, a place for web and digital advice. He talks about a huge range of topics as mentioned earlier. Paul writes a lot and is a massive advocate of content marketing. He wrote this article over at Smashing Magazine that got him a reputation as an SEO hater. If you start with Paul’s post Perhaps SEO Isn’t All That Bad! and read backwards through the series, you’ll find it very entertaining and pick up some great ideas along the way.
I know a lot of people will say I’ve cheated by sneaking Mr Boag into this list, but if you give his blog a chance and a good read over, you’ll agree that he just had to be here.
This brings us to our final blogger on the list. This time, not so much a blogger as a vlogger. James Victore of James Victore Inc is a fascinating guy. He has a spectacular moustache and that alone gains him a lot of respect.
While James doesn’t deal so much with written blog posts, he runs a video questions and answers session over on his website Youtube every Tuesday. To me, that constitutes a blog. James is a very intelligent man, running a prolific design studio. He answers a whole range of questions on his vlog and normally takes less than five minutes every Tuesday to do it.
If you’ve got some spare time and are looking to watch some videos about graphic design and the design trade, head over to James Victore’s YouTube channel and check it out. Caution; if you think you’ll just go there for two minutes and watch a quick video, don’t. Your whole afternoon will become a right off as James will hook you in. He’s good. Very good.
When compiling this list of the top ten graphic design bloggers, what I noticed was that a lot of design related blogs are run collaboratively. Websites like Creative Bloq and Vandelay Design are great, but they’re collaborative resources so I didn’t feature them. It’s really difficult to find well maintained, relevant and current graphic design blogs ran by one single designer.
If you have any thoughts on the blogs mentioned in this post, or want to recommend me a new blog to read, please do leave a comment below. I look forward to talking to all of you!