Carl Barenbrug

Product design, creative direction

My Favourite Designers (ever)

I think I've spent almost every day for the past 10+ years thinking about design and designers, as well as architects and artists. Over that time, I've come to admire and truly appreciate the work of some highly notable individuals and teams, and others that probably fly under the radar of many folks. Earlier this year, I began a series on titled applied design. It's a curation of random projects from a range of designers from a particular country. During the curation process, it got me thinking about my favourite creative people from the past and present. So I decided to give it more serious thought and to produce a list. And who doesn't love a list? I did consider some kind of ranking too, but felt this was probably a little unnecessary, and someone's bound to get offended. I'll keep that judgement in the dome.

This exercise of favouritism does have a few benefits, though. It makes me take stock of what I value in design as a discipline, and whose work I've enjoyed as a collective portfolio rather than a one-hit wonder. It also encourages me to revisit projects that have made a lasting impression, and it might introduce you to several people whose work you'd never looked into before. Beyond just a list of names, I've decided to include my favourite project of theirs too, which has been a lot harder than I thought it would be. This goes without saying, but design is obviously a really broad term and I've got no intention of covering every form of design here. There are many types of creative people that I massively respect and would dream to work with (some again) that aren't included below. I'm really just basing this on the work I've seen and published on Minimalissimo or shared personally. It is, after all, a personal opinion (hello IndieWeb). And I'm going to cap this list at around 20, otherwise I'll be here forever thinking about it. I have also decided to split this into industrial and digital design groupings, sorted in no particular order.

Industrial designers

Digital designers

Note: I'm considering this a fluid list. I'll aim to keep it updated over time and either extend or refine it, both in terms of designers and/or projects.

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