Podcasting is still the Wild West of new-new-media, which makes stumbling on excellence exhilarating, but frustratingly hard to come by. Most design-minders know Roman Mars’ 99% Invisible and Design Matters with Debbie Millman. Other well-known design sites are launching podcasts, like Design Milk’s brand new Clever, but most of us struggle to branch out from there. We wanted to make that easy for you (and let’s face it, for us, too), so we searched design podcasters high and low and curated a great starter list.

We asked seven top design podcasters for their favorites  plus what non-design podcasts they love, which we’re calling “Extracurricular.” Boom: your ears will never again go empty. And if you’ve never subscribed to a podcast before, here’s how to do it.

In no particular order, then:

The Observatory
In a nutshell:
The audio version of eminent blog Design Observer, this podcast teams DO founder Jessica Helfand with Pentagram’s Michael Bierut. It’s two heavy-hitters of graphic design who are long-time friends and colleagues, in loose, rollicking, erudite conversation.

All-time favorite episode:
The show’s executive producer Blake Eskin likes “Working Class Heroes” about David Bowie and Alan Rickman, two working-class Brits who died the same week and “whose lives were changed by British art school, and then they changed our lives. It’s a great example of how [Helfand and Bierut] look at subjects of broad interest from their perspective as designers.”

 Good “starter” episode:
“You can start anywhere,” says Eskin, “but “September Issues” looks at design thinking, working with Tim Geithner, logos, and Oliver Sacks.”

Extracurricular:
“Benjamen Walker’s Theory of Everything is one of the best commentaries on culture and technology out there,” says Eskin. “Also Rumble Strip Vermont by Erica Heilman is an aural window into a real rural life that is distinct from the imitative longings of bearded urbanites with antique wooden tables.” 

The Busy Creator 
In a nutshell:
Host Prescott Perez-Fox describes his podcast as a “discussion show where creative pros from across the spectrum discuss the tools, techniques, and habits they use to do their best work.”

All-time favorite episode:
Episode 67 with Mignon Fogarty a.k.a. Grammar Girl, because we’re both grammar nerds and veteran podcasters, and the conversation just flowed effortlessly,” says Perez-Fox.

Good “starter” episode:
One of The Busy Creator’s most popular episodes is, surprisingly, Project Management Software & Collaboration Tools, with Bryan Orr. “Lots of links to visit and workflows to try, for the real process-focused faithful,” says Perez-Fox.

Extracurricular:
Own It! by Nicola Cairncross and Judith Morgan is two boomer-age British women talking about business and marketing, sometimes over tea,” says Perez-Fox. “They don’t spoon-feed you.” He also digs Coverville by Brian Ibbott, a weekly music show focused on cover songs. “Brian has an immense music knowledge and connects the covers by and of famous artists. Totally fun and well done.”

Obsessed With Design
In a nutshell:
Josh Miles, partner at branding agency MilesHerndon and host of this almost-weekly podcast, explains the show’s name this way: “I believe… all great designers [are] obsessed. Our show explores the common threads that tie them together and what makes them tick.”

All-time favorite episode:
Episode 1 with Design Matters’ Debbie Millman. “From the outside we only see her massive success, but her story weaves together the disappointments and letdowns that made the successes so much more meaningful,” says Miles. “Even if you’re not a designer, Debbie’s episode is just a great personal, relatable story.”

Good “starter” episode:
Armin Vit’s interview is a blast,” says Miles. “It’s really cool to hear him unpack how he runs the [Brand New] blog, the occasional client project, and has plenty of time to commit to his family.”

Extracurricular:
Song Exploder isn’t design-oriented, but it’s an amazing look at the creative process for bands,” continues Miles. “I also just started to dig into a show about legends called Lore and a podcast about the craft of content marketing, called Unthinkable.”

The Poster Boys
In a nutshell:
A monthly show co-hosted by poster designers Brandon Schaefer and Sam Smith, The Poster Boys “might be the only [podcast] geared toward design history,” remarks Schaefer. “If not, then we’re probably the only knuckleheads that talk about the process behind design for movie posters.” (They’re also Eye on Design contributors.)

