127 episodes

Design Better co-hosts Eli Woolery and Aarron Walter explore the intersection of design, technology, and the creative process through conversations with inspiring guests across many creative fields. Whether you’re design curious or a design pro, Design Better is guaranteed to inspire and inform. Episodes are released semi-weekly. Vanity Fair calls Design Better, “sharp, to the point, and full of incredibly valuable information for anyone looking to better understand how to build a more innovative world.”

Design Better The Curiosity Department, LLC

    • Arts
    • 5.0 • 3 Ratings

Design Better co-hosts Eli Woolery and Aarron Walter explore the intersection of design, technology, and the creative process through conversations with inspiring guests across many creative fields. Whether you’re design curious or a design pro, Design Better is guaranteed to inspire and inform. Episodes are released semi-weekly. Vanity Fair calls Design Better, “sharp, to the point, and full of incredibly valuable information for anyone looking to better understand how to build a more innovative world.”

    Brian Tyler, composer for Yellowstone, Crazy Rich Asians, Mario Brothers, and more, on his creative process

    Brian Tyler, composer for Yellowstone, Crazy Rich Asians, Mario Brothers, and more, on his creative process

    Find the transcript, full show notes, and more on our Substack: https://designbetterpodcast.com/p/brian-tyler
    Our conversation today takes us further into the creative process across different mediums.
    If you’re a fan of Yellowstone, Crazy Rich Asians, Iron Man 3, or the recent Mario Brothers movie, then chances are good that one of the soundtrack clips in the trailer below is familiar to you. And today on Design Better we speak with the person behind them all: Emmy-award nominated composer Brian Tyler.
    We talk to Brian about his childhood influences, growing up in an artistic family, and how he finds the starting threads of a score.
    Bio
    Brian Tyler is a multiple BAFTA and Emmy Award nominee, platinum-selling recording artist, and has been a composer and conductor on over 100 feature films. Tyler’s scoring credits include Joss Whedon's Avengers: Age of Ultron, James Wan’s Furious 7 and F. Gary Gray’s Fate of the Furious as well as others in the Fast and the Furious franchise, Shane Black’s Iron Man 3, Alan Taylor’s Thor: The Dark World, Jon Chu’s Crazy Rich Asians, for which he was voted to the 2019 Oscar shortlist for Best Original Score.
    Brian also tours as a successful electronic artist and producer, playing major festivals such as EDC and Hardfest, and he recently launched "Are We Dreaming", a completely immersive audio-visual experience created by Tyler himself, which debuted in October 2021 on the 400-foot Main Stage at Lost Lands Music Festival; an epic two-hour midnight performance for a crowd of 30,000 people. 
    ***
    Visiting the links below is one of the best ways to support our show:
    Methodical Coffee: Roasted, blended, brewed, served and perfected by verified coffee nerds 🤓. We have our very own Design Better roast at Methodical, grab some here to fuel your creativity: https://methodicalcoffee.com/products/design-better-coffee
    American Giant: Makers of the best hoodie on the planet, their clothing is American-made, ethically produced, and built to last. What more could you ask for? Save 20% off your first order with American Giant using our promo code DESIGNBETTER at checkout. dbtr.co/americangiant
    Crashplan: You may have heard horror stories of people being locked out of their Apple or Google accounts, and losing decades worth of precious files like family photos. That’s why we’ve been using Crashplan for a decade and a half now to back up all of our important files. Visit Crashplan.com/DESIGNBETTER for 50% off your first year of CrashPlan.
    Uplift Desks: For people like us who spend countless hours at our desk, ergonomics are an essential consideration. A standing desk from Uplift Desk can help you avoid the negative effects of sitting all day by improving circulation and reducing strain. Design Better can get a special deal by visiting UPLIFTDesk.com. Use the code DESIGNBETTER5 at checkout for 5% off your order. Free shipping, free returns, and an industry-leading 15-year warranty. They’re a great company.
    Gusto: We’re big fans of Gusto, who make it easy to run payroll, set up healthcare and other benefits for your business. They’ve made setting up the HR infrastructure for Design Better a breeze. Gusto is also one of the best designed SaaS tools out there.
    Design Better listeners get 3 months free once they run their first payroll - Go to gusto.com/designbetter to sign up.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 44 min
    Bonus: Eric Snowden, Head of Adobe Design, on AI + Design

