Elegant Themes Blog

Stay up to date with our most recent news and updates

15+ Great Designers You Should Be Following to Up Your Design Game

Posted on March 6, 2016 by in Community | 26 comments

15+ Great Designers You Should Be Following to Up Your Design Game

The web is filled with advice for designers, but it can be hard to discern who’s actually speaking from a place of authority earned through experience. This poses a problem, as it’s essential for designers to have figures they can look up to and whose advice they can trust.

Over time, most people working in the field will find such influencers, either through sheer luck or word of mouth, and you probably will too. However, wouldn’t your life be easier if you had access to a curated list of some of the best minds working in design today?

Below we have compiled the blogs and social media profiles of some of the best designers working in the field, chosen due to their impressive careers and the overall quality of their advice. Let’s take a look!

1. Jeffrey Zeldman

A screenshot of Jeffrey Zeldman's homepage.

Jeffrey Zeldman, also known as the “King of Web Standards” according to Business Week, is a writer, designer and the creator of A List Apart, a blog which had its beginnings in 1997 and has been exploring web design, web development and best practices ever since.

On top of that, Zeldman is also the co-founder of An Event Apart (a web designer conference), the founder and chairman of Happy Cog (an award-winning digital studio), the founder and host of The Big Web Show, the founder and publisher of A Book Apart (small books for website developers and designers), a founding faculty member of the School of Visual Arts MFA in Interaction Design, the author of such books as Taking Your Talent to the Web: Making the Transition from Graphic Design to Web Design and Designing with Web Standards. In his ‘free time’, Jeffrey Zeldman has also been spotted planning how to take over the world.

Jokes aside, with a resume like that it’s obvious why you should be following Zeldman if you take design seriously. In his personal blog, he covers updates across all his websites and regularly gives some great insight into the world of design.

You can also find him on:

Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Google+, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Some of his best articles:

2. Jen Mussari


Looking at Jen’s homepage, you would assume her to be a highly multi-talented individual, and you wouldn’t be wrong.

Her list of talents and interests are wide-ranging, but from a design perspective, Jen identifies herself as a lettering artist, illustrator, fine artist and designer. Oh, and a “tattly artist, sign painter, etc.” As if she wasn’t keeping herself busy enough.

Jen is part of the Ghostly Ferns “collaborative creative family”, alongside four other New York City-based creative types.

It doesn’t take long to spot Jen’s passion for lettering (not typography, folks!), reflected both in her portfolio and (somewhat sporadically updated) blog, which offers up a wonderful mix of current work and semi-personal updates.

Jen’s client list is impressive, featuring startup giants such as Squarespace, Airbnb, Kickstarter and Shopify.

You can also find her on:

Twitter, Instagram, Dribbble, LinkedIn.

3. David Airey

A screenshot of David Airey's homepage.

David Airey is a graphic designer who’s worked for the BBC, the Yellow Pages and the Asian Development Bank, among many other clients. He’s also a writer specializing in brand identity design, the author of Logo Design Love: A Guide to Creating Iconic Brand Identities, and Work for Money, Design For Love.

He’s also been featured in several publications such as Creative Review, Computer Arts, Esquire, HOW Magazine, Digital Arts and LogoLounge.

On his personal website, David often shares inspirational artwork and shares professional insight into the life of a designer. He also maintains two additional blogs, Identity Designed, and Logo Design Love.

You can also find him on:


Some of his best articles:

4. Lauren Hom


With a client list including Starbucks, Google, AT&T, YouTube and TIME Magazine, Lauren is definitely a designer you’d do well to look to for inspiration.

Her About page lists an overwhelming number of awards and recognitions, and if you check out her Tumblr blog, it’s easy to see why. Lauren’s work tends to focus on lettering, but her capabilities within that creative niche are wide ranging – crafting words that look good enough to eat.

Trawling through Lauren’s colorful and varied portfolio is sure to give you inspiration, and she even offers a chalkboard lettering class via Skillshare, if you fancy expanding your creative horizons.

You can also find her on:

Twitter, Instagram, Dribbble, LinkedIn.

5. Fabio Sasso

A screenshot of Fabio Sasso's homepage.

Fabio Sasso is a product designer currently working for Google in their Mountain View headquarters as a senior designer. During his tenure there, he’s worked on projects ranging from Doodles to Google Wallet, Offers, Shopping, and others. In the past, he’s also done work for MSNBC, Wired UK, Adobe, and Digital Arts Magazine.

