Social media is the perfect platform to collect a steady stream of visual inspiration from the top designers in the game. No matter what industry or position you find yourself in, a concentrated dose of creativity can open your eyes to current trends or simply help you pass the time at the office. Unfortunately, with the sheer amount of designers and creatives on Instagram, Facebook, and other platforms, it can prove difficult to find the designers that match your style or the innovators who can inspire you to greatness.
That’s why we’ve sorted through the cream of the crop to share our favorite designers online. Give these accounts a follow and prepare for some daring images and sound advice to fill your newsfeed.
1. Steven Harrington
Synonymous with the psychedelic pop aesthetic of modern day California, Teorema artist Steven Harrington does not limit himself to one medium. He lends his bright and iconic style to hand-screened prints, large-scale installations, skateboards, sculptures, and books. If you haven’t caught any of his exhibits in Los Angeles, Berlin, Paris, New York, Melbourne, Tokyo, Barcelona, or anywhere else around the globe, explore his work online.
2. Seb Lester
one of the most recognizable names in type design and calligraphy, Seb Lester has developed type illustrations and logos for some of the biggest brands and events out there, including Apple, Nike, The New York Times, and the final reissue of The Catcher in the Rye. He has amassed a huge following on Instagram and Facebook publishing hand drawn calligraphy videos of famous brands and fonts.
Based in Barcelona, Hey is a graphic design studio with a great eye for brand identity and an impressively long client list. If you work in editorial design you should be checking their social media accounts regularly and taking notes. Their lauded typography and bold graphic design led to Hey opening an online shop which they maintain while still serving their clients that range from General Electric to Turkish Airlines.
4. Mike Kus
Mike Kus is a design renaissance man, skilled in web and UI design, photography, graphic design, and illustration. While making his mark professionally as a graphic artist with a flair for color and an abundance of personality, Kus perhaps gained a wider audience after sharing his ephemeral, dreamlike photography on Instagram. You can find him speaking at tech conferences or snapping photos of ducks on the river – there is little Kus can’t do.
5. Timothy Goodman
This celebrated designer and illustrator ensures that his distinct personality emanates from everything he touches. Co-creator of the blogs and books “40 Days of Dating” and “12 Kinds of Kindness,” the versatile artist has won awards from most major design and illustration publications. Goodman teaches at the School of Visual Arts in NYC where he once studied. Pick up his recent bestseller “Sharpie Art Workshop” on Amazon.
6. Tina Roth Eisenberg
Tina Roth Eisenberg runs the design studio and blog Swissmiss, and she’s far from a one-trick pony. Eisenberg also founded CreativeMornings, Tattly, TeuxDeux, and Friends (formerly StudioMates). The design blog Swissmiss is a veritable cornucopia of design inspiration, but if you’re looking for more inspiration you can’t go wrong with Eisenberg’s talk entitled “Sharing My 5 Personal Rules.”
7. Elana Schlenker
A renowned graphic designer and publisher, Elana Schlenker founded Studio Elana Schlenker in Brooklyn in 2011. Print Magazine recognized Schlenker as one of the world’s top 20 creative talents under 30, and she hasn’t slowed down. Schlenker studio publishes Gratuitous Type, a graphic design magazine featuring artist interviews and project features. The studio also runs Less Than 100, a pop up shop dedicated to achieving gender wage parity.
8. Debbie Millman
Host of the illuminating and top-ranked podcast Design Matters for 11 years and counting, Debbie Millman was named “one of the most influential designers working today” by Graphic Design USA. While Millman makes a living working in graphic design (having served as the President of the design division at Sterling Brands for 20 years), she is also an author, educator and brand strategist. Catch her riveting written and visual essays in The New York Times or Print magazine.
9. Steven Heller
Steven Heller authors the Daily Heller, which delivers daily design news and insight by way of Print magazine. WIRED described Heller’s writing as “your CliffsNotes to the history of graphic design.” A prominent journalist, author, and critic, Heller has published over 80 titles and written countless articles for design publications. Heller served as the senior art director for U&Ic magazine for 33 years.
