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Nov 18 / Brian

Milton Glaser

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There are three responses to a piece of design – yes, no, and WOW! Wow is the one to aim for. As a student of graphic design, we are constantly searching for that wow factor, and Milton Glaser, the most celebrated graphic designers in America, has always had us saying WOW!

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Glaser’s artwork is known worldwide and has been featured in exhibits including one-man-shows at both the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris and the Museum of Modern Art in New York, shown here.

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Born in 1929, he was educated at the High School of Music and Art, NY, the Cooper Union art school, NY, and the Academy of Fine Art, in Italy. He then co-founded Pushpin Studios and New York Magazine, founded Milton Glaser Inc. and teamed up with Walter Bernard to form WBMG.

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Since the founding of WBMG, they have designed more than 50 magazines, newspapers and periodicals around the world, including the complete redesigns of three major newspapers, The Washington Post, La Vanguardia and O Globo.

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Beside his publishing success, Milton Glaser is best known for his Bob Dylan poster, the DC bullet logo and designs for the Brooklyn Brewery, but one of his all time famous pieces is the classic I heart NY logo.

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Shown here is the original sketch, that was drawn by Glaser when he was riding in a taxi. During this time, New York was in a state of chaos, high crime and a bankrupt economy. The city needed to revamp its image and provide hope, and that just what this logo did.

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Surprisingly, he was paid nothing for this design, and as a result, no copyrights are on this logo. It was designed for the use of anyone, in order to spread a positive message to residents and hesitant visitors.

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Today this image rakes in an estimated 33 million dollars every year appearing on t-shirts, key chains and other promotional materials.

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Some of Glaser’s designs appear to be so simple, but that’s the point. You understand immediately what the image is meant to evoke, and how it applies to the product being branded. Glaser once boiled down the essence of his work into one word, clarity.

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Not only has Glaser continued to deliver designs for multiple platforms, he is also a professor and board member at the School of Visual Arts in NY and wrote numerous books about art and design.

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Glaser has impacted graphic design so much, that his career prompted a 2009 documentary called “Milton Glaser: To Inform and Delight.” Raveling his life and his life’s work.

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Glaser is considered an icon to the world of graphic design. Recently, he was one of ten recipients to receive the National Medal of Arts, the nation’s highest honors for artistic excellence. Even though he has reached the pinnacle of his career, he will always inspire us to go above and beyond our artistic potential.



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  1. Renee Sandoval / Dec 4 2013

    Very interesting to learn about this designer. I found your presentation to be inspiring and well laid out. Thanks for introducing Milton Glaser to us. My favorite of the designs you have shared is the ones entitled: “To Inform and Delight”. The slides made for a great pecha kucha presentation as well!

  2. Brandon Fredericksen / Nov 23 2013

    I love the work of Milton Glaser. He really is one of my favorite designers, and I think we all as students can learn something from him. I’m assuming you used this for your pecha kucha presentation, and I think you did a good job with presenting this information. Thanks for sharing this!

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