We take a look at the life and times of graphic designer Milton Glaser
“There are three responses to a piece of design – yes, no, and wow! Wow is the one to aim for.”
That is what celebrated graphic designer Milton Glaser had to say when talking about the response that a design piece should invoke from a viewer. One of the most prolific designers of his time, he is still practicing at a time when most of his peers have retired years ago. The iconic logo for I love New York was designed by Milton on the back of a crumpled piece of paper while in the backseat of a taxi. It was released to the public in the 1970s as part of a campaign to promote New York city. Ironically, despite the mainstream success of the I love New York campaign, this was a project done pro bono- Milton never received payment for it, a decision that he consciously defended in interviews thereafter. Born in 1929, Milton has contributed considerably to the American graphic design industry which has, in turn, influenced other developing design cultures around the world. Milton has had one man shows at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) and the Georges Pompidou Center, besides being selected for the lifetime achievement award at the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum in 2004, for his contribution to the contemporary practice of design.
He was the co-founder of Pushpin Studios in 1954, he founded New York magazine with Clay Felker in 1968 and started his eponymous firm Milton Glaser Inc in 1974. The firm worked on a wide range of design projects, ranging from brand identity to environmental and interior design to design and illustration projects. He is known to have created more than 300 posters for clients in various fields, but one of his most iconic posters to date remains the psychedelic Bob Dylan poster that he made for the singer’s Greatest Hits album in 1967. More recently, the designer created the key art for the final season of TV series Mad Men.
Till this day, Milton continues to contribute to the design community, he is an instructor and board member at New York’s School of Visual Studies (SVA). He is also on the board of directors of The Cooper Union in New York. His essay ‘10 Things I have learned’ for the AIGA (American Institute of Graphic Arts) is compulsive reading for anyone looking for sage life advice from a design genius. You can read the essay here.
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