Inspirational Videos For Designers – The Big Collection
The biggest collection of inspirational videos for designers is here:
You see, as much as I love full-length features, sometimes what you really want is just something quick to watch and get inspired by.
I love seeing how amazing speakers are spreading their great thoughts, ideas and projects on TED. I love seeing designers and entrepreneurs talking on Creative Mornings about the awesome things they’re up to and the valuable lessons they’ve learned.
I can’t explain why (is there a scientist in the crowd?) but watching a 20-40 min video always gets me super motivated. If the speaker is great and the subject is something I can relate to – this is 10 times better than coffee for me. (And I’m a big coffee addict…)
Memetics is the science of how new ideas are spreading. And if you – like me – believe that everything is a remix, than you know how beneficial it can be for you to watch an inspiring video.
The ideas and the visuals being discussed on the video somehow make their way into my brain. And then at some point I’ll say or think or do something that appeared in one of those inspirational videos. I can’t prove it, but I totally believe in it.
For me, a good TED video is much better than another 20 mins on Facebook or Instagram. Call me a geek. You can be sure I’ll answer back.
OK, let’s get into business. I’ve collected a few of my favorite inspirational videos for designers. So bookmark this page, and whenever you have 20 mins and you need some inspiration – grab some popcorn, and sit back and enjoy.
(I’m planning to update this post until it has as many inspirational videos for designers as possible. If I missed a video that you really love, let me know in the comments.)
TED Videos for designers
The art of first impressions — in design and life
Book designer Chip Kidd knows all too well how often we judge things by first appearances. In this hilarious, fast-paced talk, he explains the two techniques designers use to communicate instantly — clarity and mystery — and when, why and how they work. He celebrates beautiful, useful pieces of design, skewers less successful work, and shares the thinking behind some of his own iconic book covers.
Design and discovery
Great design is a never-ending journey of discovery — for which it helps to pack a healthy sense of humor. Sociologist and surfer-turned-designer David Carson walks through a gorgeous (and often quite funny) slide deck of his work and found images.
New York Times columnist David Pogue takes aim at technology’s worst interface-design offenders, and provides encouraging examples of products that get it right. To funny things up, he bursts into song.
The first secret of design is … noticing
As human beings, we get used to “the way things are” really fast. But for designers, the way things are is an opportunity … Could things be better? How? In this funny, breezy talk, the man behind the iPod and the Nest thermostat shares some of his tips for noticing — and driving — change.
Happiness by design
Graphic designer Stefan Sagmeister takes the audience on a whimsical journey through moments of his life that made him happy — and notes how many of these moments have to do with good design.
How giant websites design for you (and a billion others, too)
Facebook’s “like” and “share” buttons are seen 22 billion times a day, making them some of the most-viewed design elements ever created. Margaret Gould Stewart, Facebook’s director of product design, outlines three rules for design at such a massive scale—one so big that the tiniest of tweaks can cause global outrage, but also so large that the subtlest of improvements can positively impact the lives of many.
A Darwinian theory of beauty
TED collaborates with animator Andrew Park to illustrate Denis Dutton’s provocative theory on beauty — that art, music and other beautiful things, far from being simply “in the eye of the beholder,” are a core part of human nature with deep evolutionary origins.
Mapping apps help us find the fastest route to where we’re going. But what if we’d rather wander? Researcher Daniele Quercia demos “happy maps” that take into account not only the route you want to take, but how you want to feel along the way.
Your elusive creative genius
Elizabeth Gilbert muses on the impossible things we expect from artists and geniuses — and shares the radical idea that, instead of the rare person “being” a genius, all of us “have” a genius. It’s a funny, personal and surprisingly moving talk.
Why city flags may be the worst-designed thing you’ve never noticed
Roman Mars is obsessed with flags — and after you watch this talk, you might be, too. These ubiquitous symbols of civic pride are often designed, well, pretty terribly. But they don’t have to be. In this surprising and hilarious talk about vexillology — the study of flags — Mars reveals the five basic principles of flag design and shows why he believes they can be applied to just about anything.
My life in typefaces
Pick up a book, magazine or screen, and more than likely you’ll come across some typography designed by Matthew Carter. In this charming talk, the man behind typefaces such as Verdana, Georgia and Bell Centennial (designed just for phone books — remember them?), takes us on a spin through a career focused on the very last pixel of each letter of a font.
Play this game to come up with original ideas
Shimpei Takahashi always dreamed of designing toys. But when he started work as a toy developer, he found that the pressure to use data as a starting point for design quashed his creativity. In this short, funny talk, Takahashi describes how he got his ideas flowing again, and shares a simple game anyone can play to generate new ideas. (In Japanese with English subtitles.)
