Where does one even start with Milton Glaser? You might know him from co-founding New York magazine in 1968, designing the iconic I ♥ NY logo, or designing the DC bullet logo used by DC Comics from 1977 to 2005. After many more groundbreaking projects, in 2009, he was awarded the National Medal of Arts by President Obama.
His design work has been seen on many a surface and object, and has also been exhibited by the Museum of Modern Art, the Centre Georges Pompidou, and the Vicenza Museum. He discussed the breadth and depth of his many projects last night during a talk at the MoMA Design Store in NYC, where Complex's designers saw him discuss everything from Kundalini yoga to being inspired by Pablo Picasso and Giorgio Morandi.
Despite the excellent talk he gave (which we will post once we get the video), he was short when it came to our interview. Perhaps his brevity speaks to his brilliance. Enjoy our five questions with him below, in addition to five awesome quotes from the lecture.
Five Questions with Milton Glaser at MoMA Design Store
Hi, Milton, it's nice to meet you.
This better be fast, because my wife is waiting for me, and she has a bad temper.
Ok. Have you always wanted to be a designer?
Yes, that is, without knowing what a designer was.
What work are you the most proud of?
What piece are you the most proud of that you designed?
I don’t have such a preference.
Do you think the Internet is improving design or is it harmful?
It's having no effect.
You don’t think it’s having an effect, even though it’s making research so much easier?
No, it doesn’t have any effect on quality.
Have you ever been afraid of failing in a project?
No, that’s not true. I don’t care if I fail or not.
Five Quotes from Milton Glaser's Talk at MoMA Design Store
"I don't know why I was doing these patterns; they were pretty obsessive and useless." —Milton Glaser re: the patterns he created that later became rugs
"My fundamental belief is that all things are connected in the universe, you just have to wait for that connection to become clear." —Milton Glaser re: his design and life philosophy
"A clock's purpose is to provide an atmosphere and to be charming." —Milton Glaser re: the clocks he designed that are for sale in the MoMA store and people ubiquitously telling time using cell phones instead of actual clocks
"You don't understand form unless you've made it." —Milton Glaser re: designers being unable to draw or distinguish good drawing from bad drawing, as a result of exclusively using computers to design
"You can take everything you see in the world. It's all for you." —Milton Glaser re: Matisse's early drawing exhibition, where he showed copies of multiple places, objects, and previous artists' works, which showed his understanding that you can take and be inspired by anything and everything