6 design-inspired TED talks you don’t want to miss


It seems the older we get the quicker our days go by. As this phenomenon takes place, it’s important that we creatives don’t let our aspirations pass by. One of the most effective ways to accomplish this is setting a monthly goal, big or small, and undoubtedly finishing it.

For this month, take a break from design tutorials and take a walk with these 6 design-inspired TED Talks — you never know what design path they might lead you down.

Chip Kidd: Designing books is no laughing matter. OK, it is.

Chip Kidd

Designing is, and should be, entertaining! And no one radiates this truth better than book designer Chip Kidd: “I am all for the iPad, but trust me — smelling it will get you nowhere.”

He’ll crack you up as he dramatically uncovers the wow factors behind his book designs, including classic books such as Jurassic Park.

Marian Bantjes: Intricate beauty by design

Marian Bantjes

A typesetter for 10 years and a designer for 20, Marian Bantjes is a visual problem solver known for her custom typography, detailed patterns and interest in systems.

In this talk, she not only shares her complex and beautiful work but discusses the means to a successful and compelling design.

David Carson on design + discovery

David Carson

Once a professional surfer and Sociology teacher, David Carson changed the design world in the 1990s by pushing the boundaries of typography and treating it as art.

The humble (and humorous) David takes us through slides of his and other’s work showing the fun and experimental side of type.

Paul Bennett finds design in the details

Paul Bennett

As Chief Creative Officer at IDEO, Paul Bennett shows that design is not just about aesthetics but solving everyday problems with simple ideas and tools.

He walks through the importance of putting ourselves in others shoes, and gives inspiring examples of how design can make the world better and more welcoming to those around it.

Aaron Koblin: Artfully visualizing our humanity

Aaron Koblin

Digital media artist, Aaron Koblin takes massive amounts of data and constructs it into incredible visuals. From animating the paths of North American airline flights to crowdsourcing the designs for a Johnny Cash video montage, his visualizations humanize intricate data.

If you’re having a hard time translating a 2+ page brief into graphics, watch this video and see that anything is possible in design.

Kelli Anderson: Design to challenge reality

Kelli Anderson

Are your designs lacking a conceptual base? Think like designer Kelli Anderson and you’ll always leave clients impressed. Kelli pushes the boundaries of creative thinking and re-designs the traditional function of everyday objects.

Trust me, her mailing card and Utopian newspaper project will really make you STOP (1 Mississippi, 2 Mississippi…) and think about your next design project.

Want more inspiration from TED? Search for more endlessly-interesting talks here.

Have TED talks you love? Please share… I’d like to watch more.

The author

Allison S. Gremillion
Allison S. Gremillion

Based in San Francisco, Allison (Alli) Stuart works as Head of Community Marketing at 99designs. When she's not writing articles and communicating with designers, she is working on her Children's Book. She also enjoys extreme sports, like sky diving and traveling to new places. Alli has a Fine Arts Degree with a concentration in Graphic Design from Louisiana State University, her home. Geaux Tigers!

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