12 YouTube channels that will improve your design skills

YouTube is the busiest website in the world (wide web) after Google. According to this research, it gets 1.7 billion visits from Google per month. Compare that to 1.2 billion visits to Wikipedia and a trifling 616 million to Facebook.

We watch over one billion hours of YouTube videos a day, and 400 hours of new videos are uploaded every minute. The full range of human experience and expression is available there and, as such, it can be difficult filtering out all that noise to home in on the signal you want.

So, we’ve put together a list of a dozen YouTube channels which we feel will be of particular interest to creative people like you.

Hopefully, you’ll find something inspiring and entertaining and maybe even informative.

#1 blondiebytes: 34.5k Subscribers

Kathryn Hodge creates videos under the name blondiebytes and boy can she code.

Her no-nonsense tutorials chunk subjects down into easily understood, easily studied units. Her bright, enthusiastic style makes exquisitely complicated and potentially dull (but really important) subjects clear and achievable, even for a beginner.

If you’re a content writer or a front end designer, and you don’t think you can get your head around coding, Kathryn begs to differ!

You can find her YouTube tutorials channel here.

And here she gives us one of her simple, methodical five minute guides – in this case to HTML.

 

#2 Dansky: 430k Subscribers

Dansky (aka Daniel White) offers effortless tutorials on pretty-much anything Adobe. From how to make things isometric in Illustrator, or creating great glitch effects in Premiere Pro, to the value of Vignettes in Photoshop.

There’s always some useful pro tip along the way, such as why you should compact layers inside smart objects in complicated composite images, as a way of keeping your Layers Panel under control.

He also offers hardware reviews and he will even, sometimes, work on a PC rather than a Mac. Yes, you read that right, the man knows no fear!

You can find his YouTube Channel here.

While, in this video, he demonstrates why he (like the rest of us) can’t wait for Cyberpunk 2077.

#3 Every Frame a Painting: 1.65m Subscribers

Unusually, this YouTube channel is no more. It’s a stiff. However, it hasn’t entirely shuffled off the mortal coil of YouTube, because Tony
Zhou, who made the videos, has left them up for us to enjoy and learn from.

I guess you could say these videos now constitute a box set, which can be binge watched, should you be so inclined.

Zhou made videos about cinematography, composition and editing. If you’re in the business of making corporate videos, or commercials, or
Facebook display ads, you could do worse than bone up on the work done by the greats of cinema.

And Every Frame a Painting is a really good way to widen your cultural horizons quickly and painlessly.

You’ll find Tony’s eclectic range of videos here.

While his exploration of the editing technique of the Coen Brothers, is here:

#4 Futur: 582k Subscribers

Futur is an online education platform which sells online courses and tools to designers. As such, you know they know what they’re talking about. If they didn’t, people wouldn’t buy their products.

Futur is run by Chris Do, who is also CEO of the marketing agency Blind, and Chris features in a lot of the videos.

As well as the content featuring Chris himself in his role as web-guru and influencer, the YouTube channel also offers conference speeches, interviews, and general behind-the-scenes info about the life of a design agency.

Their series on the branding process, for example, shows the blow-by-blow process of building a brand, from the point of view of the designers and the clients.

You can find Futur’s YouTube channel here

And the series on building a brand begins here:

#5 Google Design: 152k Subscribers

As the name suggests, this is a glimpse behind the scenes of Google. As you might expect from a corporation, these are proper fully-produced documentaries, interviews and recordings of corporate speakers, rather than one person talking to a webcam in their bedroom.

You can find Google Design’s YouTube channel here.

Here they go deeply into revealing details about working on Google’s UI visual framework.

#6 Hello, I’m Alexa: 8.6k Subscribers

Alexa Herasimchuk is, like a lot of America’s creative community, based in San Francisco. Her videos are as much about her life as they are about her job as a UX Designer. The value of this is that creatives are people too, and there are realities about working in the creative industries that college courses just don’t prepare you for. That’s where YouTube can step in.

She also offers a real insights into the collaborative workflow of any creative business where, much as you might like to, you can’t see a project through every stage yourself, you just have to hand it over to coders, designers, animators or any number of other specialists.

The range of interviews she has conducted, with other design professionals, also offer some real insight.

You can check in on her life and her YouTube channel, here.

And this video is her introduction to a typical day in the life of a UX Designer.

#7 Nerdwriter: 2.64m Subscribers

Evan Puschak puts out regular very well produced video essays, where he offers analysis and historical perspective on ‘works of art’. But he isn’t limited in his analysis – he often focuses on subjects from the world of cinema as well as fine art, music, poetry, politics and sociology.

This gives him a holistic view on the arts. It isn’t possible to come out of one of his short documentaries without feeling smarter, and full of supplementary questions.

Evan’s level of research and appetite for understanding offers insights which are inspiring and applicable across the creative arts.

He’s made homework fun!

Find his YouTube channel here

Here, he explains why The Prisoner of Azkaban is peak Potter.

 

#8 The Q: 7.63m Subscribers

Because there’s so much more to YouTube than just people talking to their webcam in their bedroom, we thought we’d include this channel, which features short and simply ‘how to’ videos for things which are creative and fun and, as often as not, entirely pointless.

Because there’s more to creativity than clicking a mouse.

The sheer range of human creative ingenuity is available here.

And, in this video, you can watch a sculptor carefully carving the faces out of coins – for no reason whatsoever. That makes a change.

 

#9 Simone Giertz: 1.93m Subscribers

Simone doesn’t spend her time in front of a computer screen, she’s most likely in her workshop grinding and soldering and building deliberately unwieldy robots.

She walks you through her creative process, and intersperses these fun tutorials with videos about some of the adventures she gets up to, as well as striking a more serious tone with refreshingly honest entries about the health issues she’s experienced.

These videos are of interest because human beings have lives, and it can be fascinating to see how other people manage to fit their work around that.

Her projects are fun and creative and a great example of problem-solving in the real (as opposed to virtual) world.

Simone demonstrates real inventiveness and a positive, can-do attitude which is inspiring for any creative, whatever their field of endeavour.

You’ll find Simone’s YouTube channel here.

And here you can watch her turning a brand new Tesla into a pickup truck. Deliberately.

#10 The Simple Designers: 27.7k Subscribers

These no-nonsense videos do exactly what it says in the name. They simply design. Concentrating on Adobe Illustrator tutorials, some of the videos eschew even having a voiceover and elect, instead, for simple on-screen instructions explaining the step-by-press processes they are going through. Their videos are typically just a no-fuss-no-muss screen capture.

Find The Simple Designers YouTube channel here.

This typical video (which does have a commentary) shows you how to create what they call ‘a cute blob character’.

#11 Will Patterson: 351k Subscribers

Will describes himself as a logo designer and hand-lettering artist. His videos appear several times a week and feature him giving away loads of pro tips and tricks.

Since his specialism is logo design, Will is in a great position to offer critiques on logos that are submitted to him. Like a lot of great creatives, he is also an instinctive teacher – and clearly loves sharing the skills that he has developed.

He makes it all seem effortless but, importantly, doesn’t talk down to you. He knows that everyone watching is, at the very least, a skilled amateur and, very likely, a time-served pro.

Find Will Patterson’s YouTube channel here.

And here he talks about his good, bad and ugly experiences with clients.

#12 Zimri Mayfield: 358k Subscribers

Zimri is kinda cooking the same jam as Will Patterson, but his presentation style is far more informal. That might be a deal-breaker for you, if you prefer a video tutorial to get straight down to business, rather than to be, essentially, a video diary. But, here’s the thing, when Zimri gets down to work, the guy clearly knows what he’s doing.

He shows this best when he challenges himself to design something based on brief elements he chooses randomly. This shows him going through the whole design process from research to sketching to time-lapse screen capture videos of the design process. Now, he doesn’t explain what he’s doing, step-by-step so these aren’t much use to beginners.

Other videos are literal step-by-step guides, accompanied by his eccentric voiceover.

Find Zimri’s free-wheeling YouTube channel here.

And here he is taking you through his process for designing a landing page.

What’s on YourTube?

So, with literally millions of YouTube channels out there, we have barely scratched the surface. We’ve doubtless missed some or all of the channels you rely on for hints and inspiration.

So, tell us, and we’ll tell everyone else.

Track us down on Facebook or Twitter and share the links. Let’s all make the most of our YouTube time.

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