Cederholm might be best known these days for his work on Dribbble, the invite-only site where designers show off tiny slices of their work for comment and approval. The “invite-only” veneer of exclusivity is just one factor that makes the app red-hot; invitations are often seen being auctioned off (or begged for) on Twitter.
But Cederholm is no johnny-come-lately. He’s written three books on standards-based web design and coined the phrase “bulletproof web design,” referring to the need for flexibility in the event of worst-case scenarios. He also founded Cork’d, a popular site for wine enthusiasts.
2. Joshua Blankenship
This guy’s blog is a well-rounded mix of videos, images, quotations and spot-on advice. He also posts atBlankenship a Go Go, on Tumblr.
One of Blankenship’s coolest projects is Prom Night Fist Fight, a Tumblr blog of stunning typographic Illustrator designs. You can seriously kill hours flipping through the 200 or so pages — and you’d probably be a more inspired person for doing so.
In an industry characterized by aggressive agnosticism, Blankenship is refreshingly open about his faith, elements of which permeate his work.
3. Dustin Curtis
Dustin Curtis might not be so well known if he hadn’t gotten a hapless airline employee fired.
The pathos-fraught saga began last spring when Curtis did an unsolicited redesign of American Airlines’ website. Not too long after Curtis published his ideas, an AA employee sent the young blogger an email, which Curtis then published. And not too long after that, the AA employee was fired. The Internet resounded with every colorful adjective in the book, from arrogant to brilliant and far beyond, in its dissection of the events.
Controversy aside, Curtis’ work stands on its own. The guy creates some beautiful pages and his commentary on web design both ruffles feathers and creates small tornadoes of discussion on Hacker News.
4. Andy Rutledge
Twitter: @andyrutledge Images: Portfolio Blog: Design View Employer: Principal and chief design strategist, Unit Interactive, LLC
Andy Rutledge tells it like it is. He calls himself a curmudgeon; others just call him realistic, honest and blunt. He’s been blogging since the early-mid-2000s, penning phrases like: “This is commercial success we’re talking about, boys and girls. In commerce, if your product sucks, you suck.” Ah, brisk!
When he’s not delivering his characteristically no-BS sermons on web design, he runs Unit Interactive in Plano, Texas. An interesting thing about his company is that they do no marketing. None whatsoever. All their clients come to them through word of mouth or organic discovery. This is where Rutledge’s reputation and experience come into play.
5. Ryan Carson
Ryan Carson is now best known for his event production skills. He recently put on Chirp, Twitter’s April 2010 developer conference. Carson certainly left his imprint; from the colors to the typography to the trees and beanbag chairs. Carsonified is also responsible for the Future of Web Design and Future of Web Apps conferences.
6. Jacob Cass
This Brooklyn-based design blogger is a logo, web and print designer. How he finds time for his full-time job at an agency as well as part-time freelance work and prolific posting, we’ll never know. His posts span a gamut of fields including resource-laden typeface lists, useful how-to’s, Q&A’s and editorial commentary on processes and trends.
Cass also runs Logo of the Day, a blog about logo design, of all things.
7. Chris Pearson
Pearson is best known for his WordPress theme design, Thesis, which took off like a rocket in 2009. Hailed as the last word in functionality and elegance, one user even said: “If God had a WordPress theme, he’d use Thesis.”
Pearson runs DIYThemes, a WP design site that exclusively focuses on Thesis. He’s also created Cutline, PressRow and a few other popular WP themes.
When Pearson blogs, his compositions (which focus on web design and SEO) are thorough and thought-provoking. Though he may blog less frequently than other luminaries in the scene, his archives run deep and wide and are easy to access.
8. Chris Coyier
In terms of creating valuable content, Coyier is one designer who gives back to the community in spades. More than just pretty colors and cool fonts, Coyier is a leader in the technical side of the community’s ongoing discussions about web design.
He runs CSS Tricks, a full-featured resource site with code snippets, forums and even screencasts. He also posts articles at Digging Into WordPress, where he shares tips and tutorials from his many years of experience in building sites with CMS. Digging Into WordPress is also the title of a book Coyier co-authored with Jeff Starr. Another resource he’s handed down is Script and Style, a wonderful curation of tutorials for web designers. If you run multiple sites for clients, you’ll definitely want to check out Are My Sites Up?, a monitoring system that aims to optimize for uptime.
9. Graham Smith
Smith is all about logos, as well identity design and typography. A veteran designer with 25 years in the field, Smith is also a maddeningly prolific blogger. Smith is a self-described minimalist who’s into black-and-white photography and Helvetica, natch. In addition to those sites, he also runs Posterous and Tumblr blogs featuring frequent design finds.
10. Chris Spooner
Spooner’s primary blog is a “digital playground” where he’s been sharing tutorials and techniques since 2007. You won’t find much editorial commentary here but you will find plenty of inspiration and practical knowledge. Spooner also posts at Line25, where you’re more likely to find interviews and opinions along with tutorials. Of course, like every good netizen, Spooner also maintains a personal blog on Tumblr.