A Podcast Shortlist

I spend a lot of time commuting to my day job. The drive in isn’t so bad, but I can spend upwards of an hour and a half getting home some days. The best use of that time: podcasts. I’ve always loved podcasts because they’re easy to digest and there’s so much variety.

In the last few months, I’ve tested out a lot of podcasts. This is my shortlist (and I highly recommend you try at least one of them):

99% Invisible

Roman Mars will always have a place in my heart. His philosophy on design and brilliant storytelling make 99% Invisible my number one podcast of all time. Usually ranging from 11 to 30 minutes, each episode tells a story of design that most people would never consider. Best part: regardless of order, each episode is better than the last. (Aside: His voice will enthrall you.)

iTunes / SoundCloud

This American Life

While a little long for my taste (most podcasts are), This American Life tells two or three stories centering on a single theme. While the themes run the gamut of American culture, the personal stories and tiny details are always revealing and often captivating.


On The Media

A critique on our national media, each episode covers a current reporting trend or issue. The discussions and interviews on current media topics, ethics, and responsibility are always thought-provoking, at the very least. I find it a little long at times, but it’s a great way to get a view on the current media climate.


Freakonomics Radio

The economics of everything, in small pieces. I love it because economics are everywhere, and the ideas presented are usually unconventional. Drawing from a wide area of knowledge is important to my work as a designer, so this financial perspective helps round out my field of attention.


Design Observer’s Design Matters

While not my favorite interviewer, Debbie Millman lands interviews with my favorite designers. I don’t listen to every episode, but the ones with Stefan Sagmiester, Jessica Walsh, Roman Mars, and Erik Spiekermann are informative and interesting. Next episode on my list: Jessica Heische.


If you haven’t gathered, my tastes are pretty narrow and I have a low tolerance for poor quality work. These podcasts are the top of my list for their production value and content. I hope you enjoy them. If there’s a podcast I need to hear, let me know in the comments or on Twitter.