Milton Glaser (1929 – 2020) American Graphic Designer

Milton Glaser featured image
Milton Glaser featured image

Milton Glaser (1929-2020) was a graphic designer from the United States. He was born and raised in New York, where he was active professionally.

Education

He studied at the Cooper Union in New York.

The colourful posters of designer-illustrator Milton Glaser epitomise an era for the Woodstock generation. His psychedelic ‘American Sixties style’ was a synthesis of various influences ranging from Surrealism to Islamic painting. His ongoing interest in new subjects and techniques has kept his work fresh and ever-changing over the years.

Biography

Glaser co-founded Push Pin Studios in New York in 1954 and remained one of its main driving forces throughout the 1960s, along with Seymour Chwast. During that time, he created images that became extremely popular, such as ‘the Dylan poster,’ which was intended as an inclosure for one of Bob Dylan’s albums. Flowers frequently appeared in his work as a symbol of life and love; another recurring motif was his use of heavily decorated novelty alphabets with names like ‘Baby Fat’ and ‘Baby Teeth.’ Glaser’s artistic imagery appeared in various graphic forms, including book jackets, posters, and record covers.

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A celebration of his popularity came in 1973 with the publication of the extensive, glossy collection of works, Milton Glaser: Graphic Design (Overlook Press, New York, 1973). Glaser was the first graphic designer to be profiled in this way, and thus the trend of graphic design coffee-table books began.

Recognition

The 1970s saw the rise of prestigious one-person shows (MoMA, Pompidou Centre in Paris). It also resulted in a decrease in his involvement in Push Pin. As time passed, he expanded into new graphic areas such as corporate identities and interiors. He was responsible for one of the most iconic motifs, ‘I ❤️ NY,’ which has been pirated and produced in countless variations.

I Love New York Logo
I Love New York Logo

Sources

Byars, M., & Riley, T. (2004). The Design Encyclopedia. Laurence King Publishing.

Dormer, P. (1999). The illustrated dictionary of twentieth century designers: the key personalities in design and the applied arts. Greenwich Ed.

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