    Bonus: Eric Snowden, Head of Adobe Design, on AI + Design

    Find the transcript, show notes, and more on our Substack: https://designbetterpodcast.com/p/eric-snowden
    Adobe has been the big wrench in our creative toolbox for decades. But there’s a new tool shaking up our workflow —Generative AI. Eric Snowden, leader of Adobe’s design team, sees a big opportunity for designers to extend and enhance the creative process by folding generative AI into each of our tools and we wanted to get his take on what’s around the corner. 
    We spoke with Eric about his journey from Atlantic records during a period of upheaval in the music industry and what he learned there, to his time on the Behance product team and working his way up through leadership roles at Adobe.
    Eric leads a team of over 600 people, so we also talk about finding the right size for teams (and Amazon’s “Two Pizza Team” framework), as well as how R&D works at Adobe.
    Bio
    Eric Snowden is the Vice President of Design at Adobe overseeing a multidisciplinary team of designers responsible for the Creative Cloud & Document Cloud suite of product and services. His team is responsible for the Digital Video & Audio, Digital Imaging, Design & Web, Documents, Mobile, Portfolio, and Services across web, desktop, and mobile surfaces.
    ***
    Visiting the links below is one of the best ways to support our show:
    Methodical Coffee: Roasted, blended, brewed, served and perfected by verified coffee nerds 🤓. We have our very own Design Better roast at Methodical, grab some here to fuel your creativity: https://methodicalcoffee.com/products/design-better-coffee
    American Giant: Makers of the best hoodie on the planet, their clothing is American-made, ethically produced, and built to last. What more could you ask for? Save 20% off your first order with American Giant using our promo code DESIGNBETTER at checkout. dbtr.co/americangiant
    Crashplan: You may have heard horror stories of people being locked out of their Apple or Google accounts, and losing decades worth of precious files like family photos. That’s why we’ve been using Crashplan for a decade and a half now to back up all of our important files. Visit Crashplan.com/DESIGNBETTER for 50% off your first year of CrashPlan.
    Uplift Desks: For people like us who spend countless hours at our desk, ergonomics are an essential consideration. A standing desk from Uplift Desk can help you avoid the negative effects of sitting all day by improving circulation and reducing strain. Design Better can get a special deal by visiting UPLIFTDesk.com. Use the code DESIGNBETTER5 at checkout for 5% off your order. Free shipping, free returns, and an industry-leading 15-year warranty. They’re a great company.
    Gusto: We’re big fans of Gusto, who make it easy to run payroll, set up healthcare and other benefits for your business. They’ve made setting up the HR infrastructure for Design Better a breeze. Gusto is also one of the best designed SaaS tools out there. Design Better listeners get 3 months free once they run their first payroll - Go to gusto.com/designbetter to sign up.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 49 min
    Kate Aronowitz: Shaping the story of design in business

