Milton Glaser

I thought To Delight and Inform was a good documentary with a great central character, Milton Glaser, who was interesting and relatable. There were many interesting moments that came up throughout the film.

One fact that I found very interesting, that I am noticing that other people did too, is how many types of jobs Glaser took on as a designer. He redesigned the shopping experience in grocery stores, designed restaurant interiors and menus, taught one on one, redesigned his high school, drew for children’s books that his wife wrote, and helped design Stony Brook University’s new area of campus. Some of these are somewhat expected jobs I guess, but when Glaser mentioned that he worked with grocery stores and restaurant menus I was confused at first. Why would this great designer that so many people rave about sink to the level of little grocery stores? When I thought about it more, however, I realized that the task he took on was not the easiest because the layout of grocery stores impacts almost everyone because almost everyone has to buy food.

I also liked it when one of the other men that was interviewed about Glaser in the documentary talked about a project that they worked on together. This man explained how even though Milton Glaser is such a great designer he, Glaser, still has regrets. One of his biggest regrets is the fact that when they designed the cover of Ms. magazine the hands that were holding the second cover were men’s and not women’s hands. Now this detail may seem minor to some, and many of the magazine’s readers may not have even noticed the difference, but to Glaser it was huge. This just goes to show how detail oriented this profession is and how we will always find something that we will wish we could have changed. But, obviously, even the best make mistakes.

Lastly, I found it inspiring when Glaser said that he likes work that doesn’t look designed but like it just happened. This is something that I would like to be seen in my work as well. I know that it probably won’t always happen, and I tend to over design on my first draft at least, but this is the look that I aim for. You can tell when it looks like the designer was trying too hard. Usually the most inspirational work, to me at least, is simple and well executed, but it looks like it took no effort at all, like it was meant to be that way all along.


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