When you’re a designer you never stop learning. No matter if you’re a UX designer, a graphic designer, or you specialize in illustrations or hand lettering, there’s always something new to learn. That’s one of the best parts of being in this field.
And if you’re struggling, it’s helpful to know that there is a huge community of designers out there who are going through the same issues as you are. And who are eager to share their stories and impart their wisdom. Listening to them can help you become a better designer. (If you’re passionate about audio work, check out these podcasts about sound design.)
With that in mind, we have compiled a list of the best design podcasts that should help spark your creativity and get you out of any slumps you may be in.
99% Invisible is one of the best podcasts on the internet. It just happens to be about design. 99% Invisible is about the thought process that’s behind the things we usually don’t think about. Whether it’s flag design, sound design, branding, inflatable men at car lots, or your run-of-the-mill critique of hostile architecture. The podcast is made better by Roman Mars’ soothing voice.
99% Invisible is a narrative podcast and each episode usually lasts around 30 minutes.
Started in 2005, Design Matters is now the oldest running podcast about the world of design. Hosted by Debbie Millman of The Observatory, Design Matters is an interview show that focuses on the world of design. Each episode, Debbie interviews someone from the field of design and arts. It can be a designer, filmmaker, author, or director.
The interviewees are from a varied design field but the one thing that’s consistent is the quality of the conversation. It’s always insightful and interesting.
Design Matters gives you a peek into the brains of designers. You get to know what goes on in the heads of some of the world’s best designers and artists.
The Observatory by Design Observer is a design podcast hosted by Michael Bierut and Jessica Helfand. Instead of interviews, it focuses more on current events and new developments in the world of design. Every episode, you’ll get to hear Micheal and Jessica discuss the hottest topics from a design point of view. This ranges from the costume design in Black Panther, the role of AI in design, and the future of electric car design.
Design Details is a great contemporary podcast. It’s a must-listen for all the graphic and UI designers out there. Design Details brings you interviews from designers who made the software and products you use every day.
Want to know how Pinterest does user testing? Or what was it like at Airbnb during the rebranding process? Why not hear it straight from the mouths of the designers responsible? From Lyft to Dropbox, Design Details brings you insights from some of the best designers working in the field today.
This is yet another podcast from Design Observer network. This podcast tries to approach the complex topic of design in a corporate environment. You’ll get to hear from designers and executives about how design plays a role in the running of an organization.
The Deeply Graphic DesignCast was created specifically for graphic designers. If you’re starting out in the field or you want to know about the latest developments and trends in the field of graphic design, this is the podcast for you. The Deeply Graphic DesignCast discusses everything from the rise of illustrations in web design to the use of typography in a classic poster design.
If you’re looking for tools to help you and you’re a Chrome user, check out these must-have extensions for web designers.
7. Design Life
Design Life podcast is a must-listen for all freelance designers. Charli Marie and Femke talk about the challenges that come with freelance and remote work. Every week, they talk about ways to deal with life as a freelancer and share tips and tricks for being a better designer.
The podcast helps you handle everything—from dealing with sore clients, finding clients who value design, to leveling up your design game. Also check out our article on rules that every freelance designer should live by.
User Defenders is the best podcast for those who want to be User Experience designers. UX Design is a growing field and not a particularly easy thing to talk about. UX is an umbrella term that encompasses many different design disciplines from research and UI design. But Jason Ogle succeeds in this endeavor by turning the subject into a fun interview series.
You get to hear from some of the best UX designers in the world. User Defenders takes a superhero angle to the tried-and-tested interview format. Every interview starts with the designer’s origin story and ends with them discussing their superpower. In between, you get to hear about their work, the tools they use, their design philosophy, and everything in between.
Presentable is a podcast about how digital products are built. Specifically, how digital products and services are shaping the future of humanity and society. The podcast is hosted by Jeff Veen, a designer, and investor with more than two decades of experience in the field.
If you’re curious about Uber’s UX research process or how Slack has built such an awesome communications team, listen to Presentable.
What does it take to run a successful two-person design studio? Surprisingly, a lot. Studio Neat is a two-person company that has created successful Kickstarter projects like the Glif. If you want to know what it’s like to design and produce a physical product, listen to Thoroughly Considered. Dan and Tom talk about the decisions that go into prototyping, designing, marketing, and selling a physical product.
The Best Way to Listen to These Podcasts
You may have reached the end of this list without actually having ever listened to a podcast before. In which case you’ll need to find the right podcast player for your platform of choice.
If you’re using iOS, try Overcast. And if you’re using Android, we recommend Pocket Casts. You can also listen to podcasts with an Amazon Echo and with these unique podcast apps. If you prefer a platform-agnostic solution, try one of these free web-based podcast players.