Milton Glaser Shares Wisdom

“To Inform and Delight” was a very fascinating documentary because I felt like I could relate to Glaser. As a public relations major, I am confident in my ability to communicate and draw connections with other people. I have always defined myself as artistically challenged and therefore assumed that I couldn’t empathize or understand the work of graphic designers beyond simply being visually captured. I have realized that this course demands I discover an artistic and visual way to express myself and as I watched Glaser work with his students, he made me understand that design and the theories of design extend far beyond the margins on a page. Glaser’s students discussed many of the ways they were challenged both as artists and individuals in his courses. The projects he worked on and assigned were not completed to meet a requirement or deadline. He admitted that much of his work was done for different organizations and companies and he wished he produced work for himself more often. However, Glaser clearly communicated to his students and audience that any product or work of design is an individual’s civil responsibility to society. Glaser described design as a contribution and form of expression. One of his students in the documentary explained that she felt pressure as a designer to communicate someone’s true message or story with thought and intention. She described it as a heavy responsibility that provides her with an opportunity to make a social contribution.

The way Glaser associates design with social responsibility helped me realized that although I may not be able to draw well or envision a unique design the minuet I sit down to sketch, the reason we call it art is because when people look at your work, it stimulates a response and contributes something to your community. For example, the I heart New York design is not an extravagant or inconceivable idea that only professionals could come up with. The simplicity and clarity allowed for an entire city and eventually the entire world to identify with. It raised the morale of the city, the morale New Yorkers, and enticed people to love it as well. From a public relations perspective, the design is brilliant because it communicates something that everyone can understand.

I think Glaser delivered wisdom in all of his work and interaction with students. He challenged them to take on the social responsibility of having something worthy to say and then executing it. There is wisdom in a well-thought out concept and the execution of my work will improve with practice. For the remainder of this class, every time I feel stuck or “artistically challenged”, I will to refer to the I heart New York design and remember that revolutionary designs were often times as simple as three letters and a heart.

Danielle Hay

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