He founded his blog, Abduzeedo, alongside Fabiano Meneghetti. The publication boasts a great mix of inspirational pieces, tutorials (mostly for Photoshop and Illustrator) and is also intended to serve as a place for designers of all fields to share their work and receive feedback from their peers.

You can also find him on:


6. Jessica Walsh


Jessica is a designer, art director and one half of Sagmeister & Walsh, a design firm based in New York City whose work includes branding, commercials, websites, apps, films and books. Their client base ranges from Standard Chartered Bank, to Jay-Z, to Red Bull and beyond.

As with many other designers on this list, Jessica is laden with awards and recognitions from the likes of Type Director’s Club, Art Director’s Club, SPD, Print, and Graphis.

With over 83,000 Twitter followers at the time of writing, Jessica is no social media slouch either, and clearly commands a great deal of respect in her field. That aside, Sagmeister & Walsh’s portfolio offers up a wealth of inspiration over a wide range of applications.

You can also find her on:

Twitter, FacebookBēhance.

7. Jan Cavan Boula


Jan Cavan Boulas is an Automattician and WordPress designer specializing in UI design, illustration, and typography.

A self-taught designer, Jan took crash courses in web design and development while achieving her Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering. She worked for SendGrid and NationBuilder before joining Automattic. Her work has been featured by the likes of Mashable and Smashing Magazine.

When she’s not on the clock, Jan loves taking road trips, playing arcade basketball, and collects McDonald’s Happy Meal toys.

You can also find her on:

Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Flickr, Dribbble.

8. Jacob Cass

A screenshot of Jacob Cass' homepage.

Jacob Cass is the founder of the JUST Creative design studio and blog. He specializes in logo design and brand identity and has worked for a few names you might recognize, including Jerry Seinfeld, Disney, and Nintendo.

He launched the JUST Creative blog almost a decade ago on 2007 in conjunction with his design studio, and ever since he’s been writing about logos, web design, advertising, branding, typography, other designers, useful resources, marketing, social media, user experience, and pretty much anything else design-related.

On top of that, he also maintains three other blogs: Logo of the Day, Logo Designer Blog, and Just Globetrotting (not design related, but still pretty cool!). His writing has also been featured in other prestigious websites such as Smashing Magazine, Computer Arts, VectorTuts, and even David Airey’s own website.

You can also find him on:

Google+, Twitter, and Facebook.

Some of his best articles:

9. Meagan Fisher


Meagan Fisher is a web designer and self-confessed owl lover based in Brooklyn who loves typography and textures.

She has worked on designs for Change.org and was involved with Twitter’s hope140 side project, which then became Twitter Nonprofits.

Along with designing WordPress.com themes such as On A Whim, Meagan is currently the Creative Director at video hosting site Sprout Video.

You can also find her on:

Twitter, Dribbble.

10. Nick Finch

A screenshot of Nick Finch's homepage.

Nick Finch is a UX specialist with over a decade of experience in interaction design, information architecture, usability and user research for both the web and mobile platforms. His resume includes past work with prestigious names such as Adobe, Intel, Boeing, Google and Oprah.com, and he’s currently employed at Facebook as a Product Design Manager.

You can also find him on:


Some of his best articles:

11. Jason Santa Maria

A screenshot of Jason Santa Maria's homepage.

Jason Santa Maria is a Brooklyn-based graphic designer. He currently works as the Executive Design Director for Vox Media (the people behind massively popular publications such as The Verge). He’s also the author of On Web Typography, the co-founder of A Book Apart (alongside Jeffrey Zeldman), and a faculty member at the MFA Interaction Design Program.

In the past, he’s worked for companies such as The Chicago Tribune, PBS, The United Nations, and this little company called the WordPress Foundation (which we sometimes talk about here).

You can also find him on:

Twitter, Dribble, and Flickr.

Some of his best articles:

12. Jessica Barnard


Jessica Barnard is a graphic and web designer, artist and entrepreneur from Utah.

After starting out in the graphics department of a magazine firm, she began designing websites in 2008. Continuing her upward ascent, Jessica has become a recommended Genesis developer, creating premium child themes such as Decorated and Crave.

Jessica is also the founder of The Pixelista – an agency specializing in WordPress development and business branding.

You can also find her on:

Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Google+, Pinterest.

13. Aarron Walter

A screenshot of Aarron Walter's homepage.

Aarron Walter now runs his own consulting firm, but before that he was the head of the MailChimp UX team, and in fact, was the fourth person to join the company back in its beginnings. He’s also the author of Designing for Emotion, Building Findable Websites: Web Standards, SEO, and Beyond, and co-author of The UX Reader and InterACT With Web Standards.

