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Conveying a message

“I <3 NY”. We see it everywhere, from pop culture references to the streets of New York itself. And its purpose is exactly what the title of Milton Glaser’s film is: “To Inform and Delight”.

What’s striking about Glaser’s work, is that it’s beautiful and tells a story or conveys a message in some way. There are so many designs that are just beautiful for the sake of being beautiful, or that give you a lot of information but lack an element of art. Glaser’s work blends the two together perfectly. But his designs also force viewers to think in order to figure out the whole message, rather than being obvious or too straightforward. To make an exciting design, its important to allow viewers to figure out some things for themselves. When working on my own poster for this class, I started to design something that looked cool, but lacked a certain depth that could make a viewer think. After watching Glaser’s film, I’ve been rethinking my design to combine all of the elements that made Glaser’s work so successful: aesthetics, a powerful message, and cleverness.

Another piece that stuck with me that was featured in the film was the billboard about genocide in Africa. The concept itself was so simple, but the message made you feel something. It evoked an extremely different emotion than one feels when they see “I <3 NY”. Instead of pride for a city, the billboard about genocide made me feel extreme sadness. And that’s the power of design. Every single design is meant to make you feel something different, and Milton Glaser knows exactly how to do that.

Kate Beckman

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