I often tell the story of how Milton Glaser is responsible for my career as a graphic designer. In 1974, as a high school senior, I saw a copy of his book Graphic Design in the Salem Public Library and it gave a name to the form of art I wanted to pursue as an avocation. It also provided proof that someone could make a living in such a profession and inspired me to become a designer.
A lot has happened in the 35 years since I first saw that book. I have been a professional designer for over 30 years and Milton Glaser still inspires many by continuing to work in his chosen profession. I've also had the opportunity to meet Glaser on a couple of occasions - the first as a bumbling idiot of a fan - and have also corresponded with him a few times.
A new documentary, Milton Glaser: To Inform & Delight, has been released, bringing the industry icon's story to the screen. Director Wendy Keys, formerly of the Film Society of Lincoln Center, celebrates the life, work and times of Glaser in the project being distributed by Arthouse Films.
In reviewing the film, Stephen Holden of The New York Times, writes:
“To Inform & Delight: The World of Milton Glaser” may leave you with the impression that the spirit of modern New York was conjured out of thin air by its subject, the celebrated graphic designer who is about to turn 80. It was Mr. Glaser who came up with the “I ♥ NY” logo in the 1970s when the city, then on the verge of bankruptcy, was widely perceived as a crime-infested danger zone. As the center of a campaign to revive New York, the logo helped reverse the decline and boost morale.
Mr. Glaser’s signature is everywhere: not just in logos but in magazines (he founded New York magazine with Clay Felker in 1968), on posters (his silhouette of Bob Dylan with psychedelic hair is one of his most famous) and in restaurants and supermarkets. The hallmarks of his work are its simplicity, wit and elegance; it may be commercial art, but with a capital A. One of his strategies, he says, is to appeal to the problem-solving part of the brain by creating simple visual puzzles.
Current scheduled showings around the country include:
New York City: Cinema Village, May 22nd • San Francisco: The Roxie, June 19th • Boston: MFA, July 2nd • Chicago: Gene Siskel Film Center, June 12th • Denver: Starz Film Center, June 12th • Tempe: AIGA/ASU - Neeb Hall, June 13th • Albuquerque: Guild Cinema June 27th and 28th • Las Vegas: AIGA June 18th • Tuscon: AIGA/UA School of Art Building, June 20th
Arthouse Films sent me two copies of the Milton Glaser: To Inform & Delight poster (above). Over the next two weeks, those following me on Twitter will be given to opportunity to answer a question about Glaser to win the posters.
In addition to the documentary news, this past week I received an email from Glaser's office, announcing the launch of Milton Glaser Works, a new commerce site featuring signed editions of books and other works including Milton Glaser’s posters, silkscreens and a new range of giclée prints, mostly portraits of musicians and artists. These giclée prints are signed, numbered, and embossed with an archival stamp for authenticity. (I've promised myself, that one of these days, I will purchase one of his Italian landscape silkscreen prints).
© 2009 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives