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Less is More

The most important thing I took from To Inform and Delight is the calculative thought process that goes into Milton Glaser’s work. No matter how simple, every seemingly unimportant detail had a story behind it.

This fact was especially noticeable when he described what he went through to redesign the identity of his old high school, Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts. Immediately, the first thing that caught his attention was the breathtakingly long name of the school. It needed to be shortened to LaGuardia Arts. From there, the real work began. He used the theme of the school itself to design a logo that was based on musical score so it can be sung. It was genius! Though the logo itself was simple, everything about it was practical, adding such depth that it forces the reader analyze in order to fully appreciate it.

Another, more straigtforward, piece of work he designed is the iconic “I Heart New York” logo. It was a memorable sign that reminded people to embrace their home city. “I” being a pronoun, the heart symbol representing an emotion, and New York being the place, created a puzzle that stayed with the reader. Once again, he brought to life a simple story that regular people can understand, but more importantly, one that everyone can relate to.

The legacy of Milton Glaser was bringing high quality art to the rest of society without it becoming a fad, or fleeting thing of the past. His designs were many things. They were timeless, they were minimalistic,  they were clever, but most of all, they were as little design as possible.

Jean Degraphe

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