Debbie Millman — Interview Takeaways

Abishek Ranganathan
Published in
3 min readNov 2, 2020
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Intro Debbie Millman –

# 30 years in design industry experience

# Founder & Host -Design Matters — World’s first and longest running podcast.
# Co-founded the world’s first graduate program in branding School of Visual Arts in New York.,

# Overseen the redesign of over 200 global brands.
# Clients — Pepsi, Gillette, Colgate, Campbell’s, Burger King, Hershey’s, Häagen-Dazs, Tropicana, Star Bucks and many, many more!
# Author of Brand Thinking and other noble pursuits, Brand Bible: The Complete Guide to Building, Designing, and Sustaining Brands, and more

Photo of Debbie


# Logo — It’s just a fancy word for communication. It’s just a fancy word for a type of communication.

# Branding is a process of meaning manufacture. And design is the communication of that meaning, and it begins with sort of big bold ideas and works its way down to the tiniest detail.

# Everything in our lives is designed, every experience, every product, every way in which we engage with the world now is something that is designed, and the condition of design — I believe the condition of design and of branding reflects the condition of our world.

# If we’re not making deliberate choices about what we make, what we create and what we buy, we lose the agency in our own lives. So, everything is a choice now, and those choices are created by deliberate differentiation through design.

# Father of strategy — Harvard business school professor Michael Porter who first wrote that ‘strategy is choosing to perform activities differently or to perform distinctly different activities than rivals’,

# Look at the world and what is needed, what can you contribute that will make the world better as opposed to making it dirtier or worse.

# Most of the brands — unless the brand is taking a risk by asserting a belief that isn’t already popular, and not only popular, but widespread and accepted then they’re just writing a bandwagon of somebody else’s belief and trying to ride the coattails of that belief.

# Have a big curiosity, try to learn about as much as you can, and read. Read a lot of books about branding and potentially take some classes. It’s a long road of learning, but it’s one that I is really meaningful because of the way that everyone pretty much all over the planet now engages with brands and uses them to make our lives.

# Train, the same way anybody would train to be good at anything. Do it every day. Learn something new every day. Stretch your goals every day. And practice.

Resources –

‪#thebytestory #brandingforstartups #imagineerscreativeprograms #onlineprogram #brandingconsultant #startup #startupbranding #brandstrategy #branddiscovery #designthinking ‪#visualidentity #graphicdesign #designleadership #creativestudio #designcommunity #designforgood #designeducation #onlinecourses #onlineclasses #onlinelearning #branding #designagency #designagency #brandingagency #brandingdesign #designstudio #chennaibrandingstudio



Abishek Ranganathan

Co-Founder, & Paddle For Future. Designer, Thinker, Learner. Permanently in Beta mode. Holistic approach is my way of life.