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Steve Frykholm, design legend of Herman Miller on navigating a career and dealing with differences and failed attempts

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Welcome to episode #40! Our guest today is truly a Graphic Design legend. An icon of the industry. He’s had a 45-year stint at Herman Miller, and was in fact hired as their first ever Graphic Designer in 1970, working his way up to Creative Director and now still with them as an advisor. His work is part of the permanent collection at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and is also an AIGA Medalist.

Photo taken by me from the balcony of Steve’s condo on the 9th of December 2016:

This interview was recorded in person at Grand Rapids, West Michigan in December last year. Take note, there were a few photographs sent to me by today’s guest which complement a particular segment of the interview – it’s a rare Herman Miller artefact. So be sure to take a look at it on this episodes blog post at

Some of the topics we spoke about include:

  • The two types of internal politics
  • Advice for dealing with difficult people and differences of opinion
  • What makes poster design so powerful
  • And where to move towards in this ever-changing professional landscape.

I present to you, a dear friend and the ultimate veteran … Steve Frykholm!

Photos of Steve’s Herman Miller Nelson Miniature Chest were supplied by Steve Frykholm himself:

Meet Steve’s gorgeous cat named Smudge:

More on Steve can be found via the link below:

AIGA 2010 Medalist article:

Subscribe to The Giant Thinkers Podcast on iTunes.

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About Ram Castillo


Ram is an award winning Design Director, Blogger, top ranking Podcaster, Speaker, Instructor and Author of two internationally acclaimed books 'How to get a job as a designer, guaranteed' and 'How to get a mentor as a designer, guaranteed'. He's based in Sydney, Australia and in 2012, started the blog which helps thousands of design students and graduates be employed. Ram has since been featured in Communication Arts, HOW magazine, Herman Miller, deFrost*, and Apple.

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