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25 Useful Videos and Presentations for Designers

With the huge number of design-related conferences and events around the world, the Web gives those of us who cannot attend them a great opportunity to listen and benefit from their great and talented speakers. To aid in this, here we present some of the best videos, interviews and presentations about design and related topics.

Using Design to Make Ideas New Link

Speaker: Milton Glaser
Legendary graphic designer Milton Glaser dives deep into a new painting inspired by Piero della Francesca. From there, he muses on what makes a convincing poster, by breaking down an idea and making it new.

Designing for Obama Link

Speaker: Steven Heller
Steven Heller speaks at AIGA Philly on the outpouring of posters for Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign. Heller also compares today’s political graphics to the campaign posters of the last generation and explores the relationship between democracy and design.

Paula Scher Gets Serious Link

Speaker: Paula Scher
Paula Scher looks back on her life in design (she’s done album covers, books, the Citibank logo and much more) and pinpoints the moment when she started really having fun. Watch out for gorgeous designs and images from her legendary career.

An Interview With Debbie Millman Link

Speaker: Debbie Millman
AIGA President Debbie Millman talks at AIGA Philly about the need for designers to embrace technology and how the AIGA can adapt to changes in the field through an active membership.

David Carson on Design and Discovery Link

Speaker: David Carson
Great design is a never-ending journey of discovery, on which it helps to pack a healthy sense of humor. Sociologist and surfer-turned-designer David Carson walks through a gorgeous (and often quite funny) slide deck of his work and found images.

Designing the Obama Campaign Link

Speaker: Scott Thomas
As the design director for Obama’s 2008 campaign, Scott Thomas led a now-historic political campaign, in which branding, design and the Web played a truly pivotal role. Likening the experience to “building an airplane in flight,” Scott talks about the creative individual’s need for triage, the crucial role of incremental improvements and the importance of returning to the hand and keeping things simple.

Three Ways Good Design Makes You Happy Link

Speaker: Don Norman
Design critic Don Norman turns his incisive eye to beauty, fun, pleasure and emotion, as he looks at design that makes people happy. He identifies the three emotional cues that a well-designed product must hit to succeed.

Designs to Save Newspapers Link

Speaker: Jacek Utko
Jacek Utko is an extraordinary Polish newspaper designer whose redesigns for papers in Eastern Europe not only win awards but increase circulation by up to 100%. Can good design save newspaper? It just might.

Typographic Hierarchy Link

Speaker: Tony Pritchard
Typographic hierarchy is about analyzing textual information and prioritizing based on meaning. The designer determines the order in which the user views information through basic typographic techniques such as size, weight and position of type.

Urging Designers to Think Big Link

Speaker: Tim Brown
Tim Brown says that the design industry is preoccupied with creating nifty, fashionable objects, even as pressing questions like clean water access show it has a bigger role to play. He calls for a shift to local, collaborative, participatory “design thinking.”

How to Make a Font Link

Speaker: Chank Diesel
Watch a font come to life before you very eyes! Filmed on location at alphabeticians Chank Diesel’s font-making workshop at Clockwork Active Media Systems in Minneapolis.

How Art Shapes Culture Link

Speaker: Thelma Golden
Thelma Golden, curator of the Studio Museum in Harlem, walks us through three recent shows that explore how art examines and redefines culture. The “post-black” artists she works with are using their art to instigate a new dialogue on race, culture and the meaning of art itself.

An Interview With Erik Spiekermann Link

Speaker: Erik Spiekermann
An interview with professor and typography designer Erik Spiekermann about his opinion of typefaces such as Helvetica and Arial.

Happy Design Link

Speaker: Stefan Sagmeister
Graphic designer Stefan Sagmeister takes the audience on a whimsical journey through moments in his life that made him happy and notes how many of these moments had to do with good design.

Interview With Jonathan Hoefler and Tobias Frere Link

Speaker: Jonathan Hoefler and Tobias Frere
Hoefler and Frere-Jones are American typeface designers. Here is a clip of them talking about everyone’s favorite font in the documentary Helvetica.