10. Stefan Sagmeister
An Australian designer and art director who lives and works in New York, Stefan Sagmeister has worked for some atypical clients, including The Rolling Stones, Talking Heads, Lou Reed, and The Guggenheim Museum. Sagmeister co-founded the NYC design firm Sagmeister & Walsh, which serves as a full service branding, strategy, and design studio. Sagmeister has won multiple Grammys for art directing and designing album covers for Brian Eno, David Byrne, and the Talking Heads.
11. Jessica Walsh
Jessica Walsh is the other half of the illustrious, aforementioned design firm Sagmeister & Walsh. An art directcor, designer, and “color lover,” Walsh was named one of the “30 under 30 top creatives designing the future” by Forbes, and co-authored the immensely successful book “40 Days of Dating,” also mentioned above. Walsh has designed for Barney’s, The New York Times, Jay-Z, Levi’s, and many other prominent clients.
12. Jessica Hische
A sought-after type designer, letterer, and illustrator, Jessica Hische is perhaps best known for her Daily Drop Cap project, but her work extends far beyond. Named in Forbes’ “30 Under 30” list twice, Hische designed the book covers of Dave Eggers’ “The Circle” and “A Hologram for the King.” Hische has produced many notable typefaces, including “Tilda” which was developed for the Wes Anderson film “Moonrise Kingdom.”
13. Michael Bierut
A founding writer of the Design Observer blog, Michael Bierut currently works as one of the partners in the New York offices of Pentagram, the largest independent design consultancy in the world. Bierut is a graphic design senior critic for the Yale School of Art, and co-edited three graphic design anthologies entitled Looking Closer. Bierut redesigned the Doomsday Clock of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, of which is a governing board member, in 2007.
14. Mike Monteiro
As his website hilariously attests, Mike Monteiro’s design company Mule Design does “good work. And you should hire” them. Monteiro also wrote a bestselling book about design, appropriately titled “Design Is a Job,” that details how to navigate the tricky business of design. Monteiro’s distinct personality and sense of humor are his calling cards. Just watch his talk How Designers Destroyed the World.
15. David Carson
David Carson is an art director, graphic designer, and notable surfer. Carson is praised for his use of experimental typography, and his unconventional “grunge” style revolutionized graphic design and the print medium during the ‘90s. Carson worked as the art director for magazines Beach Culture and Ray Gun before founding David Carson Design. Don’t miss his collection “The End of Print: The Grafik Design of David Carson.”
16. Susan Kare
Whether or not you know Susan Kare’s graphic design work by name, you’ve probably seen her classic icons for the original Macintosh computer. Kare made a huge impact on Apple’s design ethos in the 1980s, and since then, she has created icons for Microsoft, IBM, New York’s Museum of Modern Art, and Facebook. Today, Kare works as a lead designer at Pinterest, while also selling limited prints at her online store, Kareprints.
17. Nicole Jacek
Nicole Jacek is a German designer and art director who considers herself not just a designer, but a thinker and collaborator. Jacek worked at many top-tier studios in England and New York before moving to Venice, California and opening her own studio, NJ(L.A.). If the interactive, video game-inspired website of her studio is any indication, Jacek is out to change the fundamentals of design.
18. Lotta Nieminen
After freelancing in design, fashion, and fine art, this talented Finnish designer started her own studio in New York. Nieminen’s work for companies like Google, Volkswagen, the New York Times, and Vanity Fair has brought her plenty of attention, but her eclectic skills truly set her apart from other designers. Spanning art direction, book covers, branding, and packaging, Nieminen’s colorful illustrations offer a peek into a simpler and cozier world.
19. Raewyn Brandon
Based in Tauranga, New Zealand, Raewyn Brandon has a global profile in the design world. Her studio bridges the gap between branding, web design, and print work, giving her clients a consistent and clean visual aesthetic. Brandon’s sharp and text-heavy style is ideal for modern publications, startups, and small businesses. For her, the phrase “less is more” is really a manifesto.
