debbie millman

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Fifty

After several months of winter neglect, I recently scheduled an afternoon of beauty at my neighborhood nail salon. I treated myself to a manicure, a pedicure, an eyebrow wax and a ten-minute backrub in an upright massage chair. Though I was looking forward to being pampered, I was rather embarrassed by my unruliness. I hadn’t been taking particularly good care of myself; my hands and feet were unseemly, and my eyebrows seemed determined to finally, once and for all, intertwine into one long braid atop my face. I saved my brow wax for last, hoping the extra drying time would delay the inevitable smearing of my not quite dry nail polish. For the treatment, I was asked to lie down in a small private room furnished with a massage table covered in thin, crinkly white paper and a side table covered by a large bowl of wax that would be used to remove my errant eyebrow hair.

The cosmetician who had been working on me was petite and shy and I profusely apologized about my scruffy state as she heated up the wax. She demurely excused my bedraggled body as she lined my brows with the scalding wax. Then she quickly covered them with sticky tape and abruptly pulled out the hairs in one fell swoop. As she leaned into my face and tweezed off the few remaining hairs, she crooked her head and panned back from the table. Then she squinted and came closer. And with a sudden, triumphant smile she looked me straight in the eye and without missing a beat she boldly asked me if I wanted her to wax my moustache.

I felt my heart fall down into my stomach as my hands raced up to my mouth. My moustache??? I repeated. “Yes,” she evenly replied. “Your moustache.” And with that, for the first time in my entire life, I let someone pour brutally hot wax on the thin skin above my upper lip after which she ferociously tore the hair off of my terrified face.

I am now closer to 50 years old then I am to 40, and as my unwanted facial hair proves, I am changing in ways I never thought possible. My hair is grayer, my stomach wider, and I don’t even want to talk about my backside. I need stronger glasses every year. At night, I wear a splint for my right hand to alleviate my Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and a mouth guard to protect my teeth from incessant grinding. I put on so much gear before going to bed that I look like I am going to play football rather than sleep. This, dear readers, is the peril of aging.

This is also new territory for me, this feeling old feeling. When considering what it means to age, I try to console myself with the knowledge that older is wiser. I recently read that the late great fashion designer Coco Chanel always lied about her age. But rather than subtract a decade or so, she told people she was 10 years older than she actually was. This way people would always think she looked amazing for her age. But I can’t help but wonder why older can’t also be better. With so many of my facilties beginning to falter, I can’t help but wish that age could be accompanied by a mandatory memory upgrade and an overall boost in perceivable value.

After all, there are so many, many things that we come to expect will improve with age and time. There is fine wine and marbly red meat and English gardens and Redwood trees and postage stamps and baseball cards and comic books. There is art and literature and technology and even the stock market, at least until recently. Even Barbie, who is now 50, is more valuable than she was when she was launched. And yet, as humans age we seem to get as crinkly and white as the cheap paper I was lying on in the salon.

As I navigate through these fears, I realize that after all the years of wanting, after all the years of feeling bad about who I was and where I was and what I had, I have recently come to the realization that I don’t want life to end. Ever. And though I grimace when I look at myself naked and I have given up trying to read the small type on a menu, I want to do want to continue to get older. So what, I am nearly 50. Big deal. Whether I am fat or thin, rich or poor or with more hair on my face than I have on my head, with each observation, with each day piled high on top of another, I am reminded that I still get to be right here as it all continues to unfold in front of me.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Design Matters Today with Patrick Coyne and Special Guest Milton Glaser and Cheryl Heller

Communication Arts

Joining me today on a very special broadcast of Design Matters with Debbie Millman is Patrick Coyne with special guests Milton Glaser and Cheryl Heller!

Patrick Coyne is editor and designer of Communication Arts. Prior to joining CA in 1986, Coyne studied at the California College of the Arts, worked for Michael Mabry Design and SBG Partners and established the multi-discipline, San Francisco-based design firm of Patrick Coyne Stephanie Steyer Design Office. During his tenure at CA, Coyne has been a frequent speaker at design and advertising clubs as well as local, national and international design conferences and has received numerous awards for his design and art direction (including a silver medal from the Society of Illustrators), In 2004, he, along with Jean and Richard Coyne, received the AIGA Medal for their contributions to the field of graphic design and visual communication. Patrick is also the vice-president of the Richard and Jean Coyne Family Foundation. The foundation currently funds seventeen programs managed by educational institutions and non-profit trade organizations that help economically disadvantaged high-school students develop portfolios to qualify for admission to art school and/or provide college scholarships for economically disadvantaged students to study graphic design, advertising, photography and illustration.

