Here’s an idea for a cold winter day: get comfy with your freshly brewed tea (or coffee), let out a sigh of relief about the work week coming to an end, and enjoy some of the best TED talks on the topics that truly matter.

Design is all around us, and just as there are different approaches to design, there are real individuals behind the products. Professionals in this collection of TED talks on design come from different fields, and they all have something interesting to say. Enjoy the list and don’t forget to get cozy before the marathon.

Watch these TED talks on design to get inspired

1. The First Secret of Design is Noticing by Tony Fadell

Tony Fadell brings up the thought that we quickly get used to “the way things are”. Is this ideal? For every designer, it’s, in fact, an opportunity to improve things and use creative thinking to figure out the ‘why’ because it’s ultimately what inspires and drives change.

2. My Life in Typefaces by Matthew Carter

Without being aware of it, you’ve likely come across typography design by Matthew Carter – Verdana and Georgia for example. This talk is about his career and how technology is impacting typefaces.

3. Got a Wicked Problem? Fist Tell Me How You Make Toast by Tom Wujec

What’s easier than making toast? Perhaps explaining it to someone in drawings? Tom Wujec asks a simple question and explores the thought process behind design and how to solve the most complicated creative problems based on his findings.

4. 3 Ways Good Design Makes You Happy by Don Norman

Don Norman is a design critic that takes a different edge on design and underlying messages. Design is so much about looks but also the emotional responses. On a subconscious level, we all know this but what we don’t know is what it is exactly that makes designs succeed.

5. How Giant Websites Design for You (And a Billion Others Too) by Margaret Gould Stewart

Do you know what the most viewed design element is? They’re those buttons you click on so often on Facebook! Facebook’s director of product design, Margaret Gould Stewart, talks about 3 rules of design for big scale projects and how tiny and major changes can upset people but also can positively impact users.

6. Can Design Save Newspapers? By Jacek Utko

This is an interesting talk because no one knows how much longer print materials will hold out as a source of news. Jacek Utko is a newspaper designer that talks about what needs to be done to keep newspapers alive (you guessed it, it’s through compelling design).

7. Good Design is Serious, Not Solemn by Paula Scher

Paula Scher is a renowned designer, she’s designed book and album covers and even the Citibank logo. She narrows on a point in her career when she just started having fun with what used to be work. However, there is a lot of seriousness behind her projects and how she balances the two is quite inspiring.

8. Intricate Beauty by Design by Marian Bantjes

Marian Bantjes says that adding your individuality to a graphic design project is kind of taboo. Is graphic design always neutral and is there a way around it? However, she built her career exploring just that.

9. Design, Explained by John Hodgman

On a more humorous note, comedian John Hodgman ‘explains’ the design of three modern objects that are quite iconic. But is that really his intent? This light and breezy talk will keep you entertained.

10. Simplicity Sells by David Pogue

David Pogue is a New York Times columnist and does he have a thing or two to say about design! He looks at interface-design as examples and includes counter examples of designs that stand out. By the way, he also randomly sings at some point.

11. Do Schools Kill Creativity? by Ken Robinson

One of the most powerful talks on TED is this one by Ken Robinson. He looks into the flaws of our education system, and proposes that we change something to nurture creativity instead of suppressing it. You’ll be surprised at how eye opening this TED talk on creativity is.

These TED talks on design and creativity won’t take up much of your time but will likely resonate with you for days to come. Are there any that you’d like to include in this list? Leave your favourites in the comments section below.

 For more TED talks, see our collection of TED talks on photography and TED talks on marketing.
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