Since it’s inception in the late 90s, the trend of blogging has become a worldwide phenomenon, and a hugely valuable tool in many situations, both corporate and personal.
To start with, blogs offered individuals the chance to write and publish their thoughts in a diary that could be read and followed across the globe. They have subsequently grown and diversified to become, in effect, magazines, corporate brochures, inspiration walls and even daily news feeds.
For graphic designers specifically, both owning and following blogs can be really beneficial. Owning and writing for blogs is generally recommended as a tool to improve your web presence, and encourages research, writing and evaluative skills which can also be beneficial to your client (and other creative) work.
Following blogs can offer priceless inspiration, ideas and updates from the industry. By interacting through comments you sometimes find that community and discussion can form, with two way communication and valuable critique becoming part of the experience.
Personally, I follow a number of different design blogs and forums. Here’s a list of what could be considered my top ten (although I’m sure there’s loads out there I’ve overlooked). If you’re not already reading these from time to time, you should be!
‘…Graphic designer, illustrator, teacher, writer and creative person in Portland, Oregon’, Frank, is a very well respected design thinker. Check out his blog for valuable insights into his thinking, as well as quirky illustrations and works in progress.
FontShop is the professional’s choice font retailer with an enormous catalogue of digital typefaces available for purchase. Their blog, FontFeed, is an excellent resource of type based news, recommendations, themes, techniques and inspiration.
‘Swiss designer, gone NYC’ Tina runs her own design studio, and has run the popular blog, Swiss Miss, as her side project and outlet since 2005. From humble beginnings as a personal archive, Swiss Miss blog now gets around 900,000 unique hits per month!
The oft-imitated but rarely bettered illustrative designer Von Glitschka is a well known figure in design circles online. With several popular websites (vonglitschka.com, federalbureauofillustration.com and illustrationclass.com amongst others) showcasing and engaging with his distinctive design style, Von’s blog is always worth a look for latest work, tutorials and news updates.
With a burly portfolio overflowing with high profile design work (music industry clients include Foo Fighters, Korn and Norma Jean, along with work for the likes of Nike, Sony and MTV), Invisible Creature’s blog often features snippets of their own latest work, always a treat! Also check out their Summer 2010 ‘Just for fun’ gimmick, the Lil’ Happy Invisible Creature S.A.S.E Club here (http://blog.invisiblecreature.com/?p=1340)!
The latest and the greatest in packaging design usually find themselves on this packaging focused blog. Boxes, bottles and bags like you’ve never seen before, guaranteed to provide plenty of inspiration.
Set up as an independent archive of all things art, design and creative, It’s Nice That posts daily links to work from across the globe, with the intention of just saying “it’s nice, that…”! Posts can vary from graphic design, typography and illustration to video, exhibition and many other mediums in between. The blog editors Will and Alex set up a design agency as a spin off from the blog, and evolved It’s Nice That into a popular biannual publication, a podcast series and even a conference.
As a popular subdivision of Under Consideration, Brand New publishes logo and branding design case studies with analysis and opinion, all of which results in some pretty hefty discussion in the comments section! For excellent daily critique and inspiration, it’s an absolute must!
Dirty Mouse is a relatively small UK based set-up, founded by Dan Edwards. Similar to It’s Nice That in that it provides independent links to external sites and inspirational work, most of the work featured on Dirty Mouse comes from reader submissions and frankly, they display some excellent stuff! It’s almost always one of my first ports of call in the morning, and I’m rarely left with nothing of interest.
Mr Airey is a clever chap. Using his blog as a tool to build web presence and bring in new work, he writes extensively about a wide range of pertinent subjects, mostly related to design process and life as a freelancer. Appealing to, and targeting, designers and clients alike, articles are concise, accurate and down to earth. If you have a question about design and business, the chances are he’s probably answered it here! He also fills the top spot thanks to his other blogs www.logodesignlove.com and www.identitydesigned.com which are fantastic resources as well. With all these popular blogs to write for, I wonder if he ever has time to do any design these days!
Now I realise that there are many, many more good design blogs out there, including some well renowned ones (D&AD, Creative Review), and some other more popular underground ones (FormFiftyFive, Design is Kinky). However, I intended this top ten to give a good insight into the huge range of useful content that is blogged and archived regularly, not just reel off lists of the most popular. Hopefully it’s succeeded! If you have any others you’d like to share, feel free to add a comment below.