We were absolutely honored to have design legend Debbie Millman as a speaker at our design conference, Weapons of Mass Creation Fest 6.
Debbie is a writer, educator, artist, brand consultant, and host of the radio show Design Matters.
Treat yourself to her talk, “On Rejection.” On Rejection is a funny and heartbreaking tale of making it (or not) in New York. The presentation begins in early 2003 when a good friend sent Debbie Millman an email with a subject line that read: Begin drinking heavily before opening. The email contained a link that took her to a “blog,” the first-ever online forum about graphic design and branding. Suddenly she found herself reading an article that disparaged her entire career to date. This experience—in tandem with a number of historical rejections and setbacks—sent Millman into deep despair, and she seriously considered leaving the design profession altogether. In a series of poignant, revealing and sometimes hysterical anecdotes, Debbie will share her journey out of despair and offer insight on how the worst moments in your life can actually become the most profound and life affirming.
Debbie will be returning to this year’s Weapons of Mass Creation Fest! She’ll be bringing her podcast, Design Matters, to our vendor village on Saturday, August 6 from 1 to 3 pm.
More about Debbie:
For the past twenty years, Debbie has been President of Sterling Brands, where she has worked on the redesign of over 200 global brands, including projects with P&G, Colgate, Nestle, Kraft and Pepsi. In 2014, she was named President, Chief Marketing Officer of the firm. In 2013, Debbie was named one of the most influential designers working today by GDUSA. Debbie is the founder and host of Design Matters, the world’s first podcast about design, which has garnered millions of downloads and a Cooper Hewitt National Design Award. In the 10 years since its inception, Millman has interviewed more than 250 design luminaries and cultural commentators, including Massimo Vignelli, Milton Glaser, Malcolm Gladwell, Dan Pink, Barbara Kruger, Seth Godin and more.
Debbie is the author of six books, including two collections of interviews that have extended the ethos and 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 books have been published in over 10 languages. In 2009 Debbie co-founded with Steven Heller the world’s first graduate program in branding at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. Now in its fifth year, the program has achieved international acclaim. The inaugural class wrote and designed the Rockport book Brand Bible: The Complete Guide to Building, Designing and Sustaining Brands and in 2013 the students created branding for the Museum of Modern Art’s retail program, Destination: New York.
Debbie’s written and visual essays have appeared in the New York Times, New York Magazine, Print Magazine, Design Observer, Fast Company, and more, and she is the author of two books
of illustrated essays. Her work has been exhibited at the Chicago Design Museum, Anderson University, School of Visual Arts, Long Island University and The Wolfsonion Museum. She has been artist-in-residence at Cranbrook University, Old Dominion University and Notre Dame University, and has conducted visual storytelling workshops at Academy of Art University in San Francisco, the University of Utah, Hartford University and the High School of Art and Design in New York. She has designed wrapping paper and beach towels for One Kings Lane, greeting cards for Mohawk and Card-To-Art, playing cards for DeckStarter and sketchbooks for Shutterstock.
Debbie is President Emeritus of AIGA, one of four women to hold the position in the organization’s 100-year history. She is also a past board member and treasurer of the New York Chapter. She is a frequent speaker on design and branding and has moderated Design Yatra in India, presented keynote lectures at Rotman School of Management, Princeton University, Michigan Modern, the Melbourne Writers Festival in Australia, Design Thinkers in Toronto, the Festival of Art and Design in Barcelona, and many more.