25 of your top design posts from 2008

As a little thank you for reading, I asked what your favourite design blog post was from 2008. A fitting way to finish off the year and to bring in the new, here’s what you chose, and why.

1/ Steven Snell, of Vandelay Design

Vandelay Design

12 realities of pricing design services

“This post stands out to me from 2008 primarily because of the response that it received. While it doesn’t get as many visitors as some other posts, readers left a lot of thoughtful responses and several other blogs have linked to the post as a helpful guide for pricing advice. I wrote the post based on the things I’ve seen in my own work throughout the start of my career, so it means a lot to see that others can relate and that my insight has been able to help in some way.”

2/ John Boardley, of I Love Typography

I Love Typography

15 great examples of web typography

“…because it demonstrates what can be achieved. It’s all too easy to complain about limitations to typography for the screen, when really it’s simply another medium rich in possibilities and potential.”

3/ Anthony Zinni, of Positive Space Blog

Positive Space Blog

Would life be easier if you weren’t a designer?

“…because it really opened a discussion about the crazy things designers are willing to put up with for love of the profession.”

4/ Michael Martin, of Pro Blog Design

Pro Blog Design

The perfect hands-free database backup

“It’s not the most exciting topic to read about or the most adventurous post, but it’s simple. In one go, a blogger will never have to worry about their database again, and it doesn’t cost them a penny.”

5/ Jon Phillips, of Freelance Folder

Freelance Folder

5 creativity killers

“…because I face those five creativity killers on a regular basis and every time I have to remind myself to go back and read my own post. It happens I don’t sleep much because I’m too preoccupied with a project, or get distracted by ‘stuff’, sometimes I fear my client won’t like my design mock-ups, and then when I get to the point where I start to worry about money, then I go and read my post. Things always work out in the end.”

6/ Calvin Lee, of Mayhem Studios

Mayhem Studios

Online copyright infringement: 4 ways to remove your stolen work

“Most creatives don’t know what to do when their work is ripped off. It’s easier to resolve than they think. It happens often and most don’t do anything about it. My blog post helps creatives get stolen work taken down in 4 easy steps.”

7/ Chris Spooner, of Spoon Graphics

Spoon Graphics

8 free cute & simple Twitter bird vector graphics

“As well as being fun to produce, the vector birds gained some great feedback and exposure, it has been fantastic to see them in use on various sites across the web. With Twitter being a widely used application, I’d like to promote the bird characters a little further in the hope that a few more people can make good use of them on their own website!”

8/ Randa Clay, of Randa Clay Design

Randa Clay Design

Building trust with clients — being honest about mistakes

“…it’s somethiing I wish someone had told me early on. As it was, I had to take a rather long road to learn it.”

9/ Jin Yang, of 8164



“…because I feel it addresses a few issues that exist in the web design blogsphere. I feel web designers, especially those who are new to the field, need to learn from inspirations, but not to use them as a crotch. The article also generated some good discussions from readers.”

10/ Jacob Share, of JobMob


The 25 most creative designer resumés you’ll see this year

“Compiling this list was fun and inspiring. There are some terrific ideas out there about what can be done with something as basic as a resumé. Funny too, in some cases.”

11/ Steve Willicott, of Eightyone Design

Eightyone Design

Why does everyone think they’re a graphic designer?

“It only started out as a bit of a rant but it seems everyone has an opinion on this subject — it is by far the most viewed post on our blog and has put us in touch with many new friends.”

12/ Antonio Carusone, of AisleOne

Aisle One

Introducing The Grid System

“…my favorite post of the year is the one where I introduce The Grid System because it’s something I’m very proud of. A lot of people find the site very useful and it’s educating more and more people on the benefits on using grid systems in their designs.”

13/ Gino Orlandi, of You The Designer

You The Designer

6 people every designer should know

“…because I always try to stress the importance of networking. Its much easier to accomplish goals and better yourself as a person and designer with a good network of people supporting you. If you surround yourself with quality, ambitious and like-minded people you will go much farther in life, much faster!”

14/ Brian Ling, of Design Sojourn

Design Sojourn

30 essential books for industrial designers

“I have always seen books as a “window to someone’s personality”, and for me this post was not only a reflection of my multi-disciplinary and varied interests, but a way that I could share a little about myself with my readers.”

15/ Yeal Miller, of The Dieline

The Dieline

Eye Candy

“What I found really notable about Eye Candy is the use of packaging itself to convey added layers of meaning. Clever use of of a transparent printed overlay/sleeve reveals a changing message as the sleeve is moved across the package.”

16/ Eli Burford, of Design Blurb

Design Blurb

Photoshop tutorial: designing a creative blog footer (broken link removed, 2014)

“I’m happiest with this one because of the outcome, obviously. But as I stated in the tutorial, inspiration comes from Alexandru Cohaniuc’s portfolio, but he gave me permission to use his footer as inspiration. The great thing about this was after I emailed Alexandru, he even sent me the PSD file for his footer design. Goes to show how really nice some people in the Blogosphere can be.”

17/ Brian Yerkes, of BrianYerkes.com

Brian Yerkes

50 reasons why you will not make it as a freelancer

“I enjoyed writing this post, and I was happy that it caused designers trying to succeed to look at themselves a bit, and really understand why they may or may not be failing at becoming a freelancer.

“The post title was inspired by a close friend of mine who just doesn’t understand what it takes to become a self-employed designer. I have tried to encourage him and pass on advice from my own experience, but he is still struggling to apply himself correctly. I think there are a lot of designers out there like him. They have a lot of creativity and art skill, but struggle to apply that to the business / marketing world.”

