Milton Glaser isn’t your typical graphic designer. Aside from his world renowned work and quirky personality, Glaser’s ability to break the rules and make up his own, makes him unlike any other designer we’ve seen thus far. This is especially exemplified while he’s profiled in the documentary To Inform and Delight.
In the documentary, Glaser said some things that definitely stuck out to me because they are so opposite to what other designers have said. For example, in the documentary, Glaser said that falling into a distinct style is bad. He said that once you fall into a style, you limit yourself. Before seeing this film, I would’ve thought that having your own style is a good thing; however, once Glaser put his spin on things, I realized having a style may not be a good thing.
Another thing that Glaser said that impacted me is that graphic design is about redesigning the world. This changed my entire perspective on graphic design. While you’re working on something, whether it’s a poster or layout or magazine cover, you may not realize that you are creating something to share with the world, therefore, you’re redesigning the world. Therefore, as designers, we need to feel responsible for what we make because, even though it may be small, we are designing the world. This comment from Glaser completely changed my view on graphic design.
Finally, the last way that Glaser changed the rules of graphic design was through his simple, classic, timeless designs as seen in both his I <3 NY design and his Fortune 500 design. What’s incredible about these two designs are their simplicity, even I could’ve drawn both of those! However, Glaser is able to understand the culture of his audience and utilize that to create a design that will resonate. Glaser showed that designs don’t need to be intricate or super artistic in order to have an impact.
Overall, I found the film on Glaser to be very interesting. Just based on the way he spoke, it is easy to see how passionate Glaser still is about graphic design, even after years of being in the industry. In sum, Glaser’s influential work, quirky personality, and ability to redefine the industry makes him one of the greatest graphic designers to date.