While “To Inform and Delight” is essentially a biography of renowned graphic designer Milton Glaser, the film teaches important lessons about graphic design as well. Something interesting that Glaser spoke to was how natural and fluid design should be. He said he likes things that, “don’t look designed, they look like they just happened.” From the most famous graphic designers to beginners like myself, this is a very important lesson to keep in mind. Sometimes we get caught up in creating this perfectly structured design, completely forgetting that the simple, straightforward route tends to have the most success. As Professor Strong has reiterated time and time again, simplicity is key.
I also thought Glaser’s design partner had some great insight on his evolving, yet constant, style. She applauds his, “sense of continuity and change” — something great designers must keep in mind in all that they do. Balancing the classic with the ever-changing is what makes a designer so successful from decade to decade. This is applicable not just to graphic designers, but also to designers in other fields — fashion designers, interior designers, and more. As I design my poster for New York Fashion Week, I remind myself that since the event has been around for years, I must represent both the old and the new.
The film has also taught me that in graphic design, you should pursue projects that you’re passionate about. If you work on boring projects, you will easily get burned out and will end up making your final product average rather than the best possible. Glaser was passionate about all things New York — he wrote for New York magazine and created the “I ‘Heart’ NY” logo. Because New York was his home and the center of all his work and inspiration, he put a lot of work into his New York City projects. In the process of picking the event for my poster, I decided to go for NYFW over anything else because fashion is one of my passions, and this project is the perfect creative outlet for me.
A final point I learned is that as I student, I have the potential to design something revolutionary. One of Glaser’s students recreated the prescription drug label, and the design has stuck ever since. Though I’ve never designed before, if I put enough effort in, I surely can create as much of an impact as any graphic design student.