Milton Glaser


Milton Glaser (b. 1929) is among the most celebrated graphic designers in the United States. He has had the distinction of one-man-shows at the Museum of Modern Art and the Georges Pompidou Center. He was selected for the lifetime achievement award of the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum (2004) and the Fulbright Association (2011), and in 2009 he was the first graphic designer to receive the National Medal of the Arts award. As a Fulbright scholar, Glaser studied with the painter Giorgio Morandi in Bologna, and is an articulate spokesman for the ethical practice of design. He opened Milton Glaser, Inc. in 1974, and continues to produce a prolific amount of work in many fields of design to this day.

The Night of the Snow Leopard / The New York Zoological Society.
24 x 36 in./60.9 x 91.4 cm

Glaser places his haunting image over a quote celebrating the snow leopard’s magnificent nature. Barely tamed by the art of the portrait, the vibrant colors evoke the cat’s glowing eyes and fiery freedom.

Stevie Wonder & Hugh Masakela. 1968.
23 x 37 in./58.4 x 93.9 cm

In this announcement for a concert at Lincoln Center’s Philharmonic Hall, Glaser’s stylized portrait of the revered rock-and-roll singer features his trademark wide smile and his name on the diagonal over his dark shades. Glaser also created a poster for jazz musician Masakela’s solo appearance at Philharmonic Hall around the same time.

Great Illustrators of Our Time. 1982.
24 x 46 in./60.9 x 116.8 cm

Glaser represented the illustrator’s twin talents through a series of signing hands with a stylized eye drawn in each palm. Against the black background, the rainbow striations of color vibrate and shimmer.

To Be Good is Not Enough / School of Visual Arts. 1979.
30 x 45 in./76.2 x 114.3 cm

Glaser has been on the teaching faculty and board of directors of the School of Visual Arts in New York City since 1961.

The Loving Spoonful. 1972.
24 x 37 in./60.9x 94 cm

In a witty riff on the well-known Thomas Gainsborough portrait, Glaser portrays this pop-rock group responsible for such hits as “Do You Believe in Magic” and “Summer In The City” as a quartet of Blue Boys with their eponymous spoons instead of heads.

Temple University Music Festival. 1975.
24 x 35 in./60.9 x 90 cm

This is the last in a trio of posters that Glaser did for this concert series in Philadelphia—this one was commissioned by Mobil. His Cubist portrait of a muse in profile shows her brow-cum-swan: in ancient literature it’s the symbol of Orpheus, the god of music.

Sony Tape. Full Color Sound. 1980.
30 x 45 in./76.2 x 114.3 cm

Using a theme line created by Sony’s adverting agency at the time, Glaser designs a shell-shaped ear in glorious colors to suggest the rich aural experience of listening to Sony audio tape. Its background: the profile of a 19th-century listener silhouetted against music notation paper. The poster pleased sufficiently to earn Glaser a follow-up commission in 1981.

Simon & Garfunkel. 1967.
25 x 38 in./63.5 x 96.5 cm

Glaser has remarked that the way he illustrated the well-known folk-rock composer-singers here was, in a reverse of the usual process, influenced by the appearance of the typeface he used: his own “Babyfat” alphabet.

Saratoga Festival. 1980.
24 x 36 in./60.9 x 91.4 cm

For this annual summer arts festival held in upstate New York, Glaser places a Pan figure on a hill overlooking a lake with dreamy fantasies of color and harmony bubbling out of his overheated brain. Glaser also used this satyr in a poster for the 1985 retrospective of his own work in Pasadena.