Today & Tomorrow: Debbie Millman’s Advice for Designers Post-Election

Our incredible editorial and creative director Debbie Millman is famed for her poignant visual essays and illustrated poems. These works are part art, part philosophy—and part extremely personal insight into the plights of humanity. The raw power of her hand-lettered messages has inspired the design community for years.

Today, in the wake of a truly unexpected election result, Millman’s latest work appeared in an article for Fast Company about what designers should do now that the blow has fallen.


“It’s been really tempting to stay in bed and cry and pound the pillows shrieking HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?” Millman said. “And that’s pretty much what I did yesterday. But today…today I do what all designers can do: mobilize and make a difference. We must enact the change we want in our culture.”

What’s your plan for surviving the turbulent post-election atmosphere?


4 thoughts on “Today & Tomorrow: Debbie Millman’s Advice for Designers Post-Election

  1. whatsuphiroshi

    It’s the definition of narrow-minded to assume that everyone became a basket case after President Trump was elected. I was, and continue to be ecstatic. I have supported my party for decades, I worked hard for this and I donated regularly. I feel passionately about my political beliefs which are based on my core values and morality.

    I can think of nothing more boring than a world where everyone agrees all the time. If you cannot consider the many millions of people that are very happy with the election as you publish these pieces then don’t complain when your businesses suffer and you can’t make ends meet because half of your audience is annoyed. When is the last time we asked a politician to critique your design work?

  2. Jack N.

    It might be helpful to remember that not everyone is “grieving” this election. Some of us are very, very, very happy one person in particular is NOT heading to the White House.

    I’ll share with you some sage advice my team received eight years ago regarding these circumstances:

    You lost. Deal with it.

  3. Judith

    As an illustrator and advocate for illustrators and illustration, this is certainly something I have been thinking about over the last few months, and especially after the divisive nature of the American election. I really appreciate and welcome the article on what designers should do now, and as illustrators we also have an opportunity and responsibility to think about our role in visual communication. How do illustrators help shape the way people see the world? What steps could we take to make our role and work more democratic, more inclusive, more transparent, more informed, more engaging? What do we want to say, how can we say it? And importantly, how does that relate to our livelihoods and to the broader illustration industry?
    Of course, not everyone starts from the same place or position, has the same politics, nor has the same opportunities. Here below is a link to some of my thoughts and questions, and I welcome other ideas/suggestions/criticisms!!