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Milton Glaser: The Graphic Designer That Revolutionized America
The Story of One of The Greatest Graphic Designers of The United States
Milton Glaser is one of the most influential Graphic Designers of the United States, partly due to his revolutionary work, but also because of his unique style. Born in June 26, 1929, in New York City, his life always revolved around art. Glaser was educated in Graphic Design in the Academy of Fine Arts, in Bologna, Italy, where his studies were covered by a fulbright scholarship. His contribution to the world began in 1954, when he co-founded Push Pin Studios. Push Pin Studios became a reference point for graphic design, and was said to have “redefined and expanded the imprimatur of the designer, illustrator, and visual culture at large.” This, however, was not his only project. Glaser also began a publication design firm, WBMG, in New York City in 1983, which has created more the 50 magazines all around the globe. Glaser himself has designed and produced over 300 posters, where most of this work is displayed in the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum. Glaser later established the Milton Glaser Inc. in 1974, which still continues to produce a wide range of work. In 2009, Glaser was the proud winner of the National Medal of Arts, awarded by President Barack Obama and Mrs. Obama at the White House. Glaser became the first graphic designer to ever receive this award.
Throughout his lifetime, Milton Glaser has created many pieces that have become very well known in the world of art. One of the most iconic work by Glaser would be his I Heart New York logo, which was created to shift New York City’s reputation from dangerous to a tourist attraction. Glaser came up with this design in the backseat of a taxi cab, and was inspired by Robert Indiana’s LOVE design. The logo is basically the capital “I” next to a red heart, which are stacked on top of NY. The logo became a pop culture icon and has been used internationally. After the terrorist attacks of 9/11, the logo was modified to now say, “I Love NY More Than Ever.” Since then, the logo became a symbol of unity.
Even though Milton Glaser created the popular I Heart New York logo, one of his first works was a poster of Bob Dylan’s “Greatest Hits” LP. Glaser designed the profile of Bob Dylan with curled hair, with “Dylan” printed in the end of said poster. The work expresses a contrast between black and white, with the emphasis of various colors in between the two hues. This poster represents most of Glaser’s preferred art styles, such as the usage of vivid colors and shapes. This psychedelic work certainly inspired many of his future pieces, seeing as how many of his elements were demonstrated in his work.
Another of the most famous work by Milton Glaser is the Brooklyn Brewery logo. The logo only uses green and yellow, with black and white highlights. Glaser created this design in 1984, and he has stated that his main motivation was not merely the financial gain. Instead, he expresses that he’s proud of the success of the company he helped found. Again, this logo is another example of the unique style and color scheme that Glaser decides to use in every of his creations. Glaser has also created a unique poster for the awareness of AIDS, a deadly disease that affects more than 200,000 Americans. The poster itself states, “AIDS. A worldwide effort will stop it.” The letters are located near the top of the poster, while the rest of the design follows below. The work includes two red hearts that are connected through a blue skull. This simple logo has a symbolic meaning, since the skull represents the deadliness of the disease, while the hearts represent the good that still remains. The simple, yet carefully thought out, logo demonstrates the basic style of Glaser- a style that communicates a lot from a very simple design.
Milton Glaser, now 88 years old, has revolutionized the world of art, specifically graphic design, through all of his contributions towards our communities. Personally, Glaser has become a figure that I deeply admire, and his work continues to inspire me to strive further in my goals. After researching more about his career accomplishments, many aspiring artists, such as myself, can learn that simple things have the potential to become legendary symbols; the only thing that stands in the way is ourselves. And Milton Glaser helped us learn that.
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© 2018 Daniela E