|Photo: Denis Gratton|
For those who are not familiar with his work, here are some of his iconic images:
A Jen Doll interview in The Village Voice.
Milton Glaser on New Yorkers: 'For Better or Worse You're Here, and Doomed to Be Here'
Recently I had the pleasure of interviewing Milton Glaser, the 82-year-old graphic designer behind, to name just a few, the "I Love New York" logo, the DC Comics "DC bullet" logo, the famous Bob Dylan poster, and, of course, New York Magazine, which he founded with Clay Felker in 1968, for my article in this week's issue of the Voice, "How to Be a New Yorker."
I did it for free. The truth is, I have enough money to live the life I want to live. I don't think about how it would be if I had another couple million. I have no needs that are not being fulfilled.
Clay and I didn't know what we were doing. There are so many things you stumble into and learn on the job, you don't know until it's too late. We put out a terrible magazine for the first year, doing it on a week-to-week basis without a sense of what it was. After a few years we realized we'd invented something that was distinctive and different, and it began to find its own nature. It went through a bad period when Murdoch bought it. I think in the last five years it's been a terrific magazine -- it's found its path and its voice in a way that doesn't always happen. Perhaps it's not the magazine I would have invented, but I'm happy to read it these days.
A short documentary made for Abode Systems by Hillman Curtis:
Milton Glaser from Rui Amaral on Vimeo.
From Illustration Art:
|Original design for the "I Love New York" logo, now in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art|
I woke up one day, a few days after 9/11. I thought, you know, “I love New York” isn’t the story anymore. Something happened. And I realized that what had happened was an injury, like when a friend of yours, somebody you love, gets terribly sick.... A confident giant is hard to love, but a vulnerable giant is easy to love. All of us became aware that the city was vulnerable. Everybody’s heart was bursting with this feeling, “God, I belong here. It’s my city.” And it came to me as an image, you know, it’s a mark, it’s a black mark on the heart.... And so I said, “Gee, I love New York more than ever as a result of this.”
|Logo with scorched heart|
So the most difficult thing of course is how to introduce one’s ideas into the bloodstream of the culture. It’s very difficult without money or support or approval, because the nature of institutions is to resist all ideas from the outside... So I got a printer, and he said, “I’ll do it for nothing.” And so we printed 5,000 small posters. And so the kids divided the city into segments, and overnight, these posters appeared in windows all over town. And then I called Pete Hammill over at the Daily News, an old friend of mine. And I said, “Pete, I have something, and I wonder if you could find some use for it, or run it in the paper...." He said, “Great, send it down,” so I sent it down, and they called me back and said, “We’ll find a way to use it.” And a day later, they used it as a wraparound for that day’s edition of the paper—the whole thing—and there were a million copies of it out there.
I couldn’t believe it. So I sent a letter to [the Governor] because of course I hadn’t made any money. Every penny that was made on it went to either the firemen’s fund, or to restore the antenna on WNYC or something. So it was clear: There was no documentation, no paper trail, the whole point of it was not to benefit from it. I also didn’t license it to anybody, because I didn’t want anybody else to make money off it, which would be totally inappropriate. And a few days later, [the city called back] “We shouldn’t have threatened you. And it was an error. Could we just forget about it?” So I said, “Sure, why don’t we just forget about it.”