Milton Glaser is the embodiment of American graphic design during the latter half of this century. His presence and impact on the profession internationally is formidable. Immensely creative and articulate, he is a modern renaissance man — one of a rare breed of intellectual designer-illustrators, who brings a depth of understanding and conceptual thinking, combined with a diverse richness of visual language, to his highly inventive and individualistic work. Born in 1929, Milton Glaser was educated at the High School of Music and Art and the Cooper Union art school in New York and, via a Fulbright Scholarship, the Academy of Fine Arts in Bologna, Italy. He co-founded the revolutionary Pushpin Studios in 1954, founded New York Magazine with Clay Felker in 1968, established Milton Glaser, Inc. in 1974, and teamed with Walter Bernard in 1983 to form the publication design firm WBMG. Throughout his career, Glaser has been a prolific creator of posters and prints. His artwork has been featured in exhibits worldwide, including one-man shows at both the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. His work is in the permanent collections of many museums. Glaser also is a renowned graphic and architectural designer with a body of work ranging from the iconic logo to complete graphic and decorative programs for the restaurants in the World Trade Center in New York. Glaser is an influential figure in both the design and education communities and has contributed essays and granted interviews extensively on design. Among many awards throughout the years, he received the 2004 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, for his profound and meaningful long-term contribution to the contemporary practice of design.

Cheryl Heller has been a creative pioneer throughout her life, and a role model for women in the creative professions. In her early career, she helped to broaden and redefine prescribed labels, blurring the boundaries between artist, designer, writer, strategist and entrepreneur. She now dedicates her considerable energy to demonstrating how communication design can be a force for good in the world. She has used humor, irony and intuition to accomplish this, in her work and in her life. Cheryl is currently founder and CEO of Heller Communication Design in Manhattan, creating brands that embody a sustainable future and inspire the behavior necessary to make it a reality. In the 80’s she founded the first successful integrated design department in a major advertising agency, which was subsequently spun off to become HellerBreene, part of the WCRS international network of agencies. It was named New England’s Hottest Agency in 1986. In 1990 she came to New York to become Executive Creative Director at Wells Rich Greene, where she ran the renowned Image Group. From 1994 until 2000, Cheryl was the Executive Creative Director and Managing Partner at Siegel&Gale, one of the world’s leading brand strategy and identity firms. She sits on the board of Pop!Tech, which accelerates the positive impact of new ideas. She serves on the board of the The Cloud Institute for Sustainability Education, is a member of the Aspen Design Summit, and is a past Executive Board member of the AIGA and the Art Director’s Club. She teaches an invitation-only course at the School of Visual Arts called Design for Good.

Design Matters airs live weekly on the Voice America Business Network, now the industry leader in Internet talk radio. The show was voted a "favorite podcast" on PSFK's Marketing Podcast survey and it was voted 9th out of over 300 entries for the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum’s People’s Choice Award in 2007. The show is also available as Podcasts on iTunes, where over 100,000 people download the show every month.

Design Matters is from 3-4PM EST and you can view the VoiceAmerica Business site and listen to the show from a myriad of locations:

You can go here, through the Sterling link:
http://www.sterlingbrands.com/design/design_matters.php

Or you can go here, through the Voice America link:
http://www.modavox.com/VoiceAmericaBusiness/

Or finally, you can listen to this show, or any of our previous shows, as a Podcast on iTunes, for free. To listen to the Podcasts, you can do either of the following:

Subscribe manually, by going to the iTunes advanced menu, then select
"Subscribe to Podcast," then enter the following:
http://www.sterlingbrands.com/DesignMatters/rss.xml as the feed.

Or simply do a search on the iTunes music store Podcast directory for “Design Matters.”

Everyone is welcome to call in live and toll free--the number is 1.866.472.5790.

Upcoming shows:
April 10: Dan Pink
April 17: Allan Chochinov

As always, thank you for listening!

Monday, February 23, 2009

The Love Child of Andrea Dworkin and Janis Joplin: Beth Ditto

Friday, February 20, 2009

Design Matters Today with Natalia Ilyin 02.20.09

Joining me today on Design Matters with Debbie Millman is the super-fabulous Natalia Ilyin.

Natalia Ilyin is a design critic, a teacher, and a practitioner. As a critic, she's been called "outspoken" and "irreverent." But her irreverence stands on a firm foundation: her students read Aristotle, Thomas Carlyle and Carl Jung. A full-time practitioner, she's co-founder of the Seattle brand consultancy EmersonHarris, and works, with business partner Pam Heath, on brand story, design and analysis for clients like Microsoft and Boeing. But Natalia also lectures about the effects of brand and of living in a consumer-driven economy. "Balancing these opposites," she once said, "keeps me honest."

