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The demise of American graphic designer Milton Glaser

There are artists whose careers boil down to at least one masterpiece. That of the American Milton Glaser, who died in New York on June 26, the anniversary of his 91 years, typographer (we owe him a dozen fonts) and graphic designer, creator in 1975, that’s to say a time when the town was probably bankrupt, of the world well-known brand "I ❤️ NY", is way richer than that.

She helped create the pop after which psychedelic type of the 1960s and 1970s. The person was additionally politically engaged: it’s to him (on an thought by the author Philip Roth) that we owe the fantastic "Convey Again Monica Lewinsky" ("Meet Me Monica Lewinsky"), who weighed a president who was too keen with one in every of his interns, and one other, George W. Bush, too keen to interact his nation in a struggle.

Born on June 26, 1929 within the Bronx, of fogeys of Hungarian origin, Milton Glaser adopted the programs of the well-known Cooper Union, earlier than acquiring a Fulbright scholarship which enabled him in 1952 to review in Italy, on the Académie des Superb Arts of Bologna, the place he has Professor Giorgio Morandi, who had received the Grand Prize for portray on the Venice Biennale 4 years earlier, in 1948.

This coaching with one of many nice painters of the XXe century, fascinated by Cézanne, a time touring companion of Italian futurists, but additionally very distant inheritor to artists of the primary Renaissance, notably Giotto, Masaccio and Uccello, will probably be decisive for Milton Glaser, instilling in him a way of the effectivity of kinds easy and rigorous compositions. With dose of cheek: in 1968, for an Italian model of typewriters, he had shamelessly, however with expertise, diverted a portray by Piero di Cosimo (1462-1522).

Worldwide fame

However his first glare dated two years earlier: in 1966, he had certainly sought the icon of one other artist, far more modern, as an example the duvet of a disc of Bob Dylan printed by CBS Information, Bob Dylan’s Best Hits : that of Marcel Duchamp, from whom he was impressed by a profile photograph to redo that of the singer, including a hair painted in psychedelic colours with essentially the most lovely impact.

In 1954, he based college buddies with Reynold Ruffins, Seymour Chwast and Edward Sorel, the company Push Pin (he left in 1974 to create his personal firm) in New York. The company has the wind in its sails, and a global fame, to the purpose that an exhibition was dedicated to it in 1970 in Paris, on the Museum of Ornamental Arts. {A photograph} of the time reveals about twenty younger individuals, some in swimsuit and tie, others not, however all or nearly (he’s already very bald) with lengthy hair, as he was then. Nonetheless, it’s much less their picture that counts than the one they intend to offer, definitely of their usually prestigious purchasers, however particularly of their metropolis: "I really like New York" was born lengthy earlier than Glaser drew it.

We will't assist however consider "LOVE ", created in 1970 by pop artist Robert Indiana (1928-2018), additionally develop into an icon, and on which, like Glaser along with his" I really like NY ", the artist refused to take copyright. A few of the logos imagined by Glaser are actually near Indiana's work (we expect particularly of the one he designed for DC Comics), with out it being doable or essential to ask the query of the affect of l 'one over the opposite (and vice versa): the period was extra beneficiant, and fewer procedural.


In 1968, he co-founded New York Journal, nonetheless immediately a benchmark for lovers of this extraordinary and typically extravagant metropolis. Extravagant, it is usually usually in his works. When he illustrates the covers of Shakespeare's performs, or Bach's reorchestration covers, one wonders if these venerable authors didn’t smoke the carpet: the duvet of Best Hits, of Bach, particularly, has false airs of Yellow Submarine… Nonetheless, we additionally keep in mind a pleasant pigeon in striped pants and varnished sneakers stepping on a cigarette, accompanied by the slogan "With out tobacco, let's take a deep breath" : the drawing is from him.

His cowl of Bach's “Best Hits” has a false air of “Yellow Submarine”

Promoting, it sublimates ravioli like sodas, with out too many moods. Then again, its political posters are unambiguous: one curdles the Republican Occasion by stylizing the elephant which is its image, to offer it the form of the phrase no (" no "). "No answer, no compassion", says subtext … The American weekly newspaper (from left) The Nation, based in 1865, needing a facelift, he redesigned the mannequin, and added some buttons, badges that mentioned: "Secrecy promotes Tyranny" ("Secrecy results in tyranny"), "Dissent protects democracy" ("Dissent protects democracy"), or "Monitoring undermines liberty" ("Surveillance obstructs freedom"). A program, in a method.

Within the 1980s, it was the combat towards the transmission of AIDS that occupied him: he designed the “AIDS” brand for the World Well being Group, but additionally, and in a really completely different style, the determine of a fallen angel for the homosexual play Angels in America, by Tony Kushner.

His final nice feat of graphic weapon was impressed by the assaults of September 11, 2001: he took the brand that made him well-known, including a small black spot on the underside of the crimson coronary heart, on the location of the Twin Towers on the island of Manhattan, and added to his "I really like NY" the phrases "Greater than ever" (" Greater than ever "). He could have been an artist, definitely an awesome graphic designer, clearly a New Yorker, and the actual ones are fewer than you may assume.

Milton Glaser in a number of dates