Design related blogs and articles for ambitious and idealist product designer?
July 27, 2008 5:39 PM   Subscribe

DESIGN-FILTER: A friend recently finished freshmans year of a Product Design course, coming home raving about how much he enjoyed it, and how design can save the world. He is very honourable in his intentions, but not very internet savvy. For his Birthday I'd like to compile a selection (and summary) of the best blogs and articles that someone involved in product design should read, things that will inspire him, and will give him the sort of superb extra-curricular knowledge that the web contains, and a wider perspective.

Swiss Miss, Inspire me Now, and that t-shirt "DESIGN WILL NOT SAVE THE WORLD" spring to mind, but smart articles from the last couple of years and thought-provoking blogs are what I'm really after, though pretty pictures are good.

I'll share the completed list next weekend, your help will make the list ten times better, I'm sure.
posted by takeyourmedicine to Media & Arts (15 answers total) 21 users marked this as a favorite
I think the "Core 77" website is the single best overview of product design aimed at actual product designers. For pretty pictures, you can't beat NOTCOT (although their mandate extends well beyond product design).
posted by extrabox at 6:10 PM on July 27, 2008

Design can change the world. I changed it once, by adding ascenders and descenders to the letters that didn't previously have them.
posted by idiotfactory at 6:11 PM on July 27, 2008 [1 favorite]

If he thinks design will change the world why would you buy him a t-shirt that says it won't? "Happy birthday buddy, I got you your dreams, freshly trampled."

That said, I like Design Observer.
posted by saraswati at 7:24 PM on July 27, 2008

Inspiring article about a woman with an extreme ability for simple design who's inventing useful things for the third world and who's teaching an MIT course so more people learn how to do it.
posted by Nancy Lebovitz at 7:36 PM on July 27, 2008

I like Ironic Sans as an example of nerdy design idea goodness.
posted by aint broke at 7:44 PM on July 27, 2008

Ffffound is a great place to rest your eyes if you're design-inclined.
posted by cowbellemoo at 8:21 PM on July 27, 2008

For the discerning creative person, the FFFFound 'everyone' RSS is a daily overdose of hipness delivered to your feedreader of choice.

Also, The Dieline blog about product and package design.

Design doesn't actually "save" the world, vaccines do. It is my considerate opinion though that designers have a responsability to play fair, since while "bad" design certainly makes the world an uglier place - and there's no need for that - "good" design is - sometimes - able to make it a marginally nicer, easier place to live in. There's too few of those pretentious fucks volunteering at soup kitchens anyway.
posted by _dario at 8:21 PM on July 27, 2008

I found this to be useful:
Michael McDonough's Top Ten Things They Never Taught Me in Design School

Maybe a little too clear eyed and sober for an idealistic young student, but I think it would've helped my studies to have read this list while in school.
posted by Bron at 8:48 PM on July 27, 2008

Design Boom is a blog that I subscribe to and has some great posts sometimes.
posted by bertrandom at 9:38 PM on July 27, 2008

I subscribe to 18 different design blogs (I'm a Netvibes freak), and here are my favorite 10, ranked by overall usefulness:

-Smashing Magazine!!!
-second FFFFound
-Freelance Switch
-Just Creative Design
-Behance Network
-Design You Trust
-Spoon Graphics
posted by blastrid at 11:42 PM on July 27, 2008

blastrid: most of those are graphic design blogs while the poster was asking for product/industrial design blogs.

Try some of these:

Design Sojourn
ID Fuel
Cocolico (green design)
PingMag (general design but in "case study" format with lots of interesting less-talked about products like umbrellas, balloons, and toys)

MoCo LoCo (product and architecture)
Yanko Design (product and architecture)
Arts Monitor - Product Design (news and blog aggregator)
Design Corner
Productdose (products and clothing)
Kontrast (product and architecture)
Industrial Design Asia (despite the title, not Asia-centric)

Product Design Forums (forums)
posted by junesix at 3:13 AM on July 28, 2008

missed one: DesignAddict
posted by junesix at 3:17 AM on July 28, 2008

AskTog and the other blogs from members of the Nielsen Norman Group.
posted by TedW at 6:35 AM on July 28, 2008

Seconding Design Observer, which tends to have content that gives your brain something to chew on.

Architectures of Control: Design with Intent (on design influencing or controlling use/interaction)
things magazine (best links ever)
posted by carbide at 11:28 AM on July 28, 2008

Gary Hustwit, who brought you Helvetica, has a new film in the works about product design, called Objectified. The web site includes a blog, although it's a little light on content so far.
posted by hydrophonic at 9:40 AM on July 29, 2008

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