Tuesday, March 29, 2011

13 Words of Wisdom from Milton Glaser—Part 1



 "To Inform & Delight: The Work of Milton Glaser" is a fascinating, thought-provoking and incredibly educational documentary. This first-person interview with Milton Glaser is a treat and is a must-view for any artist working in any discipline. Here are the first 13 words of wisdom from the great man and from those who learned at his feet:

1. The core value was always the act of making things and the transformation of an idea that you hold in your mind that becomes real or material. That to me still is the glory of any creative activity.

2. Ralph Caplan, design writer: impressed with Glaser's mixture of talent, play and intelligence

3. I think the idea of movement and the rhythmic response has something to do with the way you draw, the way you make things.

4. Trying to create the same emotional response in graphics that music has on people.

5. Brookie Maxwell, artist and former Glaser student: when you think of the Dylan poster, that really speaks to a generation. That wasn't his generation but he was able to understand what was happening and see what was happening and make work about in response to what was happening. That's very unusual. I see the same thing in the poster for "Angels in America." To take the raw pain of a generation of gay men who were all dying and transform it into a piece of art.



6. I explain to students in terms of understanding communication that the creation of a puzzle is one of the tools that you have to make people understand things. When they activate the mind to try to figure things out the likelihood is that they'll remember it and respond to it more than if they're told something directly.

Re: the simplicity behind the designing of the "I NY" logo: "I" is a word. The heart is a symbol for a feeling and "NY" are initials for a place.



I've made nothing on "I NY" ever. There have been no cash rewards as a consequence of doing it. On the other hand, it really make me feel very, very proud to have taken part in that shift in the city's consciousness from being indifferent to itself to realizing we love this place. 

7. Walter Bernard, New York Magazines first Art Director re: the magazine: our mantra was, "be on the reader's side."

8. Interested in work that doesn't exactly look like it was designed, looks like it just happened. Likes that people have to work to understand what you're showing them.

9. Thinking and making things mostly I do in the country; assembling things and refining things we do here [in his NYC office.] One is solitary, the other needs interaction.

10. Works that are preconceived tend to go dead, inert…the work that responds to the peculiarities of the moment tend to be more energized.

11. You realize that everything's related its opposite—if there's light, you have to have darkness; truth, there has to be lies. Everything is defined by its opposite. They both require exploration.

12. So much of my work depends on drawing. I think of drawing as my essential resource, that that's where my understanding of form comes from.

13. I am a great believer in drawing as a way to understand the world.


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