1 July 2020
Tributes have poured in for Milton Glaser, who has died in New York on his 91st birthday, Friday June 26th, 2020. Says British graphic designer Jonathan Barnbrook on Facebook:
"One of the most influential designers in the history of design. I can't think of a designer who will be more missed by our community."
For those who are not familiar with Milton Glaser, I’ve gathered some facts and put them into a timeline:
June 26, 1929: Milton Glaser is born in the Bronx, to Eugene and Eleanor (Bergman) Glaser, immigrants from Hungary. His father owned a dry-cleaning and tailoring shop; his mother was a homemaker.
Late 1940s: After high school, while working at a package-design company, Glaser tried to get into Pratt Institute. After failing entrance exam twice, he finally applied to the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art and was accepted, so studied there instead.
1954: Glaser set up Push Pin Studios with three Cooper Union classmates. He remained at this successful studio for over 20 years.
1957: He married Shirley Girton, his replacement at the package-design company that first hired him. They remained married until his death, over 60 years later.
1967: One of his most famous works is created, a Bob Dylan poster, inserted in Dylan’s Greatest Hits album (see above).
1968: Glaser and editor Clay Felker found New York magazine, where he was president and design director until 1977. The visual format that still largely survives to this day.
1974: Glaser started his own design firm, Milton Glaser Inc. He remained working here regularly and productively up until his death.
1977: Probably his most famous work was created, the “I ♥ NY” logo, part of a campaign to promote tourism in New York State.
1983: He teamed up with Walter Bernard to launch WBMG, a publication design firm that created more than 50 magazines, newspapers and periodicals globally.
Late 80s: The logo and packaging for Brooklyn Brewery is created, still in existence today.
2004: He received a lifetime achievement award from the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum (now the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum).
2009: He became the first graphic designer to receive the National Medal of Arts.
2014: Designed the prolific poster for the final season of the television series “Mad Men.”
He taught graphic design at the School of Visual Arts for over 60 years.
He has never used a computer (though his designers do).
A quote from one of his last interviews, a few weeks before his death:
“I’m trying to acquire a new studio next door to a new apartment we bought. So that is the height of optimism, to buy a new apartment at the age of 90.”
Some of my favourite quotes:
"There is nothing more pleasurable to me than drawing and discovering I could do things I didn't know I was capable of."
"I don't think of my work as a series of pieces. Instead, I always think of what I learned from doing the piece and where it has led me."
"As I often quote Picasso, 'once you've mastered something, you can abandon it.'"