Tuesday, November 14, 2017

I heart Milton Glaser.

It’s hard to have grown up when and where I grew up and not be a fan of Milton Glaser.

He is as New York as the New York Yankees—but without the Yankees arrogance and bombast. Between having designed the I [heart] New York symbol, New York magazine and the Grand Union supermarket chain, he is all New York, but humble, self-effacing and kind. Those attributes are embodied in Glaser's work.

Last night, Milton held court in front of 500 fans in an interview by Steven Heller. The ostensible topic of the discussion was the republication of Glaser and Mirko Ilic's 2005 book called "The Design of Dissent."

For our current political and social sump, Glaser's updated the book. The 2017 version is subtitled "Expanded Edition: Greed, Nationalism, Alternative Facts, And The Resistance."

Glaser is a passionate man but a man without anger. He believes that anger--in protest, in politics, in the interpersonal makes communication less effective.

And perhaps there is no anger in the man. But there is surely passion. Passion and a belief that old-fashioned New York liberalism is a better, fairer path than the avaricious, kleptocratic oligarchy which rules so much of the world--our world today.

Years ago, I was asked to work on a poster and brochure for an elementary school Columbia University was establishing on the upper west side. 

I was the copywriter on the assignment, and, good-fortune shined on me, Glaser was the art-director. I ran down to his office and had a cup of coffee with him at his big work table. 
We batted ideas around for about an hour--and talked about a headline I had come in with.

When it was time to leave, he said these words to me about the work we had sketched out together.

"Let's let it marinate a bit."

I think that is Glaser's Talmudic advice for the ages. Do something. Work hard. Be outraged. Be pasionate. Be, even, angry. Then Think. And write. And draw.

Then let life marinate a bit.

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