Design and destiny
Designer Philippe Starck — with no pretty slides to show — spends 18 minutes reaching for the very roots of the question “Why design?” Listen carefully for one perfect mantra for all of us, genius or not.
Got a wicked problem? First, tell me how you make toast
Making toast doesn’t sound very complicated — until someone asks you to draw the process, step by step. Tom Wujec loves asking people and teams to draw how they make toast, because the process reveals unexpected truths about how we can solve our biggest, most complicated problems at work. Learn how to run this exercise yourself, and hear Wujec’s surprising insights from watching thousands of people draw toast.
Design for all 5 senses
Good design looks great, yes — but why shouldn’t it also feel great, smell great and sound great? Designer Jinsop Lee (a TED Talent Search winner) shares his theory of 5-sense design, with a handy graph and a few examples. His hope: to inspire you to notice great multisensory experiences.
3 ways to (usefully) lose control of your brand
The days are past (if they ever existed) when a person, company or brand could tightly control their reputation — online chatter and spin mean that if you’re relevant, there’s a constant, free-form conversation happening about you that you have no control over. Tim Leberecht offers three big ideas about accepting that loss of control, even designing for it — and using it as an impetus to recommit to your values.
3 ways good design makes you happy
In this talk from 2003, design critic Don Norman turns his incisive eye toward beauty, fun, pleasure and emotion, as he looks at design that makes people happy. He names the three emotional cues that a well-designed product must hit to succeed.
We are all designers
Journalist John Hockenberry tells a personal story inspired by a pair of flashy wheels in a wheelchair-parts catalogue — and how they showed him the value of designing a life of intent. (From The Design Studio session at TED2012, guest-curated by Chee Pearlman and David Rockwell.)
Designing books is no laughing matter. OK, it is.
Another one by Chip Kidd – he doesn’t judge books by their cover, he creates covers that embody the book — and he does it with a wicked sense of humor. In one of the funniest talks from TED2012, he shows the art and deep thought of his cover designs. This talk is from The Design Studio session at TED2012, guest-curated by Chee Pearlman and David Rockwell.
John Hodgman, comedian and resident expert, “explains” the design of three iconic modern objects. (From The Design Studio session at TED2012, guest-curated by Chee Pearlman and David Rockwell.)
Life lessons from an ad man
Advertising adds value to a product by changing our perception, rather than the product itself. Rory Sutherland makes the daring assertion that a change in perceived value can be just as satisfying as what we consider “real” value — and his conclusion has interesting consequences for how we look at life.
Build your creative confidence
Is your school or workplace divided into “creatives” versus practical people? Yet surely, David Kelley suggests, creativity is not the domain of only a chosen few. Telling stories from his legendary design career and his own life, he offers ways to build the confidence to create… (From The Design Studio session at TED2012, guest-curated by Chee Pearlman and David Rockwell.)
Design is in the details
Showing a series of inspiring, unusual and playful products, British branding and design guru Paul Bennett explains that design doesn’t have to be about grand gestures, but can solve small, universal and overlooked problems.
The beauty of data visualization
David McCandless turns complex data sets (like worldwide military spending, media buzz, Facebook status updates) into beautiful, simple diagrams that tease out unseen patterns and connections. Good design, he suggests, is the best way to navigate information glut — and it may just change the way we see the world.
Building a Personal Brand
Jacob Cass, a prolific graphic designer in New York talks about how building a personal brand and effective use of social media got him out of some interesting debacles in life.
Creative Mornings – Videos for Designers by Designers
Fifty point plan to wreck your career – or save it
Latest Aaron Draplin’s video from Creative Morning Portland. If you don’t know who he is, well, then you should ASAP.
Love Your Work
Simon Sinek speaks on how to be fulfilled by your job and how companies can better support and inspire the people who work for them.
The Process of Minimalism
Anthony Casalena shares a few concepts that embody the process of minimalism as well as Squarespace’s guiding principles.
Grab the Reins and F*cking Do it
Jessica Hische speaks on the intersection of arts and technology through the lens of web typography.
Seth Godin. I don’t want you to waste another second
Death To Bullshit
Brad Frost at Pittsburgh
Did I miss an inspirational video you really like? Let me know in the comments, and I’ll make sure to add it so we can have a full library for those moments we need to get inspired.
Lior is the head of fun and CEO at Bold & Creative. He is a mentor at the Designer's Pricing Class and the author of 'Pay Me.. Or Else!'
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