John Maeda on His Journey in Design Link

Speaker: John Maeda
Designer John Maeda talks about his path from a Seattle tofu factory to the Rhode Island School of Design, of which he became president in 2008. Maeda, a tireless experimenter and witty observer, explores the crucial moment when design met computers.

Two Minutes With Robin Nicholas Link

Speaker: Robin Nicholas
Robin Nicholas, creator of Arial, discusses his creative inspirations, favorite typefaces and the evolution of fonts.

The True Face of Leonardo Da Vinci Link

Speaker: Siegfried Woldhek
Mona Lisa is one of the best-known faces on the planet. But would you recognize an image of Leonardo da Vinci? Illustrator Siegfried Woldhek uses some thoughtful image-analysis techniques to find what he believes is the true face of Leonardo.

Five Secrets from 86 Notebooks Link

Speaker: Michael Bierut
Renowned graphic designer Michael Bierut claims that he’s not creative. Instead, he likens his job to that of a doctor who tends to patients: “the sicker, the better.” Digging into the 86 notebooks he’s kept over his career, Bierut walks us through five projects, from conception to execution, extracting a handful of simple lessons (e.g. the problem contains the solution; don’t avoid the obvious) that lie at the foundation of brilliant design.

Thinking Deep on Design Link

Speaker: Philippe Starck
With no pretty slides to show, designer Philippe Starck spends 18 minutes reaching to the very root of the question “Why design?” Listen carefully for the perfect mantra for all of us, genius or not.

Two Minutes With Nadine Chahine Link

Speaker: Nadine Chahine
Nadine Chahine, a font designer and Arabic specialist at Monotype Imaging, discusses her creative inspirations, favorite typefaces and the evolution of fonts.

Treating Design as Art Link

Speaker: Paola Antonelli
Paola Antonelli, design curator at New York’s Museum of Modern Art, wants to spread her appreciation of design in all shapes and forms around the world.

Practice Makes Pixel Perfect Link

Speaker: Ryan Sims
Ryan Sims speaks about how to understand talent and how to become a great designer.

Intricate Beauty by Design Link

Speaker: Marian Bantjes
In graphic design, Marian Bantjes says, throwing your individuality into a project is considered heresy. She explains how she built her career doing just that, bringing her signature delicate illustrations to store fronts, valentines and even genetic diagrams.

Designing for the Tablet Link

Speaker: Marian Bantjes
Books, magazines, televisions. We hear these words and understand well what shape their content will take. But tablet? Digital magazine? How does the size of the object frame the user experience? How does it affect the object’s portability and accessibility? How will our experience with these devices compare with that of more “full-figured” media? Do we need to consider grid, typography and behavior differently? Hear four perspectives on how telling stories in new spaces creates new experiences.

Other Resources Link


Footnotes Link

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Otba Mushaweh is Logo Design Specialist and blogger, He is the Founder and editor-in-chief of Logo Talks which is a platform and resource for designers, students and everyone who interested in all about logo design, brands and typography. He is also freelances under his business Logos Guide Studio.

  1. 1

    Jose Garcia Jr

    August 14, 2010 11:07 am

    Cool videos, very nice insight on a variety of subjects with each video adding its own style to them.

    thanks for the post! really useful and inspirational.

  2. 2

    Great list, thank you…

  3. 3

    Jose Luis Murgas

    August 14, 2010 12:07 pm

    Awesome post, really thanks!

  4. 4

    Great list! Thanks a lot SM!

  5. 5

    Hey everyone,

    That’s an awesome list. It’s interesting to see how most of the speakers have explored and exercised their skills in multiple domains. I guess when you want to be truly innovative, cross-domain thinking is imperative.


  6. 6

    Luis Eduardo Alfaro Vassallo

    August 14, 2010 2:29 pm

    Thanks so much for this material is the best compilation ever!
    keep up the good job

  7. 7

    Marvin Thommas

    August 14, 2010 4:29 pm

    Great materials, thanks for sharing, I like it very much. I will use it in refining my new website.

