Following new trends and techniques can occupy quite a bit of time. The nature of project based work makes staying up to date pretty difficult to do. Most designers also need the ability to "check out" for a little while and that's what makes social networks so advantageous. Taking a couple minutes every other day to skim your feed is a great way to keep your "finger on the pulse" of the design world without committing a great deal of time to do so.
Each industry certainly has their own companies and organizations, but the real work is done on an individual level. So we've compiled our favorite in house logo designers, experienced web developers, awesome graphic designers, skillful typographers, inspirational photographers, and helpful design communities all in order to give our readers a couple "one-click tactics" to flush out their design feed. Any art is subjective, but after a little discussion - these are certainly our favorites.
A Few Important Designers Sorted by Design Discipline
Most logo designers keep a wide focus of work, but learning about the logo design process from a seasoned pro is very useful information. Aaron Draplin seems to be a leader for most in the industry, but social focused designers like Jacob Cass also do a great job of sharing useful resources for honing your craft.
This may be the toughest of the design disciplines to target, since it covers such a wide array of skills. I think no list should be without David Airey, I included Shepard Fairey for the fun stuff, and Milton Glaser since he's basically "boss level" in the design world. If you're looking for the extended version - we've certainly got one.
If you love words, then these are your people. You certainly need to be up on your type terminology first, but this really is an exciting time for typography. Stefan Sagmeister and Jessica Hische are pretty big industry standouts, but all the names below do some pretty incredible work.
We could surely get lost focusing on one language or another, but well rounded web designers are helpful to view the field in whole. The ever evolving nature of web development makes staying current very important. A good deal of the web resources I use today are direct results of following these important designers.
Photographers aren't always the most "social" of the important designers, but now that you can include imagery in your Twitter feed they've started to join in. Steve McCurry is one of my personal favorite artists and Bryant Eslava is all over the place with tons of fantastic inspiration in his growing social presence.
Design communities are some of the best resources for important designers and us. Finding great work and meeting like-minded folks (as we've covered when listing our favorite inspirational sites). Dribble and 500px in particular, are top picks for producing amazing imagery while explaining process.
The factors we bullet-pointed for reference we're that each designer should have at least 5 years in the field, be fairly active on Twitter (no disappearing for months on end), and produce credible work - even if it's not our favorite in terms of style.
Twitter is a Dynamic World
If you think there are other important designers out there which we have overlooked (or even more design disciplines), please feel free to drop us a tweet and let us know who we should be keeping our eyes on. No promises that they will be noted on future compilations, but we will certainly give them a look. If you're a bit of a collector, feel free to view our internal design and development lists, that we've included links to below (There are at least 50 of our favorites on each). As always - if you like this article, please feel free to share it anywhere or drop us some social love!