Best Design Blogs to Follow To Keep Your Skills Sharp
Designers who keep up with the latest tricks, tools, resources, and trends remain competitive much more easily than those who never check in on what’s new. And one of the easiest ways to keep your skills sharp and savvy as a graphic or web designer is to follow the best design blogs in the industry.
Photo Credit: UT-Chattanooga via Compfight cc
The only problem? There are way too many to choose from, it seems, especially if you are a newbie to online blogs. And, not every design blog is worth your time. So, I have put together a list of web and graphic design blogs that are my favorite and what I believe to be the best for a designer’s “continuing education.”
While there are many more excellent blogs to be found, the following list is limited to those geared to both graphic and web designers as well as developers. The list excludes blogs of a purely inspirational nature, since these, while certainly inspiring, don’t offer much in the way of actual skills. Another important part of this list are several blogs that offer freelance/ business advice and a few that help designers stay on top of the latest industry news.
Now I know that you don’t have the time to follow all of these, but my recommendation is to browse through each one and subscribe to those that interest you the most. You can always unsubscribe later if you find that some of the design blogs aren’t helpful to you.
WPKube is a WordPress resource site, run & managed by Dev. You can find a ton of useful resources, helpful articles, tutorials, and guides like how to install WordPress, how to choose the right WordPress Hosting, and more. They also have a deals section, where you can find exclusive deals.
Full of advice and inspirational resources, DesignBombs provides excellent content for designers & developers. Plus, they also publish beginner guides like how to create a WordPress blog and unbiased hosting reviews for WPEngine, SiteGround, and more.
Need some WordPress tips, tricks, and resources? The WinningWP blog is run by Brin Wilson, a WordPress expert from London, so you can always rely on quality advice, tips, tutorials, and tricks. Coders, professional creatives, and web designers from all over the word contribute to the blog.
Founded by the German experts, Vitaly Friedman and Sven Lennartz in 2006, Smashing Magazine has grown into an industry leader, bringing you quality posts on the topics of coding, design, mobile, graphics, ux, and WordPress. The Smashing Team along with experts from around the world provide excellent advice, tutorials, techniques, workshops, and more.
A designer, Sagi Shrieber, and a hacker, David Tintner, teamed up to found and run this online magazine on everything UI and front end development. Most of the posts provide reviews of resources and freebies, but they also include lots of advice and techniques.
Most credit Abduzeedo for its fantastic inspirational posts, which can hardly be beat by any other inspirational design blog out there. However, this blog also provides its readers with tutorials on top software like photoshop, illustrator, and fireworks, making it an excellent resource for sharpening your software skills.
If you need more business education than design education, this blog is for you. Created specifically for helping you succeed in your creative business, Millo.co includes posts on topics such as client advice, design testing, website traffic, and more.
What once started as a blog about CSS only is now a popular source for any topic on web design and development. CSS Tricks also includes lots of extras, such as an Almanac to learn code terms and Snippets to copy and paste into your code.
Digital Telepathy blog
With a user-centered focus, this UX design blog provides plenty of advice, resources, and techniques as well as showcases industry leaders. Case studies give readers insight into the ideas and processes behind a design. Plus, it’s a beautiful site, which makes reading all the more inspiring!
As the name indicates, 24ways is actually an advent calendar for web designers/developers. So, you will only get new posts 24 days in December, but feel free to browse their archives from Decembers past. Posts include the best advice from across the web on design, business, workflow, techniques, and other similar topics. It’s a great way to get into the holiday spirit as well as give yourself a free, practical gift!
A List Apart
Keep up with web standards and best practices with A List Apart, one of the best design blogs that also includes topics in development and the meaning of web content. Designed like a newspaper, this website includes issues and columns with more in-depth content, and a blog geared more toward quick tips and advice.
Keep up with the latest design tricks, tips, and news with CoDrops. Tutorials, inspiration, and reviews help keep your creativity fresh, effective, and sharp. Definitely check out their “playground” content as this includes fun experiments, plugins, and articles to help solve problems and take care of tricky challenges in design and development.
Full of advice and the newest resources on the web, Speckyboy provides excellent content for designers of any media, not just web. Plus, every week Speckyboy rounds up the best resources and articles from the past week in a neatly organized article, great for a quick catch-up.
Creative advice, tips, tutorials, and inspiration, Creative Bloq is a fantastic design blog for graphic and web designers. Topics include everything from branding to animation and 3D to typography. Plus, it provides designers with a healthy dose of inspiration from time to time to keep the creative juices flowing.
Keep your CSS skills sharp by following this design blog from Dudley Storey, author of Pro CSS3 Animation. All of his articles are packed full of relevant and incredibly helpful HTML, CSS, and SVG tips, tricks, and advice.
Web Design Weekly
If you are one to get overwhelmed or your inbox is already full of daily newsletters, then Web Design Weekly may be for you. This blog promises to send you a newsletter email only once a week chock full of tools, tips, and more for web designers and developers.
Vandelay Design Blog
Of course, I am going to mention Vandelay in this list, considering this is its own blog post and all. But, seriously, I would put the Vandelay Design Blog on my list anyway due to its incredible content created specifically for graphic and web designers and developers. Keeping up with the latest and greatest resources, tricks, advice, trends, and news is easy to do with this blog. Topics in business, client relations, design, development, and much more make this a well-rounded design blog perfect for a “continuing education.”
And just in case I forgot to mention your favorite blog or none of the above appeal to your specific taste, Designer News is a feed of articles from the best design blogs across the web. If you find yourself always reading articles from the same blog, you’ll know which one on this list to start following more closely.
It’s All Relative
Knowing which of the best design blogs to follow is really up to you. There are many more than the ones I mentioned above that may be a better fit for you and your design skills, preferences, and business. The key is to try a few out until you find the ones that fit your tastes the best so that you can easily keep improving and moving on up in the industry! And if you already have a favorite design blog not found in the list above, be sure to share with the rest of us in the comments below.