  8. 8

    good list. just discovered ted a few month ago and already spent hours and hours watching those great people :-)

  9. 9

    I love your site but I wish your links for your posts would open in a new window so I wouldn’t have to click back every time and have the whole page reload.

  10. 10

    wow fantastic list…. thankyou

  11. 11

    What a great list.

    I randomly clicked on one of them and ‘Typographic Hierarchy’ turned out to be damn good.

    Learned a lot from it. Will view all of them one by one.

  12. 12

    Edwin Ortega Bu

    August 14, 2010 10:33 pm

    Really interesting post thanks very useful.

  13. 13

    And when precisely am I supposed to sleep?

  14. 14

    what a crazy list, Really that’s great
    Thanks so much SM Team.. I love you :)

  15. 15

    I enjoyed Ryan Sims and Paula Scher’s presentation the most. Everyone else’s presentation was nothing but a show & tell, but Ryan and Paul provided really useful knowledge to share. If you’re looking for useful knowledge then those two are by far the best.

    A site that provides useful knowledge of the same sort is
    Check it out.

  16. 16

    Excellent list, really really helpful. thank you…

  17. 17

    wow amazing vids thx for share!!!

  18. 18

    wow i so like it so Cool videos!!

  19. 19

    Jay M. Kusombi

    August 15, 2010 1:47 pm

    What an Amazing post. The Paula Scher video really hit home for me. Thanks

  20. 20

    Melissa Evans

    August 15, 2010 2:39 pm

    I look forward to watching more from your list, I only managed 2…just need more time!

  21. 21

    Every single designer in “Helvetica” is in this list… as well as 2 or 3 interviews directly ripped from the documentary itself. You should have just listed the documentary instead.

  22. 22

    Another awesome collection from the crew of SM. You are doing a great job. Thank you

  23. 23

    This is great! Thanks for this SM!

  24. 24

    Very Very Useful Thanxxxx!

  25. 25

    This is really helpful. TFS.

  26. 26

    I loved these talks – though I had to watch Stark’s talk twice and still don’t get it.

    Marian makes a great point for aesthetic design, Paula seems super-strict (and has a kink somewhere in her audio setup) but fascinates as she recounts her career. My favourite is probably Jacek Utko, great success story for design.

    Try watching the TED talks at, we provide subtitles for many talks.

  27. 27

    I really love the ‘Designing the Obama Campaign’ video. Very interesting and inspirational.

  28. 28

    Cool videos. amazing!

  29. 29

    cool . interesting . thanks sm

  30. 30

    you should look for nick campbell;
    he’s a motion designer and gives the BEST advice about how being creative and make money as a designer.

    cool videos, I’ll check them out. thanks a lot guys!

  31. 31

    Thankyou. Nice collection as always.

  32. 32

    I would have preferred not to see any design comments about Obama’s campaign. We might as well blame it on great design and marketing that he won and now look where we are. How could anyone design for someone so low?

    One thing it does show is how much great design can make a bad product look good. Maybe next time I’ll put my name on the ballot. Good design = Presidency. What a sham.

  33. 33


  34. 34

    These are awesome… Everyone in our office is going to pick one and we are going to have movie time :)

  35. 35

    thnx for compiling this video

  36. 36

    Kar L. Marx: wether you like a politician/product or not, design *is* a part of marketing. Besides: all politicians are backstabbers once the votes have been cast. ;)

    Something I’d like to add on the presentations to the audience: analyse for yourself what the best and worst presentations are and why, disregarding content. Use what you analysed in your own presentations, since -wether you like it or not- selling a design is 70% to 80% presentation and the rest the actual design.

  37. 37

    Cameron -

    August 19, 2010 7:29 am

    Nice collection, specially the one by Ryan Sims.

  38. 38

    Wow, find this most useful post of the week )))

  39. 39

    realy nice videos.i wish good luck 4 you

  40. 40

    Great compilation!

  41. 41

    Wow, very inspiring round up of presentations here…

  42. 42

    thank u! learned a lot….


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