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4 podcasts I think every designer should be listening to.

As far as I'm concerned, podcasting is a crucial part of being a designer, so here's a few to get you started.


I had a brief conversation with a client the other day and she mentioned that she loved podcasts as much as I do.

The good ones are just such a pleasure to listen to, and given I hate wasting an opportunity to learn, I listen to them every time I'm walking, running, or catching a train (to distract me from the horror of Melbourne's public transport).

Developing your craft as a designer is not always easy with deadlines constantly looming, so podcasts are a fantastic way to get up to speed without spending extra time after hours.

Anyway, everyone who listens to podcasts has their favourites, and the conversation prompted me to write a brief list of the design orientated podcasts I love to listen to.

1. 99 Percent Invisible

image of podcast website for 99pi

Created by Roman Mars, and part of the Radiotopia network, 99 Percent Invisible is amazing.

The show spans all sorts of quirky, long-forgotten and often topical stories centered around design.

Their style of 'design journalism' unearths stories that are either long forgotten, that play out in the shadows, or have unusual and unexpected repercussions on life today.

It's the sort of podcast that is exquisite in detail yet simple in origin, and always leaves me pondering on life's peculiararities.

This podacst is broad ranging and suitable for anyone, not just designers.

The best place to start on this one is Roman's adapted story on 'Flags' that he presented as a TED talk. It's awesome, check it out:

2. Boagworld

image of podcast website for boagworld

I love Paul Boag, and I love his podcast. He's such a self-depricating, lovable, puppy dog from the UK.

Along with Marcus Lillington, each week they meander their way through a huge variety of topical and insightful UX/UI subjects, ranging from blogging, interface design, digital marketing and everything in between.

They're pretty 'blokey' and sometimes a bit crass, but they are completely down to earth and approachable.

If you ever feel like an 'imposter', (the imposter syndrome is well-documented on their podcast, in case you sometimes feel that way) then THIS is the podcast for you. After a few back-catalogue listens, you'll be laughing your butt off and feeling much better about yourself, as well as learning tonnes about our industry.

3. Desert island discs

image of podcast website for desert island discs

OK, this is an old person one, but trust me—the quality and variety of people on this show, coupled with Kirsty Young's fantastic interviewing skills, make it a must listen to for me.

Being a good designer is about more than knowing the ins-and-outs of every tool or piece of software out there—it's about appreciating that your clients can come from all walks of life, and this podcast will definitely help with that.

Listen to every author, journalist, actor, designer and comedian that comes on for a fascinating window into the lives of some extrordinary people.

4. This is only a test

image of podcast website for This is Only a Test

This last one is definitely the nerdiest of the lot, and maybe not that relevant to Graphic Designers, but for anyone working in the digital space, it makes the grade here.

Norman Chan, Jeremy Williams and Kishore Hari have their finger right on the pulse of the latest tech and deliver it in a way that luddites like me can often understand.

Look, if you're going to lay claim to being a 'Digital' Designer, then it can often pay to know what's on the horizon tech wise, so a tech-centric podcast has to be on your radar. Chances are you already have a favourite podcast in this space, but these guys seem to know about everything before it happens, which is why they're my pick.

Topics range from anything to do with VR, Pop culture, Tech news, Science, and everything in between.

Got any more that you think people need to know about? Let me know about it.

Ben Stevens is a Digital Designer based in Melboure, Australia.

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