‘Milton Glaser Posters: 427 Examples from 1965 to 2017’ is a delight
02:10 pm
‘Milton Glaser Posters: 427 Examples from 1965 to 2017’ is a delight

Milton Glaser was one of the major graphic designers of the postwar era in America and he’s still very active today, at the age of 88. He co-founded New York magazine, created one of the most iconic images of Bob Dylan, and came up with a brand identity for New York City in the 1970s that was so effective it is still recognizable and in use today.

Abrams Books recently published a marvelous overview of Glaser’s career in the poster medium, with the informative title Milton Glaser Posters: 427 Examples from 1965 to 2017. The book, which is about the size of a paperback novel, has an intuitive format with the images on the right-hand side and Glaser’s terse but candid commentary on the left. (It’s also priced to move.)

Below are some representative images from the book along with Glaser’s remarks.

Big Nudes (1966)

“Except for the Dylan poster and the ‘I Love New York’ campaign, this School of Visual Arts poster announcing a show of paintings of large nudes seems to be my best-known work. The graphic idea was to show a nude so large it couldn’t fit on the page, extending into the space beyond the poster. Later, I did a large silkscreen of the same drawing that continues to sell like hotcakes.”

Dylan (1967)

“This poster, included with the 1967 Bob Dylan’s Greatest Hits album, is probably the best-known work of mine, with the exception of the ‘I Love New York’ identity campaign. Why certain works become iconic is not easily understood, but here the celebrity of the subject is certainly part of the story.”

Milton Glaser Exhibition (1976)

“This stylized nude was done for a show of my work in Belgium. Although it is limited in color, it has a powerful graphic effect. For budgetary reasons, there were only two colors available for the poster. By printing the green over the red, we created the black form––a powerful image, largely due to the limitation of color.”

Bach (1989)

“Bach in a fuguing suit (the geometric pattern gets larger as it moves from the vest to the suit to the wall) as I imagined he might look today: an eccentric fellow but with a lot of flair. The idea of the fugue is that the theme is established and then played and varied according to a precise musical structure. I’m still not sure whether this idea comes through or if it contributes to understanding the message.”

Angels in America (1993)

“The black, crouching angel with the colorful wing was used for a great American play written by Tony Kushner. The wing is my version of a famous drawing by Dürer.”

I Love NY More Than Ever (2001)

“This was my response to the events of September 11, 2001. It was posted all over the city by students from the School of Visual Arts and accurately reflected the feelings of most New Yorkers in response to that horrifying day. A bureaucrat from the state called me, saying they would like to use the image but without the black mark on the heart. When I told him that that was the point of the poster, he threatened to sue me for being in violation of the state’s “I [heart] NY” logo. When I responded that I designed that logo, he said, “That’s why you should know better.” I sent a note to the governor, the mayor, and the New York Times. Two days later, the bureaucrat called back to suggest that we simply drop the matter.”

Pasta (2006)

“This poster was designed for the furniture manufacturer Heller as an introduction to his line of plastic, pasta-shaped pillows. The only clue that we are not talking about edible pasta is the measurement indicating that it is sixty centimeters wide––a mouthful even for ravioli lovers. The dimension wasn’t sufficiently visible, so almost all viewers think this is an ad for an unknown pasta maker.”

To Vote Is Human (2010)

“In a democracy, nothing is more important than voting. It’s hard to understand why so many citizens ignore that fact and must be constantly reminded.”

Previously on Dangerous Minds:
‘Mickey Mouse in Vietnam’
Kid’s birthday cake based on Milton Glaser’s Bob Dylan poster

Posted by Martin Schneider
02:10 pm



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