You know you’re guilty of this: having an impression of someone before you’ve met them. My uninformed impression of Debbie Millman was that she’s so über-talented, so smart, so influential that I’d be utterly intimidated by her. And then I met her. At a HOW Conference, no less … and discovered that she’s as warm and generous as she is smart and talented. If you’re a designer, you can’t NOT know of Debbie: president of the design group at Sterling Brands, host of the Design Matters podcast, talented artist and writer, author of, among other titles Look Both Ways, and presenter at HOW Design Live. Plus, meet Debbie Millman in her exclusive Design TV video.
Debbie graciously agreed to answer the HOW Questionnaire—our own version of the legendary and revelatory Proust Questionnaire.
What key characteristic most defines you? Persistence
What’s your biggest fault? Low self-esteem
What’s your favorite professional activity or task? The annual holiday party at Sterling Brands
What’s your favorite leisure activity? Petting Duff
Where would you like to live? On 24th Street in New York City
What’s your idea of happiness? That ever-elusive fleeting feeling of contentment
What would you be if not a creative professional? Dead
What skill or talent would you most like to have? Immortality
Who are your heroes? The 175 people who have let me interview them for Design Matters
Who’s your favorite musician? Madonna
Who’s your favorite artist? Lawrence Weiner
What person (living or dead) most inspires you? Albert Einstein
What character in literature do you most identify with? Tristram Shandy
What’s the most revolutionary thing you’ve ever done? Saying “yes” when Steven Heller asked me to help him create the SVA Masters in Branding program
What’s your single best piece of work or accomplishment? Work: My book, Brand Thinking and Other Noble Pursuits Accomplishment: Being on the cover of HOW : )
What are the qualities of your favorite client? Courage, friendship, trust
What inspires your best work? Jealousy
What do you need to have at hand in order to be fully creative? An idea
What’s your favorite creative tool or instrument? A blank piece of white paper and a pencil with a sharp point and a good eraser
What’s your favorite food? Gotham Pizza with sausage and Kalamata olives
What’s your favorite drink? Three-way tie: white wine, Starbucks Iced Vente Non-fat latte, Diet Dr Pepper
What’s your favorite typeface? Peignot
What’s your favorite color? To wear: black Everything else: orange
What’s your current state of mind? Flummoxed
What’s your motto? We can talk about making a difference, we can make a difference or we can do both.
Register now for HOW Design Live—and for your chance to meet Debbie first-hand and discover for yourself how revolutionary she is!