Talking about graphic design and my influences and mentors, I can easily rattle off several names that make my eyes light up at their mention—Herbert Bayer, Saul Bass, Paul Rand, El Lissitsky, Lazlo Moholy-Nagy, Theo van Doesburg, Jan Tschichold, I could go on, Eric Spiekermann, Massimo Vignelli, seriously. With the exceptions of Mr. Spiekermann and Mr. Vignelli, you could say that, yes, all my heroes are dead. But when we shift that conversation to web design, thankfully that is not the case.

Paul Irish

Works on Google's Chrome and JQuery. Also known for a small side project ;-) know as the HTML5 Boilerplate, amongst other things. Extremely smart guy with loads of knowledge in front-end technologies and a witty sense of humor. I've had several laugh-outloud moments viewing his videos.

Chris Coyier

Works for Wufoo (and by default, Survey Monkey). Host of CSS-Tricks and co-host of The Shop Talk Show. I would dare to say that this guy is the zen master of Cascading Style Sheets. I would bet you my street cred that if you had a question about CSS, Chris has covered in on his site. His radio show with Dave Rupert is fun to listen to as well as informative.

Eric Meyer

If Chris Coyier is the zen master of CSS, then Eric Meyer is the Dalai Lama. He has years upon years of experience and fathered the CSS Reset. Be sure to tell him thank you ;-)

Jakob Nielsen

Father Usability. He himself is a standard. His web site may not be the most aesthetically inclined, but his research and teachings on usability are sourced by thousands in the community. If someone has made a statement of usability to you, nine times out of ten they are referencing an article he has written.

Inayaili de León

Works for Canonical (the company that delivers Ubuntu) and is very knowledgeable about CSS. She has written several articles for distinguished online magazines about web design and has delivered speeches at conferences. A good source for CSS issues.

Divya Manian

Formerly employed as Web Opener at Opera, she now works for Adobe's webplatform team. She is knowledgeable in various web technologies and has written and spoken a great deal on web standards, even to the reproach of popular opinion. She has done much to move the web forward—see also: HTML Boilerplate.

Lea Verou

Is the co-founder of a small web advertising company named Fresset Ltd and is the creator of the CSS3 Patterns Gallery. She speaks at conferences and writes articles on web standards, especially JavaScript and CSS3.

This is just a starter list—a list of people that I wish someone would have given me when I first began learning front-end web technologies. There are more that could be added to this list (like Luke Wroblewski, Ethan Marcotte, Nicole Sullivan, Jonathan Snook) but then the list would go on for ever... That would be overwhelming! If there is someone that you think I've missed or that you do not agree with, write me here.


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