Design Folks We Pay Attention To (and You Should Too)

Some designers find inspiration just about everywhere, while others find themselves having to purposefully seek it out. With so many amazing, talented, creative people making mind-blowing art everyday and so many avenues for them to show it off, it’s not hard to find work to excite and motivate you. If you’re looking for creative inspiration, start with these folks who are pioneers making their mark in the design world.

Jon Contino

Known for his hand lettering, Jon Contino’s work has shown up on clothing brands, magazine cover art, national retail brand packaging, and advertising for television and film (to name a few). He’s received awards aplenty for his designs and is the Creative Director at Jon Contino Studio in New York City.

Get inspired by Jon on Instagram.

Dan Cederholm

You may not have heard of Dan Cederholm, but you’ve probably heard of Dribbble, the design community he co-founded. Dan speaks on design at events around the globe and has written five books on standards-based web design. While he now spends most of his time on Dribbble, he does design work for clients through his studio, SimpleBits.

Get inspired by Dan on Dribbble.

Paula Scher

One of the most influential designers ever, Paula Scher has received hundreds of industry honors awards, including the prestigious AIGA medal. Her work has been exhibited all over the world and believes her most productive thinking has been done in taxis. Scher is a partner at Pentagram, the world’s largest independent design consultancy.

Get inspired by Paula’s TED talk.

Tobias van Schneider

Former Lead Product Designer and Art Director at Spotify, Tobias van Schneider now heads his own design studio and is co-founder of Semplice, a portfolio system and design community. Named Designer of the Year by net magazine, Tobias’s work has been published in Inc Magazine, Washington Post, TheNextWeb, and FastCompany.

Get inspired by Tobias on Medium.

Aaron Draplin

You might know Aaron Draplin as the creator of Field Notes or as author of the soon-to-be-released Pretty Much Everything, but you probably know him most for his work as the Draplin Design Co. for brands like Burton Snowboards, Snowboard Magazine, and Target. When he is not designing or numbering his tweets, he keeps busy speaking about design in cities across the country.

Get inspired by Aaron on Vimeo.

Jessica Walsh

Award-winning designer and art director Jessica Walsh may be as well known (in some circles) for her 40 Days of Dating project as she is for her design, branding, typography, and illustrations. As a partner at Sagmeister & Walsh, Jessica has worked with clients from Levi’s to The Jewish Museum of New York.

Get inspired by Jessica on Twitter

Mike Monteiro

Designer, speaker, and author Mike Monteiro heads up Mule Design and has worked with clients including Intuit, Financial Times, and San Francisco Opera. When he’s not tweeting, Mike runs workshops teaching designers effective presentation techniques, how to sell their ideas and turn research and data into a good story, and how to ask for the right kind of feedback.

Get inspired by Mike on Mule’s blog.