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June 27, 2020 10:32 AM   Subscribe

Milton Glaser, famed graphic designer, both celebrated his birthday and also passed away yesterday, June 26th 2020.

Glaser was a lauded graphic designer. Maybe you've seen him in the famous Bob Dylan poster, or the 1984 Olympics, or any touchstone pieces in his decades-long career. He was the son of two Hungarian Jewish immigrants, a "militant, anti-capitalist leftist", and a die-hard New York lover. He was regarded at a pioneer in modern design, and inspiration to millions. Though it's sad to see him go, it's a touching and poignant reminder of how U.S. culture is shaped, informed, and bolstered through it's immigrant communities.
posted by FirstMateKate (24 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
posted by dobbs at 10:39 AM on June 27

When it came time to reform the written Norwegian language in the 20th century, the west adopted a standard called Nynorsk (New Norwegian) and eventually there were I ♥ NYNORSK hats and shirts based on Glaser's design, reflecting regional pride compared to the busier and more internationally known Oslo especially. I was kind of fond of them and will always miss Bergen.
posted by seraphine at 11:05 AM on June 27 [2 favorites]

posted by evilDoug at 11:18 AM on June 27

posted by Faint of Butt at 12:23 PM on June 27

posted by not_the_water at 12:29 PM on June 27

Co-founder of New York Magazine: Milton Glaser, though, operated on another plane — he just kept hitting the bull’s-eye, again and again, throughout his seven decades as an illustrator, graphic designer, art director, and visual philosopher and paterfamilias. He loved New York City, and celebrated it in multiple ways: with a magazine, with posters, and (most visibly of all) with the three-letters-and-a-red-heart slogan he created. Almost incidentally, he also changed the way you eat. [*] [...]

If Glaser had a breakout moment, it was his poster of Bob Dylan, from 1966. It was commissioned by CBS Records, and a folded copy was slipped into the jacket of every LP of Bob Dylan’s Greatest Hits, from which it was then removed and posted on seemingly every dorm-room wall in America. It looked fresh and modern, but it was also art-history-literate: Glaser had borrowed the black silhouette profile from a portrait of Marcel Duchamp (a lift that he readily admitted). Even the typeface was his own, a font called Baby Teeth. MoMA has a copy of the poster in its permanent collection—it makes regular appearances in the design collection — and Glaser’s studio still sells reprints of it. [...]

Brooklyn Brewery, with its swoop-y baseball-jersey logo evoking both the departed Dodgers and a swirl of beer foam, made its debut in 1988. Because it was a start-up without much money, Glaser took a stake in the company instead of a fee. Today, Brooklyn Brewery is a huge global brand — and, as Glaser told me a couple of years ago, that was the thing that made him financially independent, enough to keep him in taxicabs and then some, enthusiastically sketching, for the rest of his life. “Of all the work I’ve done!” he said, chuckling, in that inimitable voice.

*The Underground Gourmet, wnyc.org archive, January 21, 1969: George A. Hirsh, the publisher of New York Magazine talks with Milton Glaser, and Jerome Synder about their new book on eating adventurously and cheaply in New York City. The two also write a regular feature for the magazine called The Underground Gourmet. They discuss Chinese food, Spanish food, and Yonah Shimmel's knishes among other New York delights...
posted by Iris Gambol at 12:37 PM on June 27 [3 favorites]

...following the events of 9/11, Glaser revisited this symbol of the city at a time when fear and the threat of terrorism had escalated and many were comparing the changed atmosphere of the city to the ruinous times of the early 1970s. The blackening of the lower left portion of the heart, referencing the geographical position of the World Trade Center towers within Manhattan, creates a metaphor of the heart of the city and its people and positions New York as the heart of the United States. (Cooper Hewitt Collection)

New York Daily News, September 19, 2001 cover
posted by Iris Gambol at 1:19 PM on June 27 [7 favorites]

posted by May Kasahara at 2:20 PM on June 27

Such a master of his craft. As an illustrator I always loved his aesthetic. I went to the School of Visual Arts but never had change to take his class.
Somehow I never knew he did the Brooklyn Brewery logo.
posted by Liquidwolf at 2:52 PM on June 27

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posted by JoeXIII007 at 3:10 PM on June 27

posted by lalochezia at 3:15 PM on June 27

A giant. Everything he did was bang-on. And what range! Even today, I learned that he designed the Signet Classics Shakespeare paperbacks, which prompted the question I so often had of Glaser: “Oh, he did that TOO?”
posted by Capt. Renault at 5:09 PM on June 27

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posted by droplet at 7:52 PM on June 27

I'd say that one of Glaser's top five most-seen designs was the "DC Bullet," which served as the comic company's logo from 1976 to 2005.
posted by JDC8 at 8:16 PM on June 27 [1 favorite]

posted by Mister Bijou at 9:17 PM on June 27

most of the people who watch the show didn’t live through that era, so it’s a funny idea of simulating for people of what they don’t have any memory of and convincing them in a way that this is what it was like… It’s a complex philosophical issue.

Thanks for the links to the Mad Men art and interview, Iris Gambol. I love that quote. Other links have been great as well. Thanks everyone! I love it when individuals who do amazing work were seemingly not assholes in the process.

posted by Bella Donna at 4:56 AM on June 28 [1 favorite]

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posted by ferret branca at 9:08 AM on June 29

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