Welcome to the final episode in our special four-part series on design. Brands are everywhere and sometimes feel so omnipresent that it’s hard to know what counts as one. So we’ve invited designer, educator and Design Matters podcast host Debbie Millman to help us make sense of brands. At its core, Debbie says, branding is the process of manufacturing meaning to come up with a shared symbol. And it’s something we’ve been doing for thousands of years. Today, Debbie and Lilah discuss the history of branding and its relationship with design, and the relatively recent phenomenon of ‘personal brands’. Debbie also shares insights from nearly two decades hosting Design Matters.


We love hearing from you. Lilah is on Instagram @lilahrap and we’re on X @lifeandartpod. You can email the show at lifeandart@ft.com.


Links (all FT links get you past the paywall):

– Lilah recommends Debbie’s interview with cartoonist Lynda Barry: https://www.designmattersmedia.com/podcast/2019/lynda-barry

– Here are the latest episodes of Design Matters: https://www.designmattersmedia.com/

– Debbie has written seven books. Here’s Brand Thinking: https://www.debbiemillman.com/brand-thinking


The FT Weekend Festival is coming back, and will be in Washington, DC, on May 4! To book tickets, go to ft.com/festival-us and use our exclusive discount code: weekendpodcast.


Special FT subscription offers for Life and Art podcast listeners, from 50% off a digital subscription to a $1/£1/€1 trial, are here: http://ft.com.ezproxy.cul.columbia.edu/lifeandart


Original music by Metaphor Music. Mixing and sound design by Breen Turner and Sam Giovinco

Read a transcript of this episode on FT.com

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