10 Amazing Designers that Influence the Community

By / Nov 6, 2008 / Inspiration

I come from a print background of 9+ years. The last 4-5 I have been designing for the web. I have been following these 10 amazing designers that have influenced and taught me plenty through their books, websites & even recent portfolios. I asked around for other designers opinions of whom their favorite’s were and realized the choices were pretty close if not the same. I chose to feature a little bit about each one and show some work they have done. I think the following designers have influenced and shaped the way we (younger designers) think today.

Jason Santa Maria

Jason Santa Maria is a Graphic Designer living in sunny Brooklyn, NY. He serves as Creative Director for Happy Cog Studios, both in New York and Philadelphia. This status grants him access to most black-tie galas and groundbreaking ceremonies.

Cameron Moll

Recognized as one of the industry’s most balanced new media designers, Cameron Moll is proficient in functional web design, clean markup, and savvy print design. Cameron has been involved in the design and redesign of scores of websites, and his influential techniques have found favor in circles across the web. He was a contributing author for the book, “CSS Mastery”. Cameron’s work has been recognized by respected organizations such as National Public Radio (NPR), Communication Arts, and Veer. His personal site, CameronMoll.com, delivers design how-to in the form of engaging conversation, on-topic banter, and downloadable artwork source files.

Jeffrey Zeldman

Jeffrey Zeldman was one of the first designers, bloggers, and independent publishers on the web, and one of the first web design teachers. In 1998, he co-founded—and from 1999 to 2002 he directed—The Web Standards Project, a grassroots coalition that helped bring standards to our browsers.

He publishes A List Apart “for people who make websites;” has written two books (notably the foundational web standards text, Designing With Web Standards, 2nd Edition); co-founded the web design conference An Event Apart; and founded and is executive creative director of Happy Cog™, an agency of web design and user experience specialists.

Dan Cederholm

Dan Cederholm is a web designer and author living in Salem, Massachusetts. He’s the Founder and Principal of SimpleBits, LLC, a tiny web design studio.

A recognized expert in the field of standards-based web design, Dan has worked with Google, MTV, AIGA, ESPN, Blogger, Fast Company, Inc.com, and others. With each new project, comes an opportunity to minimize markup and embrace the flexibility of CSS.

Dan co-founded Cork’d, a social network and reviewing application for wine aficionados, and launched IconShoppe, a storefront for stock web icons hand-crafted by SimpleBits.

He is the author of two popular books: Bulletproof Web Design (New Riders, 2005) and Web Standards Solutions (Friends of ED, 2004). Dan also runs the popular weblog SimpleBits, where he writes articles and commentary on the web, technology and life.

Daniel Mall

An interactive designer, living the heart of Philadelphia, PA. To me, being a designer doesn’t just mean I make pretty pictures (although I can do that too); it’s about conceptually and visually helping to solve people’s problems. Professionally, my passion is generating ideas, theories that haven’t been explored yet. Technically, I specialize in Flash, XHTML, CSS, and typography.

Andy Clarke

Andy was making web sites for food when the dinosaurs roamed the earth. These days, he pretends to work hard as Creative Director at Stuff and Nonsense, but according to his wife he actually has rather an easy life. In his spare time he dreams of having a misspent youth and blogs at For A Beautiful Web.

Shaun Inman

Shaun Inman is a successful designer and developer living and working out of Chattanooga, Tennessee. Originally from Norwood, Massachusetts, he studied Graphic Design at the Savannah College of Art & Design after which he spent a few years in Baltimore, Maryland. His interest in design gradually shifted to web design and development thanks to many well-documented open-source and standards-based technologies.

Dave Shea

Dave is a graphic designer for his own Bright Creative in Vancouver. He’s the creator and cultivator of the highly influential css Zen Garden, as well as being a member of the Web Standards Project. Dave writes about all things web for his daily weblog.

Andy Budd

Andy works as senior web designer for Message Digital Design Ltd. In his spare time he runs SkillSwap.org, a project that provides FREE training for his local new media community. He also occasionally posts to his blog.

Eric A. Meyer

Eric is an internationally recognized expert on the subjects of HTML, CSS, and Web standards. A widely read author and sought-after speaker, he is the founder of Complex Spiral Consulting, a company that aims to help clients save money and increase efficiency through the use of standards-oriented Web design techniques.

Which designer has influenced you the most? (Doesn’t have to be on this list!)


  1. Mike Niel
    July 28, 2009

    what about Ali Nawaz http://www.alinawaz.net

  2. Web Design Singapore
    September 19, 2009

    Just curious, what did you come up with the list?

  3. Varitek
    October 3, 2009

    I would add Roan Lavery of http://www.renegadezen.com/

  4. Zach
    October 5, 2009

    Your link to Andy Budd is broken. Great list!

  5. Matt Hill
    October 5, 2009

    Your Andy Budd bio is several years out of date!

  6. Ally
    October 5, 2009

    I’m pretty upset that there are no women on this list. I’ve seen many female designers who are better than many of these guys.

    • Elle
      December 26, 2009

      I was thinking the same thing. I always see these websites awarding designers and they never show women. Let’s start an equal opportunity site.

  7. nhdesign
    October 6, 2009

    Vincent Morisset all the way!

    engineer of the Neon Bible interactive video and many very cool and unexpected creative ideas

    def. in my top 2

  8. Frank Stallone
    October 9, 2009

    Wow, what an amazing list; personally I would love to take all these guys out for dinner… Maybe not at the same time that would be ridiculous but seriously some amazing minds in this post. I am happy to say that I too follow and look up to all these outstanding individuals.

  9. JanB#
    October 12, 2009

    “Dave Shea… _daily_ weblog”
    that made me laugh out loud! No seriously, Dave posted 9 articles this year (!) conaining his unfortunate chalkwork iconset, test-entries and other lets, just say it, boring stuff. It might be caused by these new webdesign ressource “magazines” like Smashing Magazin that push out at least one “ultimate guide to XYZ”-article per day but Dave seems to have lost the track and focuses on other things (nothing against that).

    He deserves respect for his CSS Zen Garden project though.

  10. Nellynton
    October 24, 2009

    In Brazil, i dont have doubt about the quality of work from Gringo Cardia.

    Check it!


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