Design Revolutionary: Debbie Millman

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!

 

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