From designing Star Wars merchandise, and Hillary Clinton campaign buttons, to writing six books, to interviewing designers and other creative masterminds, to working with the world’s largest brands and having her artwork exhibited around the world, Debbie Millman has really done it all. Even though it may seem that her path to success was smooth, she didn’t always have it all figured out. After graduating from college, she didn’t feel confident enough to pursue her dream of becoming an artist or a writer, and often had to do commercial work in order to support herself. She now talks openly about those years of rejection, disappointment and struggle before finding her niche.
Debbie will address all of these, as well as talk about how we can all be designers of our creative lives during a one-night-only special event hosted by The Power of Storytelling & Visual Playground on Monday, August 7, at 7 pm, at Sala Studio – National Theatre of Bucharest. Tickets are available through Eventbook.
As president of the design group at Sterling Brands for 20 years, she has worked with over 200 of the world’s largest brands, including Burger King, Tropicana and Ben and Jerry’s, as well as the No More movement. 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 probably best known worldwide as the founder and host of Design Matters, the first and longest running podcast about design. In the 11 years since its start, the show has reached over a million downloads per year; iTunes named it one of the best podcasts of 2015. On the show, Debbie has interviewed more than 250 design luminaries and cultural commentators, authors, musicians and entrepreneurs such as Massimo Vignelli, Milton Glaser, Malcolm Gladwell, Dan Pink, Barbara Kruger, Seth Godin and many more.
Debbie wrote six books, including two collections of interviews that have extended the 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 have been published in over 10 languages. In 2009, Debbie co-founded the world’s first graduate program in branding at the School of Visual Arts in New York City.
Her written and visual essays have appeared in publications such as The New York Times, Design Observer, New York Magazine, Print Magazine 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.
Debbie’s artwork has been exhibited at the Design Biennial Boston, Chicago Design Museum, Anderson University, School of Visual Arts, Long Island University, The Wolfsonian Museum and the Czong Institute for Contemporary Art.
Currently, Debbie is the Editorial and Creative Director of Print Magazine, the oldest magazine about design in the United States.
During her time in Bucharest, Debbie will also host a workshop at this year’s edition of Visual Playground, an illustration and graphic design school in Romania.
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