36 creative people to watch in 2017
From web design, development, & UX, to the best new talent in video, audio, and photography
In 2017, there are so many creative and inspiring people in the industries of design, UX, and media that it can be hard to keep up. As editor of the Envato Blog, I’m constantly hearing about impressive work from designers and creators around the world.
And so, with input and collaboration from the Envato design team and Tuts+ editors, we’ve compiled this list of 36 of our favorite creative people. Categories include: web design & UX; graphic design, art & illustration; design & writing; and photographers and audio/video-makers. Some of the names on this list are well-known, while others are just getting started in their field, but all of them create work that we think is worth following this year!
2. John Saito — writer & designer at Dropbox
An experienced UX writer that has worked with Google, Youtube and Dropbox — his Medium posts about the importance of writing in the design process are always a pleasure to read as he sees the user experience from the perspective of a “word person”.
5. Chi-An de Leo — Creative Director
Co-founder of the multi-award winning Rice Creative, Chi-An started out as a creative and designer in advertising before founding Rice. He balances branding projects for companies with projects such as Musicabana Music Festival.
8. Jenny Arden — Design Manager at Airbnb
San Francisco, California
Jenny is a user experience design manager at Airbnb. With the announcement of the new Airbnb Trips, we’re paying close attention to the design team at Airbnb — the movie-poster style ‘trips’ is just one testament to the creativity of their team.
9. Yauhen Zadziarkouski — web designer & developer
Yauhen Zadziarkouski is the creator behind WPspade, a WordPress theme shop specializing in simple, minimal websites.
13. Jessica Hische — lettering artist
A US-based lettering artist with, in her own words, “a tendency to overshare and a penchant for procrastiworking”. Not only is her work a feast for the eyes and perfect if you’re looking for inspiration, but she’s also a passionate speaker that delivers great talks and interviews.
14. Rhett Dashwood — Designer & Creative Director
Bright, playful designs like foil balloon fonts and neon type fill Rhett’s creative portfolio. His past includes directing award-winning short films, running a weekend YouTube channel called Riley Diary with his daughter, and creating an alphabet out of Google Maps.
15. Diana (diadea3007) — web & graphic designer
“Diana is a very cooperative & skilled professional,” a member of the Envato community told us. “As her client I noticed, in her every design, before start the project she always take a lots of analysis and make a proper A-Z plan for make this project awesome.”
16. Joey Ellis — illustrator & designer
North Carolina, USA
Joey is an illustrator and (since quite recently) animation and film maker. He specializes in designing characters for books, magazines, cartoons, and more.
17. Dave Foster — Independent designer, Foster Type
Dave Foster’s work is centered around typefaces and lettering. We love his illustrated, Australia-centric alphabet (K for kangaroo, L for lamingtons, M for mates).
18. Margaret Penney — Print and graphic designer
St. Petersburg, Florida, USA
Margaret Penney isn’t new to the design world — she’s been working in print, web, and motion graphics for over 15 years. Her work as Hellomartco is a bright, pop-art style that’s as attention-grabbing as it is unique. One of our favorites: The Trashy Alphabet.
Design & writing
21. Julie Zhuo — product designer & writer
Palo Alto, California
Julie is a product designer at Facebook, worth following for the insightful, clever and very pleasant to read essays she publishes on Medium under the collection The Year of the Looking Glass. Great reads on UX, design and the challenges of building great products.
22. Daniel White — designer & educator
Through-video-based tutorials and courses, Daniel White shares his design expertise on everything from color overlay effects on PhotoShop to drawing triangles on Adobe XD. (check out his 60-second explainer video on Adobe XD).
24. Pablo Stanley — Designer at Carbon Health & writer at The Design Team
San Francisco, California
We’ve kept an eye on Pablo’s work on The Design Team, which chronicles the world of designers through satire and illustrated comics. Some are more silly (think ‘halloween costumes for designers’), while other stories take a more serious approach.
25. Graeme Fulton — Designer, writer, & prototyper, IBM
Blackpool, United Kingdom
Graeme Fulton is a designer at IBM, and he’s also a master at writing about design in an easy-to-understand way. He writes about everything from imposter syndrome (I’m not smart, I just sat there for longer than you) to remote work to smart UIs (How to Build Honest UIs and Help Users Make Better Decisions). He’s also an instructor for Envato Tuts+, where he writes about making the web more accessible.
26. Tobias van Schneider — designer
A quality creative, designer and thinker who writes awesome designer-focused newsletters and articles. He has good taste in music, too — his Spotify playlists are a weekly listen for our designers.
Photographers and audio/video-makers
28. Hanna Beachler — film production designer
Hanna Beachler is the woman behind the look of Lemonade, Moonlight and the forthcoming Black Panther.
29. Zac Nelson — musician & composer
Zac Nelson is a composer who writes thoughtful, folk-inspired songs, and creates stock music under the name BlueSkyAudio. His music has been highlighted on TV placements and reality TV shows.
30. Sara Cwynar — photographer
Our design teams says that Sara’s “intricate sculptural installations and photographs challenge my understanding of the photographic image — in a good way”.
31. Fernando Perreau & Pablo Olondriz — musicians
Fernando & Pablo are the creators behind SnailMusic. Their music has been used by top brands and their story is unique: they’re currently living on an island in Spain, where they’re working on making a living selling music full-time. “They pour their heart and soul into every last detail and it shows. And most importantly, they are two of the most friendly and down-to-earth people I’ve met,” says the team behind AurusAudio.
34. Alexandros Nikolaidis — composer
If you’ve seen Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, you’ve heard the music of Alexandros Nikolaidis; his track, “Blizzard of Dreams”, was used in the movie. He’s a favorite of Voidcore, a music creator on AudioJungle.
35. Travis Neilson — writer, designer, YouTuber, & podcaster
San Francisco, California
Travis Neilson is perhaps best-known for his YouTube channel, DevTips, in which he creates weekly videos on the subject of web design and development. He’s a prolific creator across the internet, and hosts a podcast about design.