Named “one of the most influential designers working today” by Graphic Design USA, Debbie Millman is also an author, educator, brand strategist and host of the podcast Design Matters. As the founder and host of Design Matters, the first and longest running podcast about design, Millman has interviewed more than 250 design luminaries and cultural commentators, including Massimo Vignelli, Milton Glaser, Malcolm Gladwell, Dan Pink, Barbara Kruger, Seth Godin and more. In the 11 years since its inception, the show has garnered over a million download per year, a Cooper Hewitt National Design Award and—most recently—iTunes designated it one of the best podcasts of 2015.
Debbie is the author of six books, including two collections of interviews that have extended the ethos and editorial vision of Design Matters to the printed page: How to Think Like a Great Graphic Designer and Brand Thinking and Other Noble Pursuits. Both books have been published in over 10 languages. In 2009 Debbie co-founded with Steven Heller the world’s first graduate program in branding at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. Now in its sixth year, the program has achieved international acclaim. The inaugural class wrote and designed the Rockport book Brand Bible: The Complete Guide to Building, Designing and Sustaining Brands, in 2013 the students created branding for the Museum of Modern Art’s retail program, Destination: New York and the class of 2015 worked to reposition a Kappa Middle School in Harlem.
Debbie’s written and visual essays have appeared in publications such as The New York Times, New York Magazine, Print Magazine, Design Observer and Fast Company. She is the author of two books of illustrated essays: Look Both Ways and Self-Portrait As Your Traitor; the later of which has been awarded a Gold Mobius, a Print Typography Award, and a medal from the Art Directors Club. Her artwork has been exhibited at the Chicago Design Museum, Anderson University, School of Visual Arts, Long Island University and The Wolfsonion Museum. She has been artist-in-residence at Cranbrook University, Old Dominion University and Notre Dame University, and has conducted visual storytelling workshops at Academy of Art University in San Francisco, the University of Utah, Hartford University, Albuquerque Academy and the High School of Art and Design in New York. She has designed wrapping paper and beach towels for One Kings Lane, greeting cards for Mohawk, MOO and Card-To-Art, playing cards for DeckStarter, notebooks for Shutterstock and Baron Fig and T-shirts for Within The Fold.
Debbie is the Chief Marketing Officer at Sterling Brands, where she has worked with over 200 of the world’s largest brands, including the redesign of Burger King, merchandising for Star Wars and the positioning and branding of the No More movement. She is also President Emeritus of AIGA, one of five women to hold the position in the organization’s 100-year history and a past board member and treasurer of the New York Chapter. She is a frequent speaker on design and branding and has moderated Design Yatra in India, presented keynote lectures at Rotman School of Management, Princeton University, Michigan Modern, the Hong Kong Design Association, the Melbourne Writers Festival, Design Thinkers in Toronto, the Festival of Art and Design in Barcelona, Webstock in New Zealand, QVED in Munich and many more. She has been a juror for competitions including Cannes Lions, The Art Directors Club, The Type Directors Club, Fast Company, HOW Magazine, Print Magazine, ID Magazine, AIGA, The Dieline, and more. Currently, Debbie is the Editorial and Creative Director of Print Magazine, the oldest magazine about design in the United States.
Read more about Debbie in this 2015 TDC Member of the Month profile.