A new site has launched that aims to showcase good looking blogs: http://curatedblogs.net/

In that vein, I thought I’d put together some of the ones I find myself stealing from inspired by.

Jessica Hische

A letter designer by trade, Hishe’s site, as you might expect, pays close attention to typography and elegance.

Jessica Hische

Jessica Hische

However, she also gets some geek cred with the fun theming easter eggs:

Field Notes Mode: Jessica Hische Swiss Mode: Jessica Hische

(I’ll leave you to try out the Teen Girl Mode).

Unicornfree

I’ve always liked Amy Hoy’s blog for being refreshingly to the point while still being fun. Admittedly, we’re seeing a lot more of this typography thanks to Twitter Bootstrap, but Unicornfree is still a breath of fresh air in terms of aesthetics and content.

Unicorn Free

Unicorn Free

The many iterations of jasonsantamaria.com

I can’t think of any other site refreshes that have received quite the same amount of nerdgasms as have Jason Santa Maria’s. His current iteration (v5) showcases web typography, a subtle grid layout and general mastery of web design.

Jason Santa Maria

Jason Santa Maria

His previous version was an exercise in art directing blog posts. While they were visually stunning, he came to the conclusion that he was spending more time designing the posts than writing them!

Jason Santa Maria (v4)

Jason Santa Maria (v4)

Bobulate.com

The site of designer and SVA lecturer Liz Danzico was, funnily enough, also designed by Jason Santa Maria (a close friend of hers), and sticks in my mind as one of the first sites I saw that used interesting typefaces. I’ve always liked the subtle use of weighted fonts and iconography.

Liz Danzico

Liz Danzico

A List Apart

Sadly I don’t have a grab of their old site, which was so well designed in terms of style and typography to still look pretty decent a full 10 years after the theme was launched. Still, the new one, like the old one, uses a distinct illustration style (rather like the New Yorker) and friendly but professional type and layout. I can’t say I’m a fan of the decapitated logo, but hey, you can’t win them all.

A List Apart

A List Apart

The Great Discontent

The Great Discontent is arguably one of the first design interview sites to feel as cool and visually rich as a coffee table book. (As you might expect, the site is responsive, width above is to show some of the content as it really is intended for iMacs rather than aged Macbooks!)

The Great Discontent

The Great Discontent

Zeldman.com

More than anything, I include Zeldman’s for his shamelessly oversized text. Hell, why not?

Zeldman

Zeldman

What’s So Great About Them?

All up, the things that inspire me about them are:

  • Attention to typography. Admittedly, things are a lot better than they used to be in regards to font availability (remember fontstacks?). Even so, a well considered typographic strategy still stands out. 
  • Attention to different screensizes. Jessica Hische’s portfolio is a particularly good example of considering breakpoints, so that at any point the site looks pretty decent.
  • A clear personality. As someone who didn’t begin in graphic design but product design, I can’t necessarily do amazing visuals, but I can consider the personality (or brand, if you want to call it that).  Amy Hoy’s Unicorn Free is chirpy but ball-breaking. Jessica Hische’s looks like the 20 something girl you all want to be. (OK, just me?) Jason Santa Maria’s is the consummate graphic design professional.

I’ll add more blogs as I think of them.

NEW:

Paravel

A site about designing sites, and an example that the analogical carpenters can make their own houses.

Paravel (responsive)

Paravel (responsive)

Paravel

Paravel

Vicky Teinaki is a Kiwi designer and researcher based in Newcastle upon Tyne. For more about her work, go to her official site vickyteinaki.com.