20. Antonio Carusone
Antonio Carusone blogs at Aisle One, which is an inspirational resource for designers everywhere that emphasizes minimalism and modernism while focusing on typography and overall design. Carusone currently works as the Director of Product Design at MakeSpace, and created The Grid System, an ever-expanding online resource for grid systems. Carusone has been published in Smashing Magazine, Grafik Magazine, Eight:48, and other publications.
21. Alex Bogusky
A pioneering designer, marketer, and author, Alex Bogusky joined Crispin and Porter advertising in 1989, and over two decades he transformed the company (now Crispin Porter + Bogusky) into the world’s most awarded advertising agency. Bogusky was named “Creative Director of the Decade” by Adweek in 2010. Bogusky left CP + B to found Fearless Unlimited, and since then has played vital roles in the launches of COMMON, MadeMovement, and Boomtown Boulder.
22. Kate Bingaman-Burt
A master illustrator and full-time educator, Kate Bingaman-Burt uses bright coloring, lettering, and object illustrations to create her signature style. As a commercial illustrator she has worked for many high-profile clients – you’ll see her work on your takeout bag next time you eat at Chipotle. Bingaman-Burt is the Associate Director of the Art + Design School at Portland State University, where she serves as an associate professor of Graphic Design.
23. Annie Atkins
This Dublin-based designer uses her imagination and illustration talent to build rich worlds in film, TV, and video games. Her work in The Grand Budapest Hotel involved creating fictional maps, signs, props, and more, lending a believable quality to the fictitious country of Zubrowka. Attention to detail makes all the difference in creative work, and Atkins’ style stays faithful to the director’s vision.
24. James Victore
James Victore wears many hats – designer, author, filmmaker, provocateur. When describing his own work, Victore writes, “Tony Robbins meets Banksy.” Victore runs an independent design studio where he makes memorable designs and work for clients including Esquire, Steppenwolf Theatre, and The New York Times. Victore is a regular keynote speaker and an inspiring educator.
25. Chip Kidd
A graphic designer best known for his innovative and original book covers, Chip Kidd currently designs cover for Penguin Random House. One of the most famous book cover designers ever, Kidd has designed notable book covers for Frank Miller, Charles Schulz, John Updike, Bret Easton Ellis, and many other authors. Kidd received an AIGA Medal for his contributions to graphic design in 2014.
26. Jason Santa Maria
A graphic designer in Philadelphia who has made a name for himself through web typography, Jason Santa Maria currently works as the Design Director for Slate. Santa Maria founded Typedia, an online encyclopedia of typefaces, and teaches at the MFA Interaction Design program at SVA. Santa Maria authored the book “On Web Typography,” and has worked for numerous high-profile clients including The Chicago Tribune, AIGA, The United Nations, and PBS.
27. Erik Spiekermann
A famed German typographer and designer, Erik Spiekermann is responsible for the classic modern fonts FF Meta and ITC Officina. Spiekermann has designed numerous commercial typefaces, and was awarded the German National Design Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2011. Spiekermann founded MetaDesign and FontShop, and created the design of brands like Audi, VW, and Bosch.
28. John Maeda
By centering his work at the intersection of business, technology, and design, John Maeda has landed himself on more than one of our best-of-the-best lists. While working at KPCB Maeda became interested in startups, creating the Design In Tech Report to share and collect insights about design, tech, and business. Maeda has authored several bestsellers, including “Redesigning Leadership” and “Laws of Simplicity.”
Nearly impossible to categorize succinctly, ZEITGUISED is a Berlin collective of international designers and artists that create videos depicting a fluid, rhythmic depiction of materials and objects that are, as the studio puts it, “0% organic.” Their bold and logic-defying work has landed them commercial projects with Nike, Mercedes Benz, and other top-tier clients. Their process of creating non-physical matter has won the studio an array of awards.
30. Jon Contino
Widely known for his unique minimalist style that blends old and new world aesthetics, Jon Contino is a renowned designer and artist. Contino is praised for his digitization of hand lettering and blurring industry boundaries, making a name for himself in design, fashion, typography, and more. Contino’s style, influenced by historical New York and modern street art, has made him extremely popular with brands around the world, including Nike, American Express, and Cole Haan.