Before moving west, Natalia worked in New York as a graphic designer and art director for many years, earned her MFA at Rhode Island School of Design, was National Director of Programs at the AIGA, taught at Cooper Union and was named Critic at Yale University. She currently teaches a graduate seminar at the University of Washington and conducts workshops at RISD, Maine College of Art and Art Center College of Design.

Natalia’s articles have been published in the New York Times, the International Herald Tribune, the Portland Oregonian and the Miami Herald; in the design press, and in several anthologies. She is the author of two books; her most recent book, "Chasing the Perfect: Thoughts on Modernist Design in Our Time," takes a personal look at the philosophy of modernism and its effects on our culture.

Design Matters airs live weekly on the Voice America Business Network, now the industry leader in Internet talk radio. The show was voted a "favorite podcast" on PSFK's Marketing Podcast survey and it was voted 9th out of over 300 entries for the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum’s People’s Choice Award in 2007. The show is also available as Podcasts on iTunes, where over 100,000 people download the show every month.

Design Matters is from 3-4PM EST and you can view the VoiceAmerica Business site and listen to the show from a myriad of locations:

You can go here, through the Sterling link:
http://www.sterlingbrands.com/design/design_matters.php

Or you can go here, through the Voice America link:
http://www.modavox.com/VoiceAmericaBusiness/

Or finally, you can listen to this show, or any of our previous shows, as a Podcast on iTunes, for free. To listen to the Podcasts, you can do either of the following:

Subscribe manually, by going to the iTunes advanced menu, then select
"Subscribe to Podcast," then enter the following:
http://www.sterlingbrands.com/DesignMatters/rss.xml as the feed.

Or simply do a search on the iTunes music store Podcast directory for “Design Matters.”

Everyone is welcome to call in live and toll free--the number is 1.866.472.5790.

Additional shows airing in February:
February 27: Patrick Coyne

As always, thank you for listening!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Design Matters Today with Guest Host Nate Voss interviewing Joe Duffy!

For the first time ever, Design Matters will have a very special guest host, the incredible Nate Voss. He will be interviewing the legendary Joe Duffy.

One of the most respected and sought after creative directors and thought leaders on branding and design, Joe Duffy has led award winning branding efforts for some highly admired companies including Aveda, Coca-Cola, Jack in the Box, Sony, Sub-Zero, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, The Islands of the Bahamas, Toyota and Wolfgang Puck. His work is regularly profiled in leading business, marketing and design publications and has been exhibited around the world.

Joe has served as founding chair of the Environmental Committee of the American Institute of Graphic Arts and on the boards of the AIGA, the College of Visual Arts in St. Paul MN, and the Minnesota State Arts Council. He is a member of the board of The One Club and has led their student design competitions in China for the past five years. He has been awarded the Legacy Medal from the AIGA for a lifetime of achievement in the field of visual communications and his first book, Brand Apart, was released in July 2005. In 2006, Joe was featured in Fast Company as one of the "fast 50" most influential people in the future of business.

Nate Voss is a designer, illustrator, talkshow host and design journalist. Working in Omaha since 2001, Nate served four years on the Board of Directors for AIGA Nebraska and currently teaches design for Metropolitan Community College. Nate has interviewed design luminaries such as Kit Hinrichs, Joe Duffy, Marian Bantjes, Chip Kidd, and many others. Currently, Nate's work can be seen at Vossome.com, Huskerbooks.com, and at 36Point.com, where he maintains the thrice-weekly graphic design webcomic 1PT.Rule and the graphic design talkshow The Reflex Blue Show. Nate's work has appeared in HOW and STEP Inside Design magazines, the books Fingerprint: The Art of Using Hand-Made Elements in Graphic Design, and the upcoming 100 Habits of Successful Freelance Designers.

Design Matters is from 3-4PM EST and you can view the VoiceAmerica Business site and listen to the show from a myriad of locations:

You can go here, through the Sterling link:
http://www.sterlingbrands.com/design/design_matters.php

Or you can go here, through the Voice America link:
http://www.modavox.com/VoiceAmericaBusiness/

Or finally, you can listen to this show, or any of our previous shows, as a Podcast on iTunes, for free. To listen to the Podcasts, you can do either of the following:

Subscribe manually, by going to the iTunes advanced menu, then select
"Subscribe to Podcast," then enter the following:
http://www.sterlingbrands.com/DesignMatters/rss.xml as the feed.

