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Milton Glaser
Photo: Debbie with Milton Glaser at his studio.
Do any of these logos look familiar? Milton Glaser designed these and more...
Milton Glaser is a true New Yorker. Born in the Bronx, he attended Cooper Union, and founded the graphic design firm, Push Pin Studios in New York with fellow creative professionals, Seymour Chwast, Reynolds Ruffins and Edward Sorel in 1954. He founded his own company, Milton Glaser, Inc., in 1974 and became a leader in the field of typography (letter design). He approached visual communications combining design, type, flat color and contour in a working method similar to poster artists Jules Chéret and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec.
Photos: Milton Glaser's logo and the entrance to his studio with "Art is Work" displayed at the entrance.
Glaser’s famous design, the I Love New York logo, was created pro-bono to promote tourism for New York State in 1976 and is now one of the most popular symbols in the world. He drew the I Love New York logo on an envelope with a red crayon while in a taxicab and that concept sketch is in the Museum of Modern Art’s archives!
He was one of the original “Ad Men” in NYC’s advertising industry, and was considered so representative of the times, that AMC hired him to design art for their final season of the “Mad Men” television series.
At 91, Milton Glaser is still getting recognition for his work. Glaser boasts solo exhibitions at both the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris (1977) and the Museum of Modern Art in New York (1975). His commissions include Bob Dylan, Brooklyn Brewery, Stony Brook University, School of Visual Arts, United Nations, Carnegie Hall, Fairway, and Julliard. From 1968-76, Milton Glaser served as Art Director for New York Magazine and designed the magazine’s legendary masthead, still being used today. Photos: A 1968 New York Magazine cover; This 2008 poster was included in the Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits album in 1967.
How did I meet Milton Glaser?
Being a huge fan of his when I was a graphic design student at Parsons School of Design in the 1980s, I was thrilled to see his prints for sale at one of the print fairs in NYC. It portrayed Claude Monet at his easel ,entitled Monet at Work (2/18) in classic Milton Glaser style. I decided to purchase it and quickly accepted the opportunity to stop by his iconic studio to pick it up. To my delight, he was at his studio that day (see photo of the grand brownstone) and could not have been more charming and gracious. I also met his staff and was able to arrange two loans for the museum exhibitions that Franklin and I were co-curating at the Nassau County Museum of Art. The first was for our Wild Kingdom exhibition in 2018 - a watercolor portrait of a snow leopard that was the original art for a zoo poster he designed in 1983. The most recent was a poster of his 1967 New York Magazine cover depicting the seasons for our The Seasons show in 2019. I felt that including Glaser's works added an exciting dimension, proving that graphic design can fit into a fine art museum exhibition. - Debbie Wells
The Night of the Snow Leopard, 1983
Glaser describes this illustration: "I know the snow leopard is white, but I reasoned that since white contains the full spectrum of color, I was free to paint a Technicolor image. In some forms of communication, a contradictory visual creates the image of it’s opposite." Photo: Poster for the Zoological Society and the original illustration on view at Wild Kingdom - Claudia Emerson of Milton Glaser Inc. and Debbie Wells at the Nassau County Museum of Art reception.

New York Is About New York, 1978
Glaser describes the poster: "Original edition poster made to promote New York Magazine, which was founded by Clay Felker and myself in 1968."
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