As creatives who are tasked with generating clever ideas, copy and designs for clients daily, we all need a little inspiration to keep us on top of our game. At BatesMeron, our designers are Pinterest pros with endless boards dedicated to color, design, typography and client-specific needs. As an office, we also have an extensive library of design books, publications and paper and product samples when we need to take a more hands-on approach.
Me personally, I’m a word guy who’s gravitated to podcasts. They’re a great resource on so many levels—showcasing the movements, projects and people who shape our industry. This is inspiring in and of itself. When you add to this the challenges and solutions podcasts often share, you’re that much closer to putting that ingenuity to work in your own career.
So, next time you’re feeling stumped creatively (or you just want to get in the right headspace on your daily commute) give one of these podcasts a try. I selected seven of my favorites, ranging from copy- and design-centric to the more generally inspirational and people focused.
In the world of design podcasts, Debbie Millman’s Design Matters is a major player. Founded in 2005, Millman is more than 250 episodes deep interviewing talented people she admires across myriad mediums and disciplines. From creative directors to film directors and graphic designers to sound designers, this podcast provides an intimate glimpse into some of today’s top creative minds and how they work.
NPR is the undisputed ruler of radio journalism and you can get it all in podcast format these days. Its latest, How I Built This, focuses on the incredible and sometimes improbable success stories behind our favorite brands. More general business than design-specific, it is nonetheless an inspiring listen for people who are curious about how companies as disparate as Spanx, Samuel Adams and Southwest Airlines got their starts.
Copyblogger is a great podcast for digging deep into the nuts and bolts of the science and strategy behind copywriting. Focusing on topics that range from content marketing to email open rates to SEO to the fundamentals of copywriting 101, Sonia Simone is a colorful host tackling the subjects that matter most to the modern copywriter.
Gary Vaynerchuk has quickly become a bit of a celebrity in our industry. He’s an entrepreneur and an outsize personality known equally for his business acumen and for speaking his mind. A true firecracker, he has an infectious personality which he puts to use on #AskGaryVee, where he invites all types of questions from fans interested in the worlds of social media, venture capital, content marketing, storytelling, success and life in general.
Hosted by two dudes designing in San Francisco, Design Details is simply them hanging out and chatting with designers they love. Often it feels like nothing more than a conversation among friends. At the same time, it highlights talent that is still operating out of the spotlight of podcasts like Design Matters or How I Built This—creatives on the cutting edge of our craft.
As the name implies, StartUp focuses on the ins, outs, pitfalls, growing pains and lessons gleaned from building a business from the ground up. It mixes general topics with anecdotes from around the StartUp world and specific lessons the hosts have learned as they navigate sustaining and succeeding with their podcast as a business venture of its own.
As much great content as each of the preceding podcasts offer, I did save the best for last. 99% Invisible is dedicated to the genius design we encounter daily without even realizing it. Recent topics include cost-effective, low-income housing design, fashion forecasting, LPs made from x-rays and how the modern vision of your typical Chinatown came to be. It’s simultaneously engrossing and informative, and it reminds you that creativity is all around us, all the time.
Do you have any favorite or go-to podcasts where you find creative inspiration? If so, let us know in the comments or on our Facebook page.