Or simply do a search on the iTunes music store Podcast directory for “Design Matters.”

Everyone is welcome to call in live and toll free--the number is 1.866.472.5790.

Additional shows airing in February:

February 20: Natalya Ilyin
February 27: Patrick Coyne

Friday, February 06, 2009

4 Year Anniversary of Design Matters Today with Steve Heller and Lita Talarico

Book by Steve Heller and Lita Talarico

Joining me today on the Four Year Anniversary of Design Matters with Debbie Millman are Lita Talarico and Steven Heller!

Lita Talarico is the co-founder and co-chair (with Steven Heller) of the MFA Design as Author program at the School of Visual Arts. She has spent her career involved with art, architecture and design, and has held leadership positions with three notable institutions of higher education whose primary focus are those fields – Cooper Union, Purchase College and the School of Visual Arts. She has played significant administrative and organizational roles in prestigious conferences, including the Pritzker Architecture Prize, numerous publishing and competition ventures, and the selection of architects and designers for commissions. She has been a consultant to the General Services Administration and American Express Company, and has been a founding associate at Bill Lacy Design. She was the founding managing editor and project director for American Illustration and Photography. She is co-author of Design Career: Practical Knowledge for Beginning Illustrators and Designers, The Design Entrepreneur, and the forthcoming books Design School Confidential, Design Schools North America, and 100 Essentials for the Graphic Design Student.

Steven Heller is the co-founder and co-chair (with Lita Talarico) of the MFA Designer as Author program and co-founder of the MFA in Design Criticism and MFA in Interaction Design programs at the School of Visual Arts, New York. For 33 years he was an art director at the New York Times (28 of them as senior art director NY Times Book Review). He currently writes the “Visuals” column for the Book Review. He is editor of AIGA VOICE: Online Journal of Design and contributing editor to Print, EYE, Baseline, and ID magazines. He contributes to Design Observer and writes the DAILY HELLER blog for Print Magazine. He is the author of over 120 books on design and popular culture, including Design Literacy, Paul Rand, Anatomy of Design, Graphic Style, Stylepedia, The Design Entrepreneur, and most recently Iron Fists: Branding the Twentieth Century Totalitarian State. He is the recipient of the 1999 AIGA Medal for Lifetime Achievement.

Design Matters airs live weekly on the Voice America Business Network, now the industry leader in Internet talk radio. The show was voted a "favorite podcast" on PSFK's Marketing Podcast survey and it was voted 9th out of over 300 entries for the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum’s People’s Choice Award in 2007. The show is also available as Podcasts on iTunes, where over 100,000 people download the show every month.

Design Matters is from 3-4PM EST and you can view the VoiceAmerica Business site and listen to the show from a myriad of locations:

You can go here, through the Sterling link:
http://www.sterlingbrands.com/design/design_matters.php

Or you can go here, through the Voice America link:
http://www.modavox.com/VoiceAmericaBusiness/

Or finally, you can listen to this show, or any of our previous shows, as a Podcast on iTunes, for free. To listen to the Podcasts, you can do either of the following:

Subscribe manually, by going to the iTunes advanced menu, then select
"Subscribe to Podcast," then enter the following:
http://www.sterlingbrands.com/DesignMatters/rss.xml as the feed.

Or simply do a search on the iTunes music store Podcast directory for “Design Matters.”

Everyone is welcome to call in live and toll free--the number is 1.866.472.5790.

Additional shows airing in February:

February 13th: Guest Host Nate Voss interviews Joe Duffy
February 20: Natalya Ilyin
February 27: Patrick Coyne

As always, thank you for listening!

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Bravo Poster Boy!





New York City artist + vigilante, Poster Boy explains the vision behind this persona, the importance of regaining control of your environment and generating change through creative expression. For a good article on Poster Boy, you can go here.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Why I Love Christoph Niemann

The Genius of Christoph Niemann

During the cold and dark Berlin winter days, Christoph Niemann spends a lot of time with his boys in their room. And as he looks at the toys scattered on the floor, his mind inevitably wanders back to New York.

The brilliant I LEGO N.Y. is just another example of the brilliance that is Christoph Niemann.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Praise Be, Maira Kalman

Hallelujah, MAIRA is back!!!!!

Our very own national treasure, the masterful and brilliant Maira Kalman is back in the New York Times, and she is better than ever! Her newest column, And the Pursuit of Happiness, a blog about American democracy, will appear on the last Friday of each month. Hallelujah, indeed!
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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 FastCompany.com 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 DesignObserver.com. 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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