More Than Skin Deep: The Business of Design

One of my better finds of early to mid-2012 was the (then) fairly new podcast simply called The Deeply Graphic DesignCast. The brainchild of Wes McDowell, this show aims to bring you a new perspective on web design taken from the cast’s own handbooks in the creative industry—from their own hard-learned experiences to tales of well-fought successes and defeats, to best practices, and sound business advice.

The Deeply Graphic Design Cast website is operated through Wes McDowell's website and business, The Deep End.
The Deeply Graphic Design Cast website is operated through Wes McDowell’s website and business, The Deep End Design.

The shows are recorded and packaged up on a bi-weekly schedule and typically last around 40-60 minutes, or until the cast exhausts themselves from answering listener questions. Whatever comes first…

Those familiar with the territory of web design and development podcasts know there are other shows that have followed similar routes, but none have engrossed me quite the same way that Wes, Mikelle, Brandon, and sometimes other guests have. While I tend to follow the route of a front-end developer in addition to a graphic designer, I found a serious value for pretty much any creative wannabe looking for the right skillset to pursue and right business sensibilities to follow to attempt to break into a new role or even get out of a tired-old job.

These guys are not web developers (and make sure to state as much fairly often) so if that’s what you’re after in a podcast you probably won’t be satisfied from this alone. However, if you are interested in keeping up with the latest design trends on the web or seeking out new ways to gain an edge in your business sensibilities, the information that Wes and the gang share here is much more encompassing than you might expect, job specifications and skill set completely aside. It’s quite apparent that this show’s intent is straightforward: to help people of creative expertise tackle the wave of anxiety that can accompany working in the field of such necessary front-facing and conversation-filled customer satisfaction.

And that’s all in addition to what one can gain from seeing a designer’s perspective on things. No matter how you face the matter, it always seems that there are disputes of some sort between what the designer provides and what the developer puts out. This show faces those dilemmas as well (even if they are a bit biased!)

Cast of Characters

Like anything worth spending precious time with, the right cast of characters is essential to success. The DesignCast’s “characters” are a great gang indeed; quite entertaining even while discussing sometimes such dry business topics as DesignCast 8: ‘Contracts’, and dare I say, taking small steps to make the more corporate aspects of being a designer actually interesting.

Wes Mcdowell

Wes McDowell (@wesmcdowell)

Lead designer at The Deep End design studio in Los Angeles, California and host of The Deeply Graphic Design Cast.


Mikelle Morrison

Mikelle Morrison

Independent Designer at MKM Design in Seattle, Washington and co-host of The Deeply Graphic Design Cast.


Brandon Voss

Brandon Voss (@zooplancton1)

Creative Director & UI Designer at Industry Design in San Francisco, California and co-host of The Deeply Graphic Design Cast.

The Goods

The podcast is made available through the most common channel—iTunes—as well as directly online via The Deep End’s Community section, to make listening at work or on your daily commute easy as possible.

Some of my favorite episodes so far:

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