David Crompton


40/70 #04: Milton Glaser

Photograph: Hugh Kretschmer 

Photograph: Hugh Kretschmer 

"When you do something that's guaranteed to succeed, you close the door to the possibility of discovery." –Milton Glaser

Name: Milton Glaser
Date of Birth: June 26, 1929
Place of Birth: New York City, United States
Occupation: Designer, Artist, Teacher
Age: 84
What's so great about Milton Glaser? It's pretty much impossible not to know the work of Milton Glaser whether you know his name or not–the I ♥ NY campaign makes this so. On top of a body of design work spanning decades he is also the co-founder of New York Magazine and one of the greatest living ambassadors for design and design thinking. Glaser has been teaching at New York's School of Visual Arts for over fifty years which he says "helps him focus and prevent senility." These career accomplishments aren't necessarily what make him great though. You might think that the 84-year-old Glaser might mostly be sitting back and reflecting on his achievements but what's so great about Milton Glaser is that this doesn't seem to be the case--he seems just as articulate, connected and engaged in art, design and activism as ever before.


"There's a wonderful book that I have quoted for most of my life by Louis Hyde called "The Gift" and it basically says that this gift-giving which occurs in primitive cultures from one tribe to another which is a device for pacifying others and establishing relationships is what artists do, they basically create the commonalities the symbolisms so that people feel they have some relationship to one another. When people don't feel they have that relationship, they kill each other. That role of providing common ground is absolutely essential to civilization."  –Milton Glaser