On top of regularly writing about UX and design, Aarron also maintains two newsletters: The UX Newsletter and On My Mind (less UX, more about general life and design musings).

You can also find him on:


Some of his best articles:

14. Ethan Marcotte

A screenshot of Ethan Marcotte's homepage.

Ethan Marcotte is a web designer and developer, who also happens to run the awesomely named blog Unstoppable Robot Ninja. As if the name alone weren’t enough to pique your interest, Ethan regularly shares insightful posts regarding web design and other various topics (although sadly, nothing about robot ninjas).

You can also find him on:


Some of his best articles:

15. Tammy Hart


Tammy Hart is not only a web designer, but a front end developer, programmer and writer for Envato Tuts.

After getting started by building a website for her father’s business, Tammy has gone onto develop a number of plugins and themes for WordPress.

She is currently a web designer and WordPress developer at Californian web design agency UpTrending.

You can also find her on:

Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Dribbble, LinkedIn.

16. Chris Coyier

A screenshot of Chris Coyier's homepage.

Chris Coyier is a designer and developer who’s behind some of the coolest resources out on the web, such as CSS-Tricks (which he launched in 2007) and CodePen (launched in 2012). He’s also behind a couple of other sites, a simple service for monitoring website uptimes and Digging Into WordPress, on top of the Shop Talk Show (a podcast about the internet in general).

You can also find him on:

CodePen, Dribble, Twitter, GitHub, and Instagram.

17. Veerle Pieters

A screenshot of Veerle Pieters' homepage.

Veerle Pieters is a Belgian-born designer who’s had a love affair with art ever since she was little, with an interest in illustration, typography, and graphic design. She founded duoh! – a design agency with a focus on brand identities, illustrations, and user interfaces in 2000 alongside her partner, Geert Leyseele.

Veerle regularly writes about graphic, web, home and even Belgian design in her blog, with an emphasis on tutorials and articles covering the entire design process.

You can also find her on:


Some of her best articles:

18. Andy Clarke

A screenshot of Andy Clarke's homepage.

Andy Clarke is a renowned UK designer, with over 60 conference presentations all over the world under his belt. He’s also a prolific writer who’s been featured in several design publications and the author of two books, Transcending CSS and Hardboiled Web Design. As if that weren’t enough, he also hosts the Unfinished Business Podcast every few weeks.

You can also find him on:


Some of his best articles:

19. Dave Shea

A screenshot of Dave Shea's homepage.

Dave Shea is a Vancouver-based designer who mostly works in UX these days, although he’s also been known to code on occasion. He’s spoken at over 40 conferences in over a dozen countries and on top of his personal website also maintains a journal of his process sketches.

You can also find him on:

Twitter, Makerbase, and GitHub.

20. Brad Frost

A screenshot of Brad Frost's homepage.

Brad Frost is a web designer, speaker and consultant, and during his free time, also a musician and artist. He’s had a hand in creating several tools for web designers such as This Is Responsive, Pattern Lab, Styleguides.io, WTF Mobile Web, and Mobile Web Best Practices. He also regularly posts about web design and UX on his personal blog.

You can also find him on:


Some of his best articles:

21. Brian Hoff

A screenshot of Brian Hoff's homepage.

Brian Hoff is a writer at The Design Cubicle on top of his regular job as the director at Brian Hoff Design (bonus points if you can figure out how he came up with that name). He’s often seen busting out insightful articles about the world of design and his work experience on both platforms.

You can also find him on:

Twitter and Dribble.

Some of his best articles:

22. Jacob Gube

A screenshot of Jacob Gube's homepage.

Jacob Gube is the mastermind behind the popular design blog Six Revisions, where he regularly posts in-depth articles about design tips, tutorials, business practices, and a wealth of other topics alongside many other contributors. His writing can also be seen on Smashing Magazine and Mashable.

You can also find him on:

Twitter and Dribble.

Some of his best articles:


Web design is a competitive world and you need to take advantage of any edge you can get in order to stay on top, so why not follow the advice of the people who’ve already ‘made it’?

Depending on which area of design you work, some of these men and women may not quite hit the mark for you, although most of them share advice which is actionable across all disciplines. In any case, we encourage you to stay on the lookout other experts you can follow and look up to as mentors, and who knows? If you keep working your way forward, someday you might find your name on a similar list!

Do you know of any other designers whom we should all be following? Let us know about them in the comments section below!