    Kate Aronowitz: Shaping the story of design in business

    Visit our Substack for transcript, show notes, and more: https://designbetterpodcast.com/p/kate-aronowitz
    Few designers have an instinct for business fundamentals. Those that do are able to position design as a competitive advantage for a business and pave the way for design teams to collaborate more effectively. Kate Aronowitz is one of those rare birds.
    Kate has held high level design roles at LinkedIn, WealthFront, Facebook, eBay, and today she’s at GV (formerly known as Google Ventures), where she helps early stage companies find their footing.
    We speak to Kate about the arc of her career, about entrepreneurship as a designer (and why there aren’t more designer-founders), as well as some of the stories from the early days of Facebook like how she was one of the first designers to teach Mark Zuckerberg (or as Eli’s 8 year old son calls him, Zerk Merkerbergen) about human centered design.
    Bio
    Kate Aronowitz is a design executive who has built her career empowering teams at some of Silicon Valley’s most iconic companies. In addition to her role leading GV’s operations team, Kate coaches GV portfolio companies on cross-functional design processes, scale, product development, and management strategy.
    Kate has built world-class design teams at eBay, LinkedIn, Facebook (now Meta), and Wealthfront. She joined the first user experience team at eBay before taking her experience to LinkedIn, where she started the user research team. As Facebook’s first design executive, Kate grew the organization from 20 to 200, establishing multidisciplinary design teams in front-end engineering, user research, content strategy, and communication design.
    ***
    Subscribe to DB+ to get episodes a week early and ad-free. Plus, every month, you're invited to exclusive AMAs (Ask Me Anything) with big names in design and tech, from companies like Nike, Netflix, and the New York Times who will answer your questions directly.
    Early bird subscribers get 50% off for the first three months. Visit designbetter.plus to learn more and subscribe.
    ***
    Visiting the links below is one of the best ways to support our show:
    Methodical Coffee: Roasted, blended, brewed, served and perfected by verified coffee nerds 🤓. We have our very own Design Better roast at Methodical, grab some here to fuel your creativity: https://methodicalcoffee.com/products/design-better-coffee
    American Giant: Makers of the best hoodie on the planet, their clothing is American-made, ethically produced, and built to last. What more could you ask for? Save 20% off your first order with American Giant using our promo code DESIGNBETTER at checkout. dbtr.co/americangiant
    Uplift Desks: For people like us who spend countless hours at our desk, ergonomics are an essential consideration. A standing desk from Uplift Desk can help you avoid the negative effects of sitting all day by improving circulation and reducing strain. Design Better can get a special deal by visiting UPLIFTDesk.com. Use the code DESIGNBETTER5 at checkout for 5% off your order. Free shipping, free returns, and an industry-leading 15-year warranty. They’re a great company.
    Gusto: We’re big fans of Gusto, who make it easy to run payroll, set up healthcare and other benefits for your business. They’ve made setting up the HR infrastructure for Design Better a breeze. Gusto is also one of the best designed SaaS tools out there.
    Design Better listeners get 3 months free once they run their first payroll - Go to gusto.com/designbetter to sign up.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 51 min
    Ellen Lupton: Thinking With Type

    Ellen Lupton: Thinking With Type

    For decades, graphic designers have been introduced to typography by Ellen Lupton’s book, Thinking With Type. It was certainly a staple in Aarron’s courses when he taught graphic design. It’s now in its third edition, with loads of new content. It’s worth noting, the layout of each page of this book is beautiful and entirely designed by Ellen herself. 
    We chat with Ellen about what’s new in this edition of her book, and how people other than designers can use it. We also go through some rapid-fire questions about the fundamentals of typography, and origins of some of the terminology like points, leading, kerning, italics, and more.
    Whether you’re new to typography, or a seasoned pro, you’ll learn something from this conversation.
    Bio
    Ellen Lupton is a graphic designer, curator, writer, critic, and educator. Known for her love of typography, Lupton is the Betty Cooke and William O. Steinmetz Design Chair at Maryland Institute College of Art. Previously she was the Senior Curator of Contemporary Design at Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum in New York City and was named Curator Emerita after 30 years of service.
    ***
    Visiting the links below is one of the best ways to support our show:
    Methodical Coffee: Roasted, blended, brewed, served and perfected by verified coffee nerds 🤓. We have our very own Design Better roast at Methodical, grab some here to fuel your creativity: https://methodicalcoffee.com/products/design-better-coffee
    American Giant: Makers of the best hoodie on the planet, their clothing is American-made, ethically produced, and built to last. What more could you ask for? Save 20% off your first order with American Giant using our promo code DESIGNBETTER at checkout. dbtr.co/americangiant
    Uplift Desks: For people like us who spend countless hours at our desk, ergonomics are an essential consideration. A standing desk from Uplift Desk can help you avoid the negative effects of sitting all day by improving circulation and reducing strain. Design Better can get a special deal by visiting UPLIFTDesk.com. Use the code DESIGNBETTER5 at checkout for 5% off your order. Free shipping, free returns, and an industry-leading 15-year warranty. They’re a great company.
    Gusto: We’re big fans of Gusto, who make it easy to run payroll, set up healthcare and other benefits for your business. They’ve made setting up the HR infrastructure for Design Better a breeze. Gusto is also one of the best designed SaaS tools out there.
    Design Better listeners get 3 months free once they run their first payroll - Go to gusto.com/designbetter to sign up.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 43 min
    Jonathan Hoefler: Typography legend on type history, philosophy, and entrepreneurship

