{inspiration} Milton Glaser—Granddaddy of Graphic Design


credit: christineparkdesign.com
credit: christineparkdesign.com

Fun Fact: Rumor has it that legendary food critic Anton Ego from Pixar’s Ratatouille was inspired by graphic designer Milton Glaser. It is hard to deny the resemblance. Link from Unbeige.

When I introduce my students to Milton Glaser, I refer to him as the “Grandaddy of Graphic Design” because in person the legendary designer  is so kind and sweet you can’t help but wish he was your grandpa and in deep contrast to another iconic designer Paul Rand, whom I refer to as “Papa Logo.”

As far as I know Milton Glaser was the biggest, most important, and celebrated graphic designer of the mid 1980s. I was a college student and ambitious to begin my career as a designer in New York city. I devoured every publication and any information I could find about the profession of graphic design long before the internet was even a thing. Print, Communication Arts, and U&lc  magazines were my introduction to the professional world of design.

It was a formidable and expensive task to keep up with the industry. I had my subscription to U&lc, Print and Communications Arts Magazine were my eyes and always feeding my interests. The book… by Philip Meggs, A History of Graphic Design. As design students we mainly depended on the stories told to us by our professors.

glaser ascot

I remember one adjunct professor from my undergraduate studies who had been classmates with PushPin Studios founders Milton Glaser and Seymour Chwast at Cooper Union. He told us stories about those famous designers that made them seem approachable.

That’s when I made it my professional goal to work either at PushPin Studios with Seymour Chwast—or with Milton Glaser  at WBMG.

i-heart-nyConveniently, my boyfriend at the time was interning at Milton Glaser’s Studio. It was perfect, I was introduced to Milton and he was the nicest, calmest, and coolest designer whom I had ever met. He offered me an internship for the spring semester—right there on the spot. So, that January,  when all the other interns left early for Manhattan, I made a big mistake and stayed home a celebrated with my old high school friends because I already had the best possible internship all lined up. When I showed up at the studio, Milton asked me “Where were you last week?”… ughhhh, I had blown it.  You’ll have to take my class to hear the rest of the story about how I ended up better off in a smaller studio for my internship and eventually freelancing at Pushpin with Seymour Chwast.

Glaser’s I Love New York Campaign has been a fixture in my home state for as long as I can remember. I wonder if Mr. Glaser approves of how viciously the State has protected its copyright on that design?… see this link to see how ridiculously our tax payer dollars are being spent. New York should be ashamed. {tisk tisk}

original I


i love ny mech
I <3 NY mechanical


Milton Glaser’s “10 Things I Have Learned”

This is a interview that was hosted by Design Indaba to read the detail see the original article.

or check the full essay by Milton here.

1. Only work for people you like.

2. If you have a choice, never have a job.

3. Some people are toxic. Avoid them.

4. Professionalism is not enough, or The ‘good’ is the enemy of the ‘great’.

5. Less is not necessarily more.

6. Style is not to be trusted.

7. How you live changes your brain.

8. Doubt is better than confidence.

9. It does not matter what you think.

10. Tell the truth.




a tribute to Glaser by James VIctore.

The Road to Hell by Milton Glaser is a series of questions that determine the direction of a designers career. There was a time when 8 out of 10 designers were on the Road to Hell… I feel that the next generation of young designers is far more socially conscience. Have a crack.

  1. Design a package to look larger on the shelf?
  2. Do an ad for a slow-moving, boring film to make it seem like a lighthearted comedy?
  3. Design a crest for a new vineyard to suggest that it’s been in business for a long time?
  4. Design a jacket for a book whose sexual content you find personally repellent?
  5. Design an advertising campaign for a company with a history of known discrimination in minority hiring?
  6. Design a package for a cereal aimed at children, which has low nutritional value and high sugar content?
  7. Design a line of T-shirts for a manufacturer who employs child labor?
  8. Design a promotion for a diet product that you know doesn’t work?
  9. Design an ad for a political candidate whose policies you believe would be harmful to the general public?
  10. Design a brochure piece for an SUV that turned over more frequently than average in emergency conditions and caused the death of 150 people?
  11. Design an ad for a product whose continued use might cause the user’s death?

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