As a freelancer, I don’t get many opportunities to surround myself with similar creative minds to keep me sharp. While attending meet-ups and co-working can be great ways to engage with others, it can often be time consuming and expensive since I usually work from home.
Lately I’ve started listening to a variety of different podcasts for graphic designers while I’m doing tasks that don’t require as much concentration.
The great thing about podcasts is that I can keep my eyes on the task in front of me. And it’s a much more efficient use of my time, since I’m keeping up with industry news, learning about new apps, and learning new skills. Watching the latest season of my favorite TV show is, of course, more fun but arguably much more distracting.
So, in my search for podcasts over the past few months, the following 29 podcasts are the best ones I found in the freelance and graphic/web design industry. Some are specifically related to business topics that I find useful, while others are more for industry news or design skills. I also added a few of my favorites that are geared toward web development for those of you who enjoy coding more than designing.
Keep up with the culture surrounding design and illustration with this podcast. The AiD team travels, recording the show from different locations at times. Interviews are with top artists in the industry and topics cover entrepreneurship, style, and much more.
Hosted by Carl Smith of nGen Works and Gene Crawford of UnmatchedStyle, BizCraft is a podcast on the business side of web design. Recorded almost every two weeks, episode topics include everything from conference tips to interviews to handling employees and clients to leadership and more.
Like BizCraft, the podcast Unfinished Business covers the business side but encompasses more than just web design – graphic design and otehr creative industries are also included. Host Andrew Clarke, designer at Stuff and Nonsense and author of Hardboiled Web Design, speaks with different guests every week. Some very helpful topics are covered as well as incredible guests, such as Sara Soueidan on CSS and SVG.
This design podcast is hosted by Matt McInerney (designer at Pentagram in NYC), Andy Mangold (designer and co-founder of Friends of the Web), and Dan Auer (designer/ problem solver in product definition, interaction and interface design, and product roadmaps). Every week, all three phone in to discuss the effect of design on the world and vice versa.
Draft is another podcast found on UnmatchedStyle. Hosted by two amazing design experts from the UnmatchedStyle team, Gene Crawford and Giovanni DiFeterici, Draft covers a variety of topics on web design, such as rapid prototyping, Flat UI in relation to tablets, breakpoints in responsive design, general best practices, and much more.
Every two weeks, hosts Rene Ritchie (iMore.com editor-in-chief, MobileNations.com executive producer, Android Central producer, and much more), Seth Clifford (CIO for Nickelfish), and Marc Edwards (director and lead designer at bjango.com) get together to discuss mobile and app design for iOS, Android, Mac, and other platforms. With tips, advice, industry news, and interview with top designers, this is a podcast that mobile/ app designers will want to bookmark.
Debbie Millman is the host of the Design Matters podcast, and she is also president of the Sterling Brands design division, president of the AIGA, on the faculty at the School of Visual Arts, and a contributing editor of Print Magazine. Yet, somehow, this very busy woman finds time to profile graphic designers, artists, writers, and educators on her very thought-provoking podcast.
Hosts Jessie Char and Mike Monteiro (cofounder of Mule Design and writer for American McCarver) release a new podcast approximately three times a month to discuss design. Often accompanied by guests, Char and Monteiro talk about everything from ethics to conferences to the design process and inspiration to proposals and much more.
Jeff Finley and Bill Beachy, owners of Go Media, host their studio’s Podcast for Designers. In this somewhat consistent podcast (they release one every month or so), they discuss different design aspects, including business, improving your work and life as a designer, tips and tricks, as well as giving a glimpse of life in their design studio.
This 5by5 podcast is hosted by David Sparks and Katie Floyd. Once or twice a week, they discuss different Mac topics, giving tips and tricks on how to get the most out of your Mac computer. Lots of great interviews from avid Mac users and discussions of apps, programs, productivity, problems, and more are topics of discussion.
Jen Simmons discusses web design in the context of changing technologies and the future of the web. Excellent interviews from top influencers in the industry, such as Bruce Lawson and Andy Clarke, are often a part of weekly podcasts. Discussions include HTML semantics, creative direction, accessibility, and much more.
Every day, this podcast discusses the latest news in technology, web, gaming, Apple, and more geek culture and in less than five minutes. Hosted by Dan Benjamin, the founder of 5by5 and archeravenue.com, this daily podcast will keep you up to date with the industry quickly and efficiently.
