Milton Glaser in “To Inform and Delight”

Milton Glaser’s stardom in “To Inform and Delight” taught me the value of design that I should have been exposed to years ago. Through Glaser’s artwork, intellectual spirit, and physical presence in the world of design, it’s no wonder such an amount of success has developed solely by this figure. Some of the most popular and timeless illustrations are rooted from Glaser, and it’s a shame I just pieced the complete puzzle of his art together with my mind. With that said, before seeing this film I wasn’t aware that Milton Glaser designed the infamous “I <3 NY symbol, the Bob Dylan poster, or the publication of New York Magazine. Perhaps the reason underlies beneath an oblivious college student not residing in New York City, but I learned that graphic design is what people make of the world. The way we see graphic design and the way in which graphic designers execute their work is the reason a society perceives design in a specific way and most importantly lives a certain way.

In “To Inform and Delight” Glaser said that graphic design influences the way we think and perceive things. He is a prime example of a graphic designer who uses art as a means of seeing the world and therefore produces something he believes everyone should be exposed to as well. Glaser explained that his “core value was to make things. Ideas become real or material, and that is the glory of any activity.” I found that statement to be powerful and rather brilliant because art is the process of making something based from an original idea. The original ideas come from all walks of life, and no matter what form the art is presented; someone appreciates the beauty and uses it tangibly or intangibly. Breaking design down into its most influential and practical elements, society would not function without it. Graphic design is what stimulates the eyes and travels to the mind. As we learned in lecture, visualization is the technique created to communicate visual information or ideas.

Glaser stamped into my brain that graphics do conceptualize ideas, evoke emotion, quickly say something, and produce an aesthetic visual. Graphic design is what people remember. The “I <3 New York” logo is what every tourist searches for, the sign above a popular store draws foot traffic alone, and the countless products that the economy rests upon are often sold to consumers based off the graphics themselves. Milton Glaser’s website flashes various quotes on the home page and one says “How you live changes your brain,” and I believe it to be true that the way we live, how we surround ourselves, and how/what we choose to expose our brains to has the power to alter our minds and inner ideas. Now that I live a life aware of graphic design, my brain has grown and transformed into something more powerful. My brain is now more colorful and absorbent than ever before.


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