Article thumbnail image by tinbee / shutterstock.com

Editor’s Note: when this article was first published it consisted of fifteen designers, almost all of whom were men. Several commenters brought this to our attention as being unbalanced–and we agreed. The error was unintentional and we have been happy to correct it by including more women in our list.

download divi


  1. Really? Couldn’t find more than one woman out of 15? Not arguing with any of your choices, but the list just reinforces my experience of alienation in the world of web design.

  2. Thanks Tom I can’t wait to get amongst this fabulous lift of inspiring designers! I’m not a designer myself but I have an interest in it as I’m designing my own WP site. I’ve managed many design & dev briefs for my clients over almost 20 years so I’m familiar with the Adobe programs & industry language & the issues each kind of creative person faces.

    I’m going to share this link with a young man I know who’s starting his own biz after working for a large company in India. I hope it’ll help him set a new benchmark to aspire to because there’s a helluva lot of garbage being churned out from where he comes from.

    Thanks for investing your time in this empowering article.

  3. Last post on Nick Finch’s blog was 2014. 🙁

    • Oops Nick Finck

  4. Thank you very much for the write up Tom, greatly appreciated. Amongst great company here.

  5. I guess you need a penis to be worth following as a designer? Boo to the boys club!

    • Yep, I was waiting for just such a smartarse comment…If you know someone suggest them…the link is right there…

    • Agreed. That was my first impression when I scrolled down the list.

    • 359 Charron

    • I was thinking the same thing, where are all the wonderful women designers?

    • Is that all you got from this article? Jeez #blackoscars pt.2 eh?

      I thought it was a great resource, thanks.

    • I have to agree with you on this one.

  6. I also have to agree with Karen, though perhaps a bit less harshly. I am stunned that there is only one woman listed in this group. I love Elegant Themes and a lot of the posts, but it would be a lot more interesting if this list was less caucasian, less male, and less colonial-empire centric. What are the Chinese doing? The Indians? The entire Pacific Rim is brimming with talent! Hey, what’s coming out of the richness of the African continent? Does the British colonial system really still dominate the global design community?

  7. Yeah I totally agree with Karen, a bit more of mix would be great. I would change this post with more balance. Or simply add more to balance it out.

    • Otherwise a great article with great resources!

  8. Have to agree with Karen, Geneviève, and Satsiri. Only one woman acknowledged out of 15 is surprising, and lacks in depth research. There are plenty of dynamic women designers on WordPress platforms and using Elegent Themes. More balanced coverage and equity needed here.

  9. Nathan B. Weller

    To those who have said that there should be women on this list, I whole-heartedly agree. I’m “off” today since I just returned from a WordCamp over the weekend but I will update this post this week to include several talented female designers and re-share it with our community. I’m deeply sorry for this editorial oversight.

  10. Tom Ewer

    Following up on Nathan’s response, I’d just like to clarify that this roundup was not an attempt (as I hope you all appreciate) to deliberately misrepresent the role of women (or any particular race, color or creed) in design. As Nathan mentions above, we will be addressing the shortcomings of this piece in short order. I apologise wholeheartedly to anyone who has taken offence.

  11. Don’t apologize. People are way over sensitive. This is why Trump is so popular for president.

    • Nathan B. Weller

      Politics aside, the data is pretty clear. Women are drastically under represented in tech. WordPress included. We’re not apologizing to soothe anyone’s hurt feelings, but rather to show that we recognize they have made a really good point.

      My not seeing this during editing and Tom not seeing it during writing, these were not malicious mistakes. But that doesn’t mean the unintentionally we didn’t feed into an existing problem. And as it’s something we can fix, we will. And we’ll continue to do better in this area because women in WordPress and Tech are awesome and deserve the same level of recognition for their contributions as anyone else.

  12. Sometimes I leave the ET/Divi community for awhile. It’s always nice to come back and read some good articles. Thanks guys.

  13. If you’re looking for more women to add to the list, Allison House is one of my favorite designers. She blogs at http://www.allison.house (if you visit, take a look at her 404 page — it’s astounding!)

    • Nathan B. Weller

      Thanks Mark! I’ll leave this link here in the comments. We’ve got a list we’re working on adding above.

  14. Friending and following most of these. Thanks for the list Tom! Now if only I could have the time to truly follow them and not have barely enough time to. Sigh!

  15. Superb Post
    Thanks for the great list
    will surely follow
    Thanks for the post

Join 371,133 Happy Customers And Get Access To Our Entire Collection Of 87 Beautiful Themes For The Price Of One

We offer a 30 Day Money Back Guarantee, so joining is risk-free!

Sign Up Today

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This