This is an excellent podcast for anyone, including graphic designers, who are looking for advice in productivity, work flow, and balance. Michael Schechter and Mike Vardy host the show, hence the name, and often include interesting guests full of great advice and technology to help your work flow improve.
The Happy Monday podcast is specifically for creatives and hosted by Josh Long (writer, designer, and patternist) and Sarah Parmenter (UI designer). Guest speakers often appear and discussions include anything from clients to inspiration to new technology and more.
The podcasts from UI Engineering take a look at different topics in design and user experience. Sean Carmichael brings on a number of amazing guests to discuss topics such as content-first UI, mobile as a medium, Helvetica fonts, and more.
Brought to you by Deep End Design, this podcast covers everything related to graphic design, as well as listener question and advice segment in the “Do Yourself a Favor” segment of each show. All of the hosts have strong graphic design backgrounds, and many have started their own graphic design studios or work as freelancers.
For the developer/ designer, Shop Talk is a top-notch podcast that covers topics in front end web design, development, and UX. Hosted by Chris Coyier, founder of CSS-Tricks, and Dave Rupert, lead developer at Paravel, this podcast includes special guests that help to answer listener submitted questions each week.
A beautiful and very popular podcast on type and design, Typeradio includes interviews of top industry legends, workshops, and much more. They even cover events online and on the stage. Keeping up with everything related to type is inspirational when following this podcast.
The Businessology Show is a podcast about design, designing for business, and the business of design. Hosted by Jason Blumer and Dan Mall, the show produces new episodes every two weeks and includes interviews, question and answer episodes, and much more.
Hosted by Jeffrey Zeldman (founder of Happy Cog Studios, author and publisher, and co-founder of An Event Apart), The Big Web Show covers art direction, typography, web publishing, and anything else related to the web and design. Interviews and excellent advice are included in epidsodes.
This bi-weekly podcast covers topics in data visualization. All of the episodes are quite lengthy but worth listening to with amazing interviews and excellent topics covered. The podcast is hosted by Enrico Bertini and Moritz Stefaner.
Hosted by witty and icons in the industry, Paul Boag and Marcus Lillington, the Boagworld podcast covers topics for designers, developers, and even website owners. This podcast airs every Thursday and includes a variety of guests each week.
Lea Alcantara (lead designer of Bright Umbrella) and Emily Lewis (owner and lead developer of Bright Umbrella) host this tech show. The podcast covers topics on CMS, industry culture, business practices, and web design/ development. Special guests often join the show to provide excellent advice to listeners.
This is the perfect podcast for freelancers, full of advice, encouragement, and providing a sense of community. Sean Johnson and Liz Elcoate (both designers and much more) host this regular podcast and discuss everything from depression to procrastination to problems getting paid and more.
Hosted by Adam Clark, this podcast interviews creatives to find out what drives them to create. Each week, famous guests include greats such as Brad Frost, Mark Boulton, and Sean McCabe. For inspiration, this podcast is a beautiful source.
The Bytesize is a news podcast that covers the latest updates in tech, design, and development. With each episode from 5 to less than 10 minutes long, host Kyle Roderick keeps you up-to-date in less time than it takes to drink a cup of coffee.
Led by Donovan Beery and hosted by 36Point.com, this podcast covers graphic design and pop culture. The show includes interviews with top artists in the industry and also covers events, such as the HOW Design Live Conference. This is an excellent podcast for graphic designers to keep up with the industry and improve their skills.
This podcast is specifically created for web agency owners and also freelancers in the design and development industries. Both hosts have experience in these topics with Ben owning a web design agency and Matt as an experienced online marketer and SEO specialist. Episodes include interviews with successful freelancers and agencies as well as question and answer sessions.
Mitch Joel, President of Twist Image, hosts this regular podcast show and provides advice and insights on digital marketing and media hacking. For the freelancer wondering how to break into online marketing on their own, this podcast is a great one to follow with fascinating interviews and very relevant discussions.
Of course, you probably cannot keep up with every one of the shows above, but hopefully the list is large enough to find the right niche and personality for any graphic or web designer. Have fun checking out the podcasts, and be sure to follow the ones that appeal to you.
Are there any podcasts that you think should have been included in this list? Feel free to share them with us in the comments below!