He Who Shouts Loudest

MegaphonePick up an industry magazine, read an industry blog and it won’t be long before you come across some kind of list of the best designers in the industry (and let’s face it, there’s no shortage of list based blog posts out there!). The problem I have with these lists is, while they often do feature some good designers, they are almost always centred around the most prominent bloggers. And there’s a difference.

I love to read design blogs and there are some very good ones out there. There are an awful lot of that offer all kinds of advice and ideas to people in the industry. I respect that, it’s great to give something back. Unfortunately there seems to be little separation between designing and blogging about design.

Most of the prominent web designers out there, the ones who I see appearing in the industry magazines on a regular basis have what I consider to be average portfolios. I’m not going to name names as this post isn’t about that, it’s about looking beyond the best design bloggers, it’s about really finding the best designers out there. The truth is, most of the designers I really respect, those that consistently produce excellent work aren’t blogging about design, they’re creating it and for that very reason they’re often overlooked.



18 Feb 2010 12:26:09

Wow, I couldn’t of said it better myself. 100% agree!


18 Feb 2010 12:35:00

agreed – but i think you should name and shame so we can really have a good moan! as long as we aren’t in the list of shame – although we don’t blog so probably not lol!

Ben Smith:

18 Feb 2010 12:37:44

Good post Dave, it’s a tricky subject that seems to bubble to the surface now and again on various blogs and forums but all too often people are shouted down for knocking the work of the big bloggers.

Chris Mahon:

18 Feb 2010 13:12:35

Been thinking the same for a VERY long time now. Conferences are the worst culprits for this with the same people consistently showing up year on year at times.

I’m a strong believe in people are only as good as the last piece of work they did and I’m not sure this is happening a whole lot in our industry, most of it seems to be based based on the fact they did something “cool” once.

Matt Berridge:

18 Feb 2010 13:37:26

See Brendan Dawes’ post – http://brendandawes.posterous.com/ive-got-to-say-this-the-uk-web-design-scene-i


18 Feb 2010 14:08:22

Thanks for the comments everyone.

@teabag – I can’t I’m afraid, not too difficult to work out though!

@Chris Mahon – I agree with you about conferences but not about their status being based on a piece of work from the past. I think it’s entirely down to their blogging exploits and I don’t blame the designers in question for it, it’s the people championing them.

@Matt Berridge – I saw that post Matt, in fact I think I commented on it and in truth, it helped me finally hit the publish button on mine (I’ve had it sat as a draft for a long time now). Brendan was looking for more honesty in the industry and not complimenting mediocrity, my post is more about the separation of bloggers and designers – but both along the same lines yes.

Russell Poulter:

18 Feb 2010 14:14:51

Nice post Dave.

I would say its all about striking a good balance. Our main focus as a designers should always be actually designing, thats the only way to move forward & improve. In my opinion Blogging etc should be an accompaniment to that work, not the thing you spend most of you time doing. I’m hoping to launch the blog section of my site soon & I’m planning on only posting things when I have something useful and/or interesting to blog about, simply because I think there are enough very good design blogs out there already. Well either that or I’ll just post a load of lists from Twitter!

Chris Mahon:

18 Feb 2010 14:16:58

Hey Dave, I should have made it clear that the problem is with the people championing them, I don’t think the bloggers/designers themselves are asking to be put on such a high pedestal.

As for the designers not blogging, I tend to agree that the people doing good work right now are probably just designing and letting their work do the talking. What I would like to see more in design blogs is people talking about real life examples they have encountered themselves and not some random theory they have come up with.

JD Hobbs:

18 Feb 2010 15:45:00

I know it’s more graphic design orientated, but Computer Arts magazine feature some really good designers. They all seem to be chosen by the magazine themselves on the merit of their work, not on how blabber-mouthed they are in the industry.

I find myself blogging about random stuff regularly. Whether it be just a fortnightly round-up of bizarre crap I’ve found online (www.norcalis.com – future of the web), or some long-winded thing about Zombie movies. I only do it because if I didn’t take a break from the designing / front-end dev, my productivity just goes into meltdown and my creativeness is drained.

There is a balance, all I do is make sure I occupy my time elsewhere every-so-often to just recharge the batteries.


18 Feb 2010 15:53:43

Chris Mahon Russell Poulter @JD Hobbs – I’m not criticising blogging at all, I’d be shooting myself in the foot a little if I were. I just think the distinction between great bloggers and great designers isn’t currently being made.

Matt Berridge:

18 Feb 2010 17:14:42

From my experience, the people who are actually the most talented are often the most understated as well

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