    Jonathan Hoefler: Typography legend on type history, philosophy, and entrepreneurship

    Visit our Substack for the transcript, additional show notes and links, and more: https://designbetterpodcast.com/p/jonathan-hoefler
    Chances are you have a few fonts on your computer designed by Jonathan Hoefler. Since 1991, Apple has included Hoefler Text on every Mac. Ideal Sans, Knockout, Archer, Verlag, and Sentinel—are a few more of Hoefler’s well known typefaces —each is steeped in history and timelessly beautiful. It’s no wonder that Jonathan was featured in the Netflix series Abstract, which explores design and creativity, as he is truly a typography legend.
    As part of our series on design history, we talk with Jonathan about his typographic influences, his philosophical views on the value of presentation and why he views entrepreneurship as an invitation, and some of the themes in his work like “Unfinished Business” and “Conservation and Preservation.”
    This is the first episode of our 10th season of Design Better. We’ll be continuing our exploration of design history and the creative process, but also adding new themes like how we can design a better future, and the secrets of living a more creative life, with guests like potter and designer Jonathan Adler.
    Bio
    Jonathan Hoefler (pronounced "HEFF-ler") is a typeface designer, typographer, writer, and inventor, and the creator of some of the world's most influential fonts such as Gotham, Knockout, Mercury, Sentinel, and Hoefler Text. He founded the distinguished type foundry Hoefler&Co in 1989, which he sold in 2021, after publishing more than eleven hundred original tyepfaces. He's currently enjoying a sabbatical, and writing about typography and visual culture on his website, JonathanHoefler.com.
    ***
    Subscribe to DB+ to get episodes a week early and ad-free. Plus, every month, you're invited to exclusive AMAs (Ask Me Anything) with big names in design and tech, from companies like Nike, Netflix, and the New York Times who will answer your questions directly.
    Early bird subscribers get 50% off for the first three months. Visit designbetter.plus to learn more and subscribe.
    ***
    Visiting the links below is one of the best ways to support our show:
    Methodical Coffee: Roasted, blended, brewed, served and perfected by verified coffee nerds 🤓. We have our very own Design Better roast at Methodical, grab some here to fuel your creativity: https://methodicalcoffee.com/products/design-better-coffee
    American Giant: Makers of the best hoodie on the planet, their clothing is American-made, ethically produced, and built to last. What more could you ask for? Save 20% off your first order with American Giant using our promo code DESIGNBETTER at checkout. dbtr.co/americangiant
    Uplift Desks: For people like us who spend countless hours at our desk, ergonomics are an essential consideration. A standing desk from Uplift Desk can help you avoid the negative effects of sitting all day by improving circulation and reducing strain. Design Better can get a special deal by visiting UPLIFTDesk.com. Use the code DESIGNBETTER at checkout for 5% off your order. Free shipping, free returns, and an industry-leading 15-year warranty. They’re a great company.
    Gusto: We’re big fans of Gusto, who make it easy to run payroll, set up healthcare and other benefits for your business. They’ve made setting up the HR infrastructure for Design Better a breeze. Gusto is also one of the best designed SaaS tools out there.
    Design Better listeners get 3 months free once they run their first payroll - Go to gusto.com/designbetter to sign up.
    We would love to learn a bit about you and your listening habits to help us improve the show and partner with the right sponsors who make things relevant to your life. We're giving away a 13" Macbook Air with the new M2 chip to one lucky respondent to our survey who will be chosen at random. Just complete this survey to be entered to win! One entry per person please. https://dbtr.co/2024survey
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/a