31. Daniel Aristizábal
A prolific 3D illustrator, graphic designer, and art director, Daniel Aristizábal creates surreal images inspired by, as he affectionately phrases it, “nonsense.” Based in Medellín, Columbia, Aristizábal’s emerging passion for 3D rendering technologies have landed him projects with Coach, Hatsu, and Refinery 29. Aristizábal just launched a 3D design collective with his best friend called Lazy Eyes Studio.
32. Martin Schmetzer
One of the most famous lettering and typography artists of all time, Martin Schmetzer makes a living off of his intricate and detailed typography work. Born and based in Stockholm, Sweden, Schmetzer also designs logotypes, illustrations, and packaging for big brands. His designs pop up everywhere, whether as the titles in the Grand Theft Auto series or as the label on a bottle of Jos. A. Magnus.
33. Andy Hau
A talented graphic designer, architect, and illustrator, Andy Hau owns A.H.A. Design, an architecture, graphic and product design company based in London. A.H.A Design has attracted clients like Virgin Atlantic and American Express with their multidisciplinary approach, churning out animations, design work, and architectural layouts with equal aplomb. Hau’s natural knack for creativity makes his Instagram account a delightful artistic romp.
34. Kate Moross
With an eye for future design trends, Kate Moross’ studio has partnered with some of the coolest bands, festivals, and brands. Her high-octane style uses saturated color, sleek fonts, and digital shapes to create a uniquely bizarre aesthetic. Moross Studio has worked with Disclosure, Katy Perry, Vice, MTV, and many others, using a dedicated team of illustrators and designers to realize almost any creative idea. From album covers to murals, TV spots to DJ visuals, Moross has built a flexible and open-minded platform for her vibrant designs.
35. Sam Harang
An illustrator, graphic designer, and painter with an iconic style, Sam Harang is perhaps the farthest from a corporate artist, regularly completing live paintings and executing impressive murals. His particular brand of art, in his own words, “is a culmination of [his] life experiences, where exuberance and melancholy inhabit the same space.” A former high school art teacher, Harang now focuses on his creative work full-time.
36. Andreas M Hansen
A multidisciplinary designer with a passion for typography, Andreas Hanson is based out of A-space, a branding and design agency in Copenhagen, Denmark. When Hanson is not creatively building brands like Adidas, ELLE, and Spiri, he perfects his craft for painting with stark black and white abstract designs on canvas. You’d be hard-pressed to find a more artistically cohesive Instagram account.
37. Kathryn Reina
An art director, designer, and developer, Kathryn Reina works in Los Angeles as a front end developer and designer who helps brands build their identity online. Reina builds both digital and print experiences with care, having crafted storyboards, websites, illustrations, hand lettering, and more for clients like Oxford Exchange and Griddy. Reina co-founded The Carbivores just this year.
38. Richard Perez
Richard Perez is an illustrator and designer whose works is bursting with imagination. One half of Skinny Ships, a design studio in Portland, Oregon, Richard Perez creates icons, graphics, and illustrations for clients that include Death Cab for Cutie, Google, Facebook, and Coca Cola. The distinctive retro feel to the illustrations and art that Perez produces makes his Instagram account addictively fun.
39. Violaine & Jérémy
Violaine & Jérémy is a highly reputable graphic design and illustration firm in Paris, France, that does a little bit of everything: web design, textile pattern design, editorial design, you name it. Founded by Jérémy Schneider and Violaine Orsoni, the firm’s work and illustrations has appeared on the covers of publications and in editorials all around France and the world. Some of their clients include AMI Paris and National Orchestra of Lorraine.
40. Frank Chimero
A writer, illustrator, and designer, Frank Chimero runs his own studio in Brooklyn, New York, where he specializes in digital and publication design. Chimero’s clients include The New York Times, Wired, Microsoft, and NPR. Chimero co-founded Abstract, a software company that focuses on making design teams’ processes more visible. Chimero authored “The Shape of Design,” a philosophical creative handbook that’s as appreciated by chefs, dancers, and other artists as it is by designers.
