Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Episode 81: Milton Glaser

“The act of making things is the path to discovery” -Milton Glaser

Milton Glaser was born in 1929 In New York. He was educated at the High School of Music and Art and Cooper Union Art School in New York. He went to Italy to the Academy of Fine Arts on Fulbright Scholarship. He and some other Cooper Union Graduates started Push Pin Studios in 1954, which is still going strong. "Glaser has been teaching at SVA for over half of a century. He thinks it helps him focus and prevent senility”. (from miltonglaser.com)

He and Walter Bernard (known for designing many magazines and newspapers, such as Time Magazine and the Washington Post) got together to start WBMG, a publication design firm. In 1974 he started his own design firm, MILTON GLASER, INC, which has done many things including creating the famous logo, I [heart] New York. 

Milton Glaser

In 2004 he won a lifetime achievement award from the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum, which is "Given in recognition of a distinguished individual who has made a profound and long-term contribution to the contemporary practice of design."

President Obama presented Glaser with the National Medal of Arts in 2009. It is the nation's highest honor for artistic excellence. This was the first such award presented to a Graphic Designer. 

“These individuals and organizations show us how many ways art works every day. They represent the breadth and depth of American architecture, design, film, music, performance, theatre, and visual art," said NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman. "This lifetime honor recognizes their exceptional contributions, and I join the President and the country in saluting them." (taken from miltonglaser.com)

In 1977, William S. Doyle, Deputy Commissioner of the New York State Department of Commerce hired advertising agency Wells Rich Greene to develop a marketing campaign for New York State. Doyle also recruited Milton Glaser to work on the campaign. Glaser expected the campaign to last only a couple months and did the work pro bono. It became a major success and has continued to be sold for years. Doyle donated the original concept sketch and presentation board to the Museum of Modern Art in NYC.

After 9/11 the logo became even more of a symbol of NYC. People purchased t-shirts and wore them as a sign of support for the city. Glaser created a modified version of the logo which said, “I {heart} NY More Than Ever” with a black mark at the bottom left of the heart which represented the World Trade Center.

Rainbow Room

Milton Glaser, Dylan, 1966, Columbia Records

"The Dylan emerged from two very different conventions. One is the memory echo I had of a silhouette self-portrait that Marcel Duchamps cut out of paper. I remember it very clearly, a simple black and white profile. The convention of Dylan’s hair really emerged from certain forms that intrigued me in Islamic painting...   

...the combination of Duchamps portrait and Near Eastern design elements produced a style some now consider peculiarly American". - taken from Graphic Design by Milton Glaser

New York Magazine was founded by Milton Glaser and Clay Felker in 1968, it is a weekly magazine about culture, politics, life and style. Glaser was president and design director until 1977. It was redesigned in 2004 and is currently under editor-in-chief Adam Moss. While it started out as more of a New York magazine, it is now more of an American magazine. It won Magazine of the Year Award in 2013.

What hasn't this man done? He’s amazing!

Some links:

We'll see you next week for our Halloween episode on Headstones and Grave Markers with Carrie and Lauren


  1. Greetings from Helsinki again! Just letting you know, I'm still here and always eagerly waiting for your weekly post. :) Cool addition with the starving artist Zack, his voice is perfect for the radio. I want to say welcome, but that just sounds weird... :D Take care!

  2. Hello Finland! Thanks for sticking with us Auri, we love having you around!! We are enjoying having a guy around here.


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