10 things you didn’t know about Debbie Millman’s podcast ‘Design Matters’ until TYPO Berlin.

While it was Debbie Millman’s first time on the TYPO stage, designers from around the world could recognise her voice in an instant. She’s been podcasting for over a decade, interviewing her close friends and creative idols to learn about how people became who they are, and why.

By Gabby Lord



With almost 300 episodes available online, it’s fair to say Debbie knows what she’s doing by now. This wasn’t always the case however, and for the first time ever, Debbie took us through the history and timeline of Design Matters—embarrassing 2005 typography and all. As well as key milestone dates, we learned a few interesting facts about the show worth sharing:


01. — The first Design Matters episode aired on February 4, 2005. After 12 years, Debbie has “become a better podcaster in public” and hopes to be doing it for the rest of her life.

02. — Her first guest on the show was John Fulbrook, who at the time was creative director at Simon & Schuster.

03. — Debbie’s sign off phrase “we can talk about making a difference, we can make a difference, or we can do both”, originally came from an article she wrote for SpeakUp in 2003.

04. — When the podcast first started on Voice America Business, Debbie actually paid them for the airtime, not the other way around.

© Gerhard Kassner / Monotype

05. — After more than 10 years of recording, it was named one of the best podcasts on iTunes.

06. — From the very beginning Debbie never wanted to brand the show for fear it would be tainted by her professional life. After Aaron Draplin went on the show, he gave Debbie such a hard time about the lack of branding and designed her multiple new logo options. While she thought the designs were lovely, they didn’t really feel “her”.

07. — Before the studio at SVA, Design Matters was recorded using two landline telephones. The audio quality was so bad that none of these episodes appear in the archive.

08. — In 2011 the show was nominated for a People’s Choice award and won, resulting in casual hangs with Michelle Obama. No biggie.

9. — The portrait of Debbie featured on the podcast branding was in fact designed by previous TYPO speaker Christoph Niemann.

10. — Many of the great interviews on Design Matters are with creatives who have also graced the TYPO stage over the years. Some of these people include:



Still want more? Debbie has written multiple books on design and teaches the Masters in Branding at SVA. You can find this information and more on her personal website.



Debbie Millman

Debbie Millman

Design / Author / Educator (New York)

Debbie Millman is a designer, author, educator and brand strategist. She host of the award-winning podcast “Design Matters,” the world’s first podcast on design, Chair of the world’s first Masters in Branding Program at the School of Visual Arts, the editorial and creative director of Print Magazine and President Emeritus of AIGA. She is the author of six books on design and branding. Photo: John Madere