Milton Glaser

Milton Glaser (born June 26, 1929) is an American graphic designer. His designs include the I ❤ NY logo,[1][2] the psychedelic Bob Dylan poster, and the logos for DC Comics and Brooklyn Brewery.[3] In 1954, he also co-founded Push Pin Studios, co-founded New York magazine with Clay Felker, and established Milton Glaser, Inc. in 1974. His artwork has been featured in exhibits, and placed in permanent collections in many museums worldwide.[4] Throughout his long career, he has designed many posters, publications and architectural designs. He has received many awards for his work, including the National Medal of the Arts award from President Barack Obama in 2009, and was the first graphic designer to receive this award.[4]

Milton Glaser
Milton glaser.jpg
Glaser in 2003
Born (1929-06-26) June 26, 1929 (age 90)
NationalityUnited States
Known forGraphic design
Spouse(s)Shirley Girton Glaser (1957— )
AwardsCooper-Hewitt National Design Award Lifetime Achievement, 2004
National Medal of Arts, 2009


Glaser was born in The Bronx, New York, New York, to Hungarian Jewish immigrants.[5] The family resided in the South Bronx.[1] Glaser and Seymour Chwast directed Push Pin for twenty years, while it became a guiding reference in the world of graphic design.[6] In 1983, Glaser teamed up with Walter Bernard and started a publication design firm called WBMG in New York City. WBMG has designed more than 50 magazines, newspapers and periodicals around the world.[4]

Over his career, Glaser has personally designed and illustrated more than 300 posters. His work is displayed in the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum, New York; the Victoria and Albert Museum, London; and the Israel Museum, Jerusalem. His work has also been featured in exhibits all over the world. He has also done one-man shows at the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris and the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.[4]

Glaser is the subject of the 2009 documentary film To Inform and Delight: The World of Milton Glaser.[7] A tribute to Glaser, still working in his 90th year, was published in the New York Times in 2019.[8]


Push Pin StudiosEdit

After graduating at the Cooper Union in New York City, Reynold Ruffins, Seymour Chwast, Edward Sorel and Glaser founded Push Pin Studios in 1954. Glaser joined after his return in Italy. In 1957, the "Push Pin Monthly Graphic," was sent out to friends and clients. They rejected tradition and favored "reinvigorated interpretations of historical styles."[9] The studio "redefined and expanded the imprimatur of the designer, illustrator, and visual culture at large."[9]

Bob Dylan PosterEdit

In 1966, Glaser designed a poster for Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits. It was one of Glaser's first posters. The poster depicts the profile of Bob's face with psychedelic, swirly hair, with "Dylan" written at the bottom in one of Glaser's typefaces. His inspiration for the poster was Marcel Duchamp's 1957 Self-Portrait; and Art Nouveau, "That was an influence for the colors and shapes in the picture."[10] 6 million posters have been printed and distributed, and sells for hundreds of dollars, and has become a huge collectable.[10]


I Heart New York Logo

One of Glaser's most recognizable works is his I Heart New York logo. In the mid-1970s, New York City's crime rate was up and the city was widely perceived to be dangerous and was on the verge of bankruptcy.[11] In 1977, the city hired advertising agency Wells Rich Greene and Milton Glaser to design a logo to increase tourism and boost morale. It was Glaser who came up with the design in the back of a taxi cab on the way to the meeting.[12] The logo consist of the capital "I" and a red heart, stacked on top of "NY," symbolizing New York in American Typewriter typeface. His inspiration for the logo was Robert Indiana's LOVE design, with the four letters stacked on top of each other. "Glaser loved New York so much that he gave his work to the city for free, hoping it would become public property."[12]

Today, the logo has earned the New York state $30 million each year and has become a pop culture icon and has been reproduced on T-shirts and hats, and can be seen everywhere in New York.[12] Imitations have been made, for example "I Heart Radio." The state has been filling nearly 3,000 objections against them.[13]

After the September 11 Terrorist attacks, the logo has become even more of a symbol, creating unity between the public. Glaser had even designed a modified version saying, "I Love New York More than Ever," in response to the attacks. The red Heart had a small blackened and burned area along one edge to symbolize the attack on the World Trade Center site.

New York MagazineEdit

In 1968, Glaser and Clay Felker teamed up and started New York magazine.[14] Through the magazine, Glaser reinvented service journalism. The magazine was about being on the reader's side, "it was about what was happening in New York City at the time."[15] One example of this is "The Underground Gourmet." It was about cheap restaurants in New York. Glaser wrote the article for seven years with Jerome Snyder. It was one of the most popular columns in the magazine. The New York magazine "became the model for the city magazines, and stimulated a host of imitations."[14] Glaser left the magazine in 1977.


In 2004, Glaser won a National Design Award Lifetime Achievement from the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum for his profound and meaningful long-term contributions to the contemporary practice of design.[4]

In 2009, he was awarded the National Medal of Arts by President Barack Obama and Mrs. Michelle Obama at the White House. The award is managed by the National Endowment for the Arts, or NEA. Each year the NEA presents the award to ten recipients for their outstanding achievements and support of the arts. "These individual and organizations show us how many ways art works every day. They represent the breadth and depth of American architecture, design, film, music, performance, theatre, and visual art."[14] Glaser is the first graphic designer to receive this award.[14]

Glaser was honored as The New Jewish Home's Eight Over Eighty Gala 2015 honoree.

Selected worksEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Leland, John (July 29, 2016). "The Master Designer: Milton Glaser Still Hearts New York". The New York Times. Retrieved September 24, 2019.
  2. ^ McGookin, Steve (2007-09-28). "Fifty Years Of Loss". Forbes. LLC. Retrieved 2008-04-26.
  3. ^ "Brooklyn Brewery logo". Archived from the original on 2011-10-04.
  4. ^ a b c d e "Biography". Retrieved 2016-07-18.
  5. ^ Wack, Arianne (2014-04-02). "Getting to Know Milton Glaser, the Godfather of Modern Design". Retrieved 2014-04-02.
  6. ^ Pushpin Group website, accessed June 6, 2008.
  7. ^ Holden, Stephen (May 22, 2008). "Movie Review: "To Inform and Delight: The World of Milton Glaser"; Artist With His Signature on the City". New York Times.
  8. ^ Leland, John (4 July 2019). "Why This Famous Graphic Designer, at 90, Still ♥ NY". The New York Times. Retrieved 4 July 2019.
  9. ^ a b "Pushpin Gallery". Retrieved 2016-07-20.
  10. ^ a b Edwards, Owen. "Sign of the Times: Bob Dylan". Retrieved 2016-07-21.
  11. ^ Holden, Stephen (2009-05-21). "Wendy Keys's Documentary on Creator of 'I ♥ New York' Logo". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-07-13.
  12. ^ a b c Gary (March 19, 2015). "The Story Behind I Heart New York". Buy T-Shirts Online. Retrieved July 13, 2016.
  13. ^ "List of Cease and Desist Letters Regarding the I ♥ NY® logo". Retrieved 16 August 2018.
  14. ^ a b c d "History". Retrieved 2016-07-20.
  15. ^ Layoura Layoura (2015-11-25). "Milton Glaser - To Inform and Delight". Retrieved 2016-07-20 – via YouTube.

External linksEdit