18/ Andrew Kelsall, of AndrewKelsall.com

Andrew Kelsall

Large-format foamex design for Next Distribution

“…because I think it sums-up what I do best as a designer. Whilst many freelancers concentrate on brochures, logo design and websites (which are all great to do), I love to focus on producing custom works that both stimulate and challenge me in a different way.”

19/ Andrew Houle, of My Ink Blog

My Ink Blog

A very snowy tutorial

“This tutorial covers so many useful techniques in Illustrator and Photoshop. The skills learned here will help you optimize your workflow, and save you time, which inevitably is a goal of every designer.”

20/ Mirko Humbert, of Designer Daily

Designer Daily

44 tools to help you in your design work

“Complete designer toolbox, classified by tasks. I think it will be most useful for designers and webworkers out there.”

21/ Sander Baumann, of DesignWorkPlan

Design Work Plan

Dutch Government introduces corporate typeface

“I chose this blogpost because of the great discussion that started with the topic of visual communication and branding on a government level.”

22/ Vivien, of Inspiration Bit

Inspiration Bit

Meticulous design: dramatic headlines

“I’m always inspired by small details that initially may go unnoticed but subconsciously make a great impact, and I’m always intrigued by how one tackles attention to details in design, hence my research on meticulous design, that many others find helpful as well.”

23/ Adelle Charles, of Fuel Your Creativity

Web Design Ledger

Is minimalistic design more effective?

“This was one of the first articles I wrote for the Web Design Ledger, I am a very minimalistic designer myself and thought it would be great to show examples, and the discussion that followed in the comments received a great response. A good article for the experienced & upcoming designers.”

24/ Vitaly Friedman, of Smashing Magazine

Smashing Magazine

Smashing highlights 2008

“We had so many good articles this year, so it’s really hard to pick the best one. We certainly love all of the articles linked here, though.”

25/ Last, and most probably least, Logo Design Love

Logo Design Love

33 logos in 33 minutes

“A look at the brands I interact with first thing each day, and a taste of how much we’re all subjected to branding. Plus, there were 24 answers to the question behind this blog post, and 25 offers more balance.”

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my RSS subscriptions this past year. Thanks very much to everyone who answered, and keep up the great work!

25 responses

  1. Hi David,

    Thank you for the shout out and making me being part of this list. Its a great one and I will be also adding a few to my RSS reader!

    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


  2. Fantastic recap David , I can’t believe I almost finished the year without reading these articles.

    I’m gonna have to grab some hot cocoa put on my PJs and do some reading :)

    Thanks a lot “D”!

  3. David, excellent list. Some sites I have not seen before and now have on my list after reading some great posts.

    Speechless about being featured in your 2008 roundup, and alongside the others. Looking forward to 2009 and your retirement in Mauritius :)

  4. Hey David! Thanks a ton for inviting me to participate, always really appreciated! I think I read all of the posts on the list already but it’s nice to know which ones are the favorites :)

  5. thanks for putting together such a great collection of some of the best design posts from 2008, and of course, for including my article here as well.
    Wishing you a wonderful New Year, David. Look forward to seeing more great logo designs from you and reading your blogs.

  6. Brian, I’ve also added a couple of new feeds to my reader following this compilation. Have a great new year!

    Kode, good idea. Hope the cocoa goes down well.

    Jin, Jon, Vivien, you’re all more than welcome.

    Brian, I’m not at the retirement stage just yet, but it’s nice to know you’re looking forward to getting rid.

  7. What a great roundup, and I just read half the posts that I hadn’t already seen before (seems to be a recurring theme…). Lovely presentation too, although that’s no surprise.

    Happy New Year to everyone. May 2009 be your best year so far.

  8. Thanks for including my article David, appreciated. There are a few sites listed that I’ve never visited, think I’ll give some of these articles a good read.

    Happy Christmas and New Year…

  9. David, thanks so much for including me in this post, now I have a whole bunch to check out before 09 starts. Good thing I’m on vacation for a week! Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year! I wish you much success in 09.

  10. Fantastic, David! I just got your email requesting my favorite article from Creative Curio (and about a hundred other emails to sort through). So can I answer now? Sorry I couldn’t get back to you sooner (Hawai’i and all ;) )

    The Elements of Graphic Design

    I chose this article because it is a good overview of what I want Creative Curio to be about: learning the basics of good design, which I think is helpful for any designer no matter how much experience. I’ve never heard a designer say that s/he knows everything and there’s nothing left to learn!

    If I could choose another article, it would be one of the InDesign posts because I really like helping people figure out problems and often I learn something new in the process, too, which is awesome.

    Hau’oli Makahiki Hou! (that’s Happy New Year in Hawaiian)

  11. Stephen,

    I noticed you asking on Twitter for book design-related articles, and I, for one, would be very interested to see your compilation. Good luck with it.

    Thanks again to every one of you who contributed. You did well to deliver at such short notice.


    Answering emails or diving in Hawai’i. Hmmm. How could you choose the latter?! Thanks for sharing your choice via comment (a great one too).


    Glad you enjoyed the round-up. I hope that you (and everyone else) have a fantastic 2009!

  12. Well, as with the best-laid plans, yadda yadda, my exploration of articles for such a list is on indefinite hiatus, as I’ve two large books came in late yesterday and I’m about to be busy for some time.

  13. cam,

    I left a comment on your latest blog post, thanking you for the kind mention, but perhaps it was caught in your spam folder. Regardless, it’s much appreciated.

    Thanks for the additional comments, everyone.

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