Milton Glaser’s #1 Advice

While watching “To Inform and Delight,” I was especially struck with Milton Glaser’s outlook on life and intriguing spirit. He was so intent on creating beauty through graphic design and impacting people through emotion and feeling and passion felt through a simple illustration. The best piece of advice that Milton gave during the video was:

When you activate the mind through graphic design, people are much more likely to remember the message

This message is especially insightful because it is so simple and straightforward, yet we so often disregard this in an attempt to make our message especially direct and easy to understand. We are paranoid about our audience not “getting” what we are trying to say, and so we oversimplify our ideas – losing much of the (potential) power in the process. Milton Glaser is avid about leaving some parts of the message up to the reader to decipher and figure out. By forcing viewers to use skills and activate their minds, they are more likely to appreciate the message and remember the meaning.

As humans, we feel accomplished and confident when we can independently do things on our own or solve problems. So, as a graphic designer, we must play on this natural human characteristic and empower the viewer/reader by allowing them to decipher messages self-sufficiently and giving them the tools to do so.

Lindsay Igoe

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