Because of your career choice, people probably think your inspiration is plentiful and you never run out of creative ideas. But the reality is designers are just like everyone else: They hit dry spells from time to time, too. Whether you’ve reached a creative plateau or you’re simply looking to enrich yourself with new ideas, check out this list of the best podcasts for people in the design industry.
Jump to: Revision Path | Creative Pep Talk | 99% Invisible | Let’s Make Mistakes | The Unmistakable Creative Podcast | The 99U Podcast | This is Your Life | The Honest Designers Show | The Collective Podcast
It launched in 2013 by web designer and entrepreneur Maurice Cherry. Revision Path is a weekly interview-style podcast that profiles people of color from the design industry. It’s an award-winning broadcast, and as soon as you tune into your first episode it won’t be hard to see why.
In 2015, Revision Path earned the title of Most Inspiring Design Podcast at the Creative Market Awards. Each interview explores how the featured designers work and how they’ve achieved some of their greatest accomplishments.
After listening to some of the content, you’ll have a thorough appreciation for how creativity takes many forms. New episodes come out every Monday morning and are available from numerous podcast sites as well as the official website.
Creative Pep Talk
Creative Pep Talk delivers precisely what its title promises by offering topical discussions about how to revive your creative juices. The episodes are usually around 45 to 60 minutes long, so they’re great for listening to during your office commute.
Although all the subjects covered are applicable to designers, they’re also relevant to people in other industries. Examples include proving your creative worth, handling client requests, banishing self-doubt and more. Many of the themes are psychological in nature, so if your inspiration is waning due to a perceived shortcoming, this podcast should help you move past that mental barrier.
Boasting over 150 million downloads, 99% Invisible is one of the most beloved podcasts on iTunes. It focuses on all the unseen aspects that go into design and architecture. The podcast is a wholly independent venture and each episode includes obvious evidence that it’s a labor of love.
While listening to the content, expect your curiosity to spark as you learn about things you’ve always wanted to know but might have been afraid to ask, such as how the easily recognizable biohazard symbol got designed and the thought process that went into creating New York’s subway mosaics.
Let’s Make Mistakes
This podcast takes a refreshingly lighthearted look at various facets of the design industry. It’s especially good to listen to if you’re a beginning designer or still in school and worry you’ll never earn the kind of prestige some of your favorite designers enjoy.
Let’s Make Mistakes removes the mysterious elements that often surround the industry and show how design is often more accessible than it seems. Plus, the three humorous and diverse hosts offer the energy and engagement needed to keep you tuned in and coming back for more.
The Unmistakable Creative Podcast
Bolstered by positive feedback from listeners all over the globe, this podcast often features people who are undeniably interesting. Host Srini Rao says within his bio: “Extracting unmistakable stories out of people is my superpower.”
Once you listen to an episode or two, it’ll be clear he’s not just boasting and really does have a talent for doing that. Don’t be surprised if you hear podcast guests displaying genuine emotion as Rao gets down deep with his thoughtful questions.
The 99U Podcast
Have you ever felt hindered by well-meaning people worrying you might become the stereotypical “starving artist?” Or wonder if you can make your design endeavors financially fruitful? Almost everyone has struggled with those sorts of fears, and the 99U podcast is a possible remedy for getting rid of them.
99U is a website that focuses on “empowering the creative community” through online resources, conferences and more. The podcast pushes that mission forward by offering an enticing blend of design tips and ways to boost your profits. Topics range from dealing with creative blocks to designing your workspace for maximum productivity.
This Is Your Life
As you attempt to maintain a good reputation and grow your skills within the design industry, you may realize you fall short when it comes to worthy mentors. That common issue isn’t as prevalent for designers who work at well-established firms because they often naturally gravitate toward peers who have advanced further up the career ladder.
However, if you’re a freelancer or often work without constant supervision, you might feel like you’re in need of a little guidance.
That’s where Michael Hyatt comes in. His This Is Your Life podcast has aired eight seasons and has over 700,000 subscribers. Keep in mind the last new episode was offered in September 2016 and the show is on hiatus while its creators explore ways to provide improvements.
You can still hear some of the show’s best episodes by browsing the website archive. Some of the themes include productivity hacks, maintaining good mindsets and pleasing picky clients. Many of Hyatt’s episodes are devoted to leadership, so if you aspire to be one of the best designers in your area some day and even have your own design firm, think of these podcasts as your training materials.
The Honest Designers Show
Since it began in January 2017, this podcast is relatively new compared to others on this list. Still, it’s already showing plenty of promise. Listeners love The Honest Designers Show because of its transparency. It speaks to the challenges people in today’s design industry face every day.
Whether you’re wondering about if you should get a formal design education or are figuring out how to set your rates, those are just some of the subjects covered so far.
The Collective Podcast
The Collective Podcast is a fabulous option to check out if you’re looking for insight from the world’s top designers. Hosted by Ash Thorpe, the podcast features valuable interviews from notable creative experts. In addition to designers, you can hear opinions from illustrators, programmers, painters and people from similar creative sectors.
Hopefully, this list of top-notch design podcasts will help you in your own pursuits. Anticipate the material will refresh your creative flow, give you new perspectives and prove your struggles are not unique.
About The Author
Eleanor Hecks is the Editor-in-Chief of Designerly Magazine, an online publication dedicated to providing in-depth content from the design and marketing industries. When she's not designing or writing code, you can find her re-reading the Harry Potter series, burning calories at a local Zumba class, or hanging out with her dogs, Bear and Lucy.