Archive for August, 2011


A Moment for Steve

Thursday, August 25th, 2011

The NY Times takes a look at the career and achievements of Steve Jobs as CEO of Apple, and some world class designers, critics and writers (including Debbie) offer their reflections on his legacy and departure…



Sterling Buzz…

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011

Branding is more than just advertising, it is one of the major engines powering society…”brand_thinking

The first review for Debbie’s upcoming book Brand Thinking and Other Noble Pursuits (September debut) is out! >>Read more and stay tuned for updates on the launch!


Sterling Buzz…

Friday, August 19th, 2011


Debbie takes a look back at her 2 years as AIGA President, and keeps her momentum going forward. >>Read More


Getting Nosey with Kleenex

Thursday, August 18th, 2011



KleenexÂŽ is a household name, often a universal name for tissue. One student, Jessie McGuire found out the difference between a universal name and a billion dollar brand. Christine Mau, the Brand Design Director of Family Care brands at Kimberly-Clark the parent company of Kleenex brand facial tissue, has been at the forefront of innovative design and brand initiatives. Generous with her time, she took a few minutes from her busy schedule to talk branding, design, and nose blowing for the new book Brand Bible: The Complete Guide to Building, Designing and Sustaining Brands. >>Read More


Sterling Buzz…

Tuesday, August 9th, 2011



The Ultimate Brand Loyalist

Monday, August 8th, 2011

Last Friday, as I was desperately trying to escape another brutal NYC heat wave (and trying to avoid my 5th floor walk-up at any cost) I found myself outside The Museum of Modern Art mostly for solace in their perfectly-tempered-central-air-conditioned galleries.


Imagine my surprise when completely by chance, I stumbled upon Fluxus artist, George Maciunas’, One Year installation.

As a person who has a love (err obsession) of all brands – I was moved by Maciunas’ humble and simplistic approach in capturing a year in the life of these brands in such a beautifully creative way. As branders, we often find ourselves entrenched in a daily battle of defending our beloved brands, so for Maciunas to perfectly bring these brands their deserved honor, was beyond glorifying.

The installation itself was Maciunas’ One Year endeavor from 1973 – 1974 that displays the empty containers and packaging of various food and household products that Maciunas consumed over the course of a year.


Not only does the exhibit provide an intense look into the monotonous daily life of Maciunas, but it also takes the visitor back in time, to the consumer landscape in America of the 1970s.

My immediate reaction to One Year, (besides wondering ‘what Maciunas was doing with all that McCormick’s vanilla’, and ‘boy did he go through a ton of Tungsram light bulbs’) was this snapshot of time where not only does life seem simpler, but brands were gloriously simple, to the point they literally shelf-pop you in the face. From the bright, burst of primary colors to the bold, graphic typestyles – I was immediately transported to a time I had not had the pleasure of experiencing until now.

Now I know the bulging aisle at my corner bodega is a far cry from the pristine Instruction Lab at MoMA – but to me, these empty containers were full of confidence and bravado. Fast-forward some 35 years later, and our jobs as branders are tested more than ever to create something unique in a sea of more times than not, over-stocked shelves for an over-stimulated consumer.

If an average shopper really only takes 5 seconds or less to make a decision at shelf, it brings me to wonder, how as brand designers, can we effectively get our consumer to slow down, and give our brands the attention they deserve?

One Year is on exhibit for the first time at MoMA as part of “Contemporary Art from the Collection”

Samantha Schroeder, Design Management


Sterling Buzz…

Friday, August 5th, 2011

We’re happy to present Debbie’s latest visual essay, Starstruck.

View the complete essay on Imprint, today.