Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Thinking about Milton Glaser.

A couple of weeks ago, I ran across a notice that a new compendium of Milton Glaser's posters was being published. It would include 427 examples from 1965 to 2017.

I bought it here in two shakes of a lamb's tail. And you should too.

If you're my age, the years of Glaser's work roughly coincide with your dates--from the advent of your awareness to, ahem, the advent of your dotage.

You can, roughly speaking, see your life--from psychedelic Dylan to Glaser's posters today--in hundreds of graphics.

Additionally, to "feel" the book, to hold it, is something to consider. It's something to consider, because everything is
considered, as the pictures below show. Even something as incidental as the color of the edges of pages--who cares, right?--are treated with love and care and artistry.

Of course, Glaser's seminal posters are interesting. You'd expect that--they can be, should be studied. And not just by "creatives." They follow the principles of great communication. They get your attention. They tell you something. And they persuade.

(BTW, to all those people who say "creative can come from anywhere," I'd argue that before you assert your right to have an idea or an opinion, perhaps you should take some time, as I have, as every good creative I know has, to study work, to examine creativity. No one says "aeronautical skills, or surgical skills can come from anywhere." Why is creativity held to a lesser standard?)

Oddly enough, the pages I found most-interesting in Glaser's compendium have no artwork on them. They are his short introduction and the afterword in his book. Maybe they total 500 words.

I liked this a lot:

"Visual practitioners have a curious capacity that most other humans lack; we have a physical record of our lives that, not unlike a scrapbook, can re-evoke our minds' state or beliefs at any point in our passage through life." 

This is true for writers too. Even writers of lowly, disposable blogs.

Here's another bit I dug.

"Design became increasingly more interesting to me. I developed a taste for historicism, and I began to feel that any design could begin with any reference. Around the same time, I learned something from Picasso that once you had mastered something you could give it up. However, while style can be thought of as a form of temporary belief, it can also last a lifetime. One's distinctive neurology persists. I've been surprised by how many times something I thought was a new idea turned out to be an adaptation of a work I started thirty years earlier."

Finally, I liked this. And in liking it, I thank the good clients I have who allow me to be good.

"Good work can only be made for good clients."

Do yourself some good.

Buy the book. And study.

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