41. Mikey Burton
A designer and illustrator with a flair for cramming complex concepts into simple symbols, Mikey Burton has worked for clients including ESPN, The New York Times, Target, and Converse. Burton has received awards for his work from many publications, among them Print Magazine, Communication Arts, and the Art Directors Club. Burton has spoken at countless workshops and conferences to lecture about his methods.
42. Liz Tafaro
An illustrator based in New York City, Liz Tafaro simple and evocative illustrations are often fashion-focused. As a freelance artist and designer Tafaro has worked for Crayola, Entertainment Weekly, St. Jude’s, and many more clients.
43. Anthony Burrill
Print-maker, designer, and graphic artist Anthony Burrill has made a name for himself with his upbeat, persuasive style. Burrill’s work is on permanent display in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and the Cooper-Hewitt National Design museum in New York. Burrill has composed posters and prints for clients including Google, Apple, London Underground, and the Design Museum. Burrill’s composition “Work Hard and Be Nice to People” hangs in design offices around the world.
44. Kristian Hay
A graphic designer based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Kristian Hay currently “pushes pixels” as the senior designer at Native Shoes. Hay’s introduction to creativity and design came through his early passion for skateboarding: after designing incredibly popular industry t-shirts he studied design and hasn’t slowed down since. Hay’s past clients include Garrett Leight California Optical, Dainesford Cove, and Drop Grooming Co.
45. David Milan
A master typographer, designer, and lettering artist, David Milan nurtured his love for lettering as a young graffiti artist in Mexico. Now, his smooth and flowing lettering, characterized by a cohesive font style and boundless fun, keeps Milan busy full-time. Now working in Spain, Milan has created logotypes for numerous clients, among them LATTE Co., Lazy Afternoon Photography, and Jibao Skateboards.
46. Alex Trochut
Alex Trochut is an illustrator, designer, and typographer with a knack for blending styles and pushing language as a visual medium. Trochut established his own design studio in Barcelona, Spain, before relocating to New York City. His massive list of clients includes The Rolling Stones, New York Times, Coca Cola, Nike, and M·A·C. Trochut has been honored for his inventive style by organizations like Communication Arts, The Type Directors Club, and Graphis.
47. Dana Tanamachi
A lettering artist and designer who singularly set the chalk-lettering trend in motion, Dana Tanamachi runs her own boutique design studio (Tanamachi Studio) that specializes in custom typography and illustrations. Tanamachi has worked for huge clients like Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, USPS, and Penguin Books. Named a young creative to watch by HOW Magazine, Tanamachi recently relocated from New York City to Seattle and debuted Tanamachi Goods, a line of hand-drawn products.
48. Kelli Anderson
An imaginative artist and designer, Kelli Anderson is constantly reinventing what’s possible with design, experimenting in and mastering many different mediums. Anderson recreated a Utopian version of The New York Times with the Yes Men, winning the Ars Electronica Prix Award of Distinction. Anderson previously worked as the digital collections photographer at the American Museum of Natural History before leaving to focus on her boundary-pushing art pieces full-time.
49. Philip Boelter
An artist, illustrator, and web designer, Philip Boelter leads an impressive “double life.” By day he designs top-notch user experiences on the web (currently for Ticketmaster), ensuring navigation is easy on mobile and desktop products. In his free time Boelter keeps up his artistic brand Boelter Design Co. by drawing, painting, hand lettering, and making silkscreens. His shops on Society6 and Redbubble can’t be missed.
50. Leta Sobierajski
A Brooklyn-based graphic designer and art director, Leta Sobierajski combines traditional graphic design elements with photography, art, and unique styling to create exceptional imagery. Sobierajski has been working independently since 2013, and was recognized by Print Magazine as one of the best 20 international designers under 30. Sobierajski’s long list of clients includes Target, IBM, Kiehl’s, and Refinery 29.
When you follow these ingenious designers your newsfeed will be filled with inspiration and insight.
Top image by danjazzia