All-time favorite episode:
“[This] episode… focused on the posters of post-revolutionary Cuba,” says Schaefer. “There’s an optimism that you find within the art and the stories that led to their creation that brought out the best in both of us.”

Good “starter” episode:
“Jump in anywhere!” says Schaefer. “Just keep in mind that we’ve learned a few things since our first episode.”

Extracurricular:
Not necessarily under-appreciated, but You Must Remember This with Karina Longworth is a great podcast on old Hollywood.” 

Let’s Make Mistakes
In a nutshell:
Let’s Make Mistakes (LMM) is the handiwork of Mule Design colleagues Mike Monteiro, Liam Campbell, Steph Monette, and audio engineer Seven Morris. In a joint email from all four, LMM described the show as nominally about current trends in design and technology as an industry. Really, though, we invite people we admire to hang out with us and talk about what they love.”

All-time favorite episode:
While Morris and Monteiro claim to always love the latest episode most, Monte likes “165 The Rabid Feminists, where we talked to Hampton and Michael Catlin about dictionaries and the implications of biased definitions.” Hampton and Michael Catlin are co-creators of Wordset, an open collaborative dictionary. “Hampton and Michael probably wouldn’t describe what they do as design,” says Campbell, “but the insight they have around how teams are organized are definitely within the realm of service design.”

Good “starter” episode:
Campbell thinks “Episode 162 with New York Times designer Jennifer Daniel is a great introduction to our style of design-adjacent nonsense.” Morris recommends Episode 167, Look Who Thinks He’s John John. It has tremendous entertainment value, and it’s exquisitely contentious.”

Extracurricular:
Sleep With Me is the strangest and most effective podcast out there,” says Monte. Campbell kvells about Top Scallops, a kind of riff on Top-Chef and an excuse to talk about everything food-related, and The Mystery Show by Starlee Kine.

Say Something Worth Stealing
In a nutshell:
This monthly podcast puts interactive designer and host Dave Curry in conversation with creative professionals to talk career, lives, and craft. “Finding out how someone arrived at where they’re at has always been fascinating to me,” says Curry.

All-time favorite episode:
Curry likes Episode 7 with Clara Mulligan, creative director at Creature. “Clara is a wildly creative individual with an incredible sense of humor,” Curry says.

Good “starter” episode:
“I’m old school,” says Curry, “so I’d recommend starting with… episode #000 with Brad Holst, a design director at POP who I’ve known for a long time. Brad has, hands down, the best origin story of any creative I’ve ever met.”

Extracurricular:
“Of course I’m a podcast-listening machine,” says Curry. Outside of design, he likes “Hello from the Magic Tavern, Comedy Bang Bang: The Podcast, a16z, Reply All, BuzzFeed’s Internet Explorer, Song Exploder, Startup (really any show from Gimlet Media), Voices of VR Podcast, Invisibilia, and The Awl.”  

CreativeMornings
In a nutshell:
Did you know your favorite design-with-Danish breakfast meetup has a monthly podcast, too? Drawing from their 140 chapters nationwide, CreativeMornings brings “hometown heroes to design legends to community leaders… straight to your headphones,” according to CreativeMornings content manager Katie Zanecchia.

All-time favorite episode:
“Picking a favorite is tough,” says Zanecchia. So I will do the honors for her: the strangely moving talk-slash-performance with musician and ex-convict John Forte.

Good “starter” episode:
“It depends on what you’re in the mood for,” says Zanecchia. “If you want [to] hear about lessons learned from the incredible force who is Debbie Millman, start there. Or if you want to hear what it’s like to work on Invisibilia, another great podcast, start with Lulu Miller.”

Extracurricular:
“We’re huge fans of the shows Reply All and On Being,” writes community manager Lisa Cifuentes. “We know these aren’t exactly under the radar, but we love that Reply All uncovers fascinating pockets of the internet, and On Being always leaves us thinking about issues that feel bigger than us.”

Honorable mentions + dearly departed
If you’re an archive-digger or planning a cross-country roadtrip, consider these additional gems that are either defunct, infrequent, or devoted to areas of design beyond graphic: Typeradio, The Deeply Graphic DesignCast, KCRW’s DnA Design and ArchitectureAfter The Jump, Mag Heroes, Monocle 24: The Stack, and On the Grid.