Milton Glaser: To Inform and Delight

by Fred Showker

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a montage of illustrations by Milton Glaser

"Everything is defined by its opposite."

quoting I'm interested in work that doesn't necessarily look as if it was 'designed' but sort of just looks as if it happened. I always liked the idea, that people have to work to understand what you're showing them. end quote

branding and logo identity designed by Milton GlaserFrom newspapers and magazine designs, to interior spaces, logos and brand identities, to his celebrated prints, drawings, posters and paintings, the documentary offers audiences a much richer appreciation for one of the great modern renaissance men, who has recently been honored by President Obama with the 2009 National Medal of Arts.

quoting I wanted to do work that is public, I wanted to do work that people saw... that was on the street. It didn't matter if I was called an artist or a designer, illustrator or what ever else, 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, is still the glory of any creative activity. end quote

At one point he talks about designing the branding for a local micro-brewery, a unique entity on the New York skyline. Then, he shows the interior of a restaurant he designed with a 'renaissance' look with paintings and sculpture -- playing off Rembrant and the masters. His deep knowledge of society and art history is formidable. Then he talks about how a copper wall in an office building was inspired by a drawing. From grocery stores to traditional printmaking, he makes it look so simple -- and to him it is.

Glaser depends on his inherent talent for drawing Milton explains how the value of drawing in his life gives him an endless well of ideas and creative inspiration...

quoting So much of my work depends on drawing. I think of drawing as my essential resource -- that that's where my feeling of form comes from -- and whenever I can draw, because I find it so pleasurable, I will draw. I am a great fan of the idea that drawing is a way to understand the world. end quote

This is a major theme that weaves its way through the entire presentation -- so important to effective expression is the ability to communicate those thoughts.

Next we join Milton's thoughts on communication through different mediums, and the meaning of art ...

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