Brian Miller Chosen As One of Graphic Design USA’s “People to Watch in 2010″

GDUSA starts every year by choosing a group of People To Watch who embody the spirit of the creative community. The criteria: individuals who we have come to know and respect for a combination of talent, leadership, success, insight, business savvy, community service and newsworthiness.

Connecticut is represented this year by Brian Miller of Brian Miller Design Group. The article features a portrait of Miller by Tracey Kroll; the two previously collaborated on a profile of Miller for Connfluence, the print companion to this very site.

Brian Miller is the design director at the Brian Miller Design Group — a small firm that specializes in branding for the web and print communications. The firm has created dozens of successful projects for clients like NBC Universal, Rockstar Games, SportsMD Media, GigMasters, TrackMan Baseball and Nat Nast, but Miller says he always believes the next project will be the most successful. He says the success of his company is built squarely on the successes (and failures) of his experiences at places like Gartner Inc. the global technology consulting firm where he was the inhouse creative director, and as an art director at Wunderman Interactive and Publicis Modem, working on clients such as GE, Delta Airlines, Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, BMW, A&E Television, and Unilever.

Although he takes some satisfaction fromhis work being featured in leading industry publications and winning many top awards, “I wouldn’t say that I’m satisfied,” says Miller. Miller, who has degrees from the Hartford Art School (BFA) and Pratt Institute (MPS), serves on the board of directors and as web committee chair for the Type Directors Club and is an adjunct professor of design at the University of Bridgeport. He lives in Norwalk CT with his wife Bridgette, daughter Sarah, and dog Shick.

Where were you born, where do you live, did this effect your design style or sensibilities? I was born in Danbury CT and I now live in South Norwalk CT — 45 miles from New York City. Both Connecticut and NYC have thriving creative communities that I’ve made a point to get involved in. Being part of the Type Directors Club, for example, has had a profoundly positive effect on my work.

If you were not a designer, what would you be? A teacher. It touches the same part of my soul that designing and creativity does.

What is your design process, do you sketch first, go to the computer, take days off to get inspired? I daydream. Then I work on the computer. I find that I get the best results when I’m under pressure. Without a measure of stress I can fiddle around for days and get nothing of value.

What is one thing you have done to help weather the economic downturn? I keep myself busy, even if I have to make up a personal project to do so. This keeps my momentum going and keeps me focused for when client work comes around.

What is your greatest strength and weakness as a designer? I’m never afraid to come out and ask for something that I want. That can be both a strength and a weakness. Some clients perceive it as eagerness, while others (fewer, luckily) mistake it for impatience.

Past year’s People To Watch have included such Connecticut creatives as Rich Hollant, Grant Copeland, Peter Good, Amy Graver, Tom Fowler, Alexander Isley, William Drenttel and Jessica Helfand, Mike Scricco, Karl Smizer and Amy Perry, Richard Shear, and Pam Williams.


Alissa Robison
Alissa Robison 4.15.17

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Tyler Ady
Tyler Ady 4.19.17

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