The thing that struck me most about the film is the intelligence of Milton Glaser. The video overlay about a third into the movie of him drawing and one of disciple’s voices saying, “He’s so damn articulate,” just hit me because it never would’ve occurred to me that you could consider a design articulate, to be honest. It’s a design there aren’t many words. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that Glaser is so “articulate.”
Yes, it was cool to learn where I <3 NY comes from, but the thought process behind it was the more interesting part. Glaser figured out that the best designs play off things people already know and engage the mind–because once they think about it and take your design with them in your mind then you’ve created something portable and engaging and lasting.
“If you activate the mind to try and figure something out, the likelihood is they’ll remember it more.”
Glaser was smart enough to play off the pre-existing knowledge in “I <3” and then, rather than NYC, he made it the ubiquitous “NY” to encompass more than just the city as well as make the design more symmetrical. That’s so smart. He’s shown that intelligence throughout his career.
With the “I <3 NY” design he wanted to give people pride in New York, so he gave the people more with New York magazine. He created Underground Gourmet. He knew that duality prints of heaven and hell were interesting, but “Purgatory is much more fascinating because it’s where we are now.”
Everything Glaser has done, all his analyzing and the angles he’s taken at things, is calculated. It’s smart. It’s articulate.