debbie millman

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Big Ask

The Big Q
Typography by Tina Roth Eisenberg, SwissMiss

I will be interviewing Michael Bierut at the HOW Conference next week in Boston and he came up with an idea that I would like to undertake. He thought it might be fun to solicit questions from people *before* the interview via the design community blogs. I have interviewed Michael on Design Matters, and in my book (wherein he waxes sentimental about his passion for folding laundry), so the more inventive the questions, the better! (and the more personal!!!)

So please post any questions you are dying to know the answers to here, or you can send them to me at


Anonymous Steve Portigal said...

Great idea!

If Michael was born 100 years earlier, what invention,Big Idea, or other contribution would he have liked to been known for?

5/14/2008 05:46:00 PM  
Anonymous Joe Moran said...

Biggest influence as a designer. Or, favorite flavor ice cream. Ha!


5/14/2008 11:01:00 PM  
Blogger Enrique Von Rohr said...

What has been the biggest surprise or unexpected outcome from your experiences/involvement with Design Observer and blogs in general?

5/14/2008 11:58:00 PM  
Anonymous Scott said...

What New York City public design project do you see and say: "I could have done SO much better than that."? (I can think of several I wish you had designed, starting with the new "NYC" logo, the taxis, the NYC condom packaging and campaign...)

5/15/2008 01:45:00 PM  
Anonymous Chad K said...

Are you hiring?

5/16/2008 09:21:00 AM  
Anonymous Diane Zerr said...

If there were a book written about your life what would you name it?

5/16/2008 12:37:00 PM  
Blogger Marguerita said...

Why don't we all propose to the City of New York an iead of how allow artists to have an influence in the environment?
Years ago,I thought about creating a campaign that would inspire every citizen to comply in having a part.
That would mean,a consciousness through individual awareness and action.
We could get banks,businesses to support us as well in this" New YorkRenaissance".
Thus, he city will become a warm,human place where people instead of having fear of each other, will learn how to interact in a friendly way,taking care of the ambiance socially and aesthetically .
We could all contribute.
A clean environment brings peace and harmony.
The Poignant Frog

5/18/2008 10:52:00 PM  
Blogger ayyiamus said...

Were there any lows in your career, if so when, what and how did you deal with it? Did you ever feel like you wouldn't make it?

What would your advice be for young designers, or even designers practicing for maybe 5 years who haven't really gotten their foot in the door yet? How does one become successful and develop skills so it is more sophisticated.

Would you recommend working at a firm before starting your own design business?

Also, would working at a firm that creates real bad work be detrimental to ones career?

What do you say about American designers who gain international experience in countries like India where the economy is booming and design is becoming important? Will his/her experience be valuable back home and where can it take him/her?

5/20/2008 09:14:00 AM  

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Location: new york city, United States

Debbie Millman has worked in the design business for over 25 years. She is President of the design division at Sterling Brands. She has been there for nearly 15 years and in that time she has worked on the redesign of global brands for Pepsi, Procter & Gamble, Campbell’s, Colgate, Nestle and Hasbro. Prior to Sterling, she was a Senior Vice President at Interbrand and a Marketing Director at Frankfurt Balkind. Debbie is President of the AIGA, the largest professional association for design. She is a contributing editor at Print Magazine, a design writer at and Brand New and Chair of the Masters in Branding Program at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. In 2005, she began hosting the first weekly radio talk show about design on the Internet. The show is titled “Design Matters with Debbie Millman” and it is now featured on In addition to “Look Both Ways: Illustrated Essays on the Intersection of Life and Design,” (HOW Books, 2009, she is the author of "How To Think Like A Great Graphic Designer" (Allworth Press, 2007) and “The Essential Principles of Graphic Design” (Rotovision, 2008).

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