    • 1 hr 2 min
    Bonus: Hamish Smyth of Standards

    Bonus: Hamish Smyth of Standards

    Visit our Substack for the transcript, links, and more: https://designbetterpodcast.com/p/hamish-smyth
    Design systems have been on the minds of those of us in the software industry for more than a decade now and for good reason. To create large scale software with a consistent experience, standards are needed to guide contributors. 
    This is not a new problem, though. Before software designers created design systems, brand and print designers created design standards to guide creative collaboration. We had a chance to talk with Hamish Smyth, co-founder of the popular tool Standards, and we relished the opportunity to nerd out with him on this subject.
    We spoke with Hamish about what design standards are and how they differ from design systems, some examples of famous standards like Massimo Vignellli’s NYC Subway map and NASAs Standards Manual, and also about what Hamish learned about getting corporate buy-in from working with famed designer Michael Beirut from Pentagram.
    Bio
    Hamish Smyth is the co-founder of Standards and partner at Order. Prior to co-founding Order, Hamish worked as an associate partner the New York office of Pentagram Design under partner Michael Bierut.
    In 2014 he co-founded Standards Manual, an independent publishing imprint focusing on the preservation of graphic design history.
    ***
    Subscribe to DB+ to get episodes a week early and ad-free. Plus, every month, you're invited to exclusive AMAs (Ask Me Anything) with big names in design and tech, from companies like Nike, Netflix, and the New York Times who will answer your questions directly.
    Early bird subscribers get 50% off for the first three months. Visit designbetter.plus to learn more and subscribe.
    ***
    Visiting the links below is one of the best ways to support our show:
    Methodical Coffee: Roasted, blended, brewed, served and perfected by verified coffee nerds 🤓. We have our very own Design Better roast at Methodical, grab some here to fuel your creativity: https://methodicalcoffee.com/products/design-better-coffee
    American Giant: Makers of the best hoodie on the planet, their clothing is American-made, ethically produced, and built to last. What more could you ask for? Save 20% off your first order with American Giant using our promo code DESIGNBETTER at checkout. dbtr.co/americangiant
    Uplift Desks: For people like us who spend countless hours at our desk, ergonomics are an essential consideration. A standing desk from Uplift Desk can help you avoid the negative effects of sitting all day by improving circulation and reducing strain. Design Better can get a special deal by visiting UPLIFTDesk.com. Use the code DESIGNBETTER at checkout for 5% off your order. Free shipping, free returns, and an industry-leading 15-year warranty. They’re a great company.
    Gusto: We’re big fans of Gusto, who make it easy to run payroll, set up healthcare and other benefits for your business. They’ve made setting up the HR infrastructure for Design Better a breeze. Gusto is also one of the best designed SaaS tools out there.
    Design Better listeners get 3 months free once they run their first payroll - Go to gusto.com/designbetter to sign up.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 42 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
3 Ratings

3 Ratings

Max_BB ,

So inspiring, so real and authentic. Love to listen to it

I love listening to your guests. The way you speak and inspire with authentic stories and live journeys is truly appreciated. Thank you for your efforts!

bratszpyr ,

Great learnings

Best design podcast. Fantastic talks which helps to expand the knowledge and overcome challenges at work and in professional growth

mwaclawek1007 ,

Deep insight into design

Great, accessible podcast that covers design in a very broad understanding. Great for deepening the knowledge and extending the horizon, not only for designers!

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