Milton Glaser Influence Poster

Milton Glaser

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For the influence poster, I chose to do a design inspired by Milton Glaser. Glaser is one of the most influential graphic designers in American history, and is often referred to as “The Godfather of Modern Design.” Glaser was born in 1929 and studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bologna, Italy before establishing Pushpin Studios in 1954, New York Magazine in 1968, Milton Glaser, Inc. in 1974, and finally WBMG in 1983. His style is inventive, individualistic, and mainly focuses on posters and prints. Throughout his lifetime, Glaser has worked on a wide range of projects including everything from corporate logos to complete graphic and decorative programs for different establishments. His significant achievements include having several personal shows at the Museum of Modern Art and the Georges Pompidou Center, being the recipient of the lifetime achievement award from the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum and the Fulbright Center, as well as receiving the National Medal of the Arts Award. His work is still displayed in major museums across the world and he is still active in the design community to this day, proving true to his famous motto “art is work.”


Mahalia Jackson, 1967.

In addition to being one of the most influential figures in American design history, a major reason I chose to do a design inspired by Milton Glaser is because his design style is so versatile, restless, and constantly changing and growing. I think Glaser’s ability to work in a variety of styles and for a variety of clients validates his talent

Saratoga Festival, 1980.

as a designer. With this being said, I thought that it was important to focus on specific Glaser pieces because his style is so versatile, ranging from the legendary Bob Dylan Poster to the iconic “I <3 NY” logo. I decided to focus on two of my favorite Glaser pieces: the 1967 Mahalia Jackson Easter Sunday Concert poster and the 1980 Saratoga Festival poster. I love both of these pieces for similar reasons, as they both have an element of being unrestricted and flowing, while also being highly structured with a clean design. Furthermore, I think the colors used in both of these designs are beautiful and perfectly contrasted.

I personally think that my design shows the influence of these two Glaser pieces quite well. I drew inspiration from the circle designs in the Saratoga piece as well as the floral designs in the Mahalia Jackson one. However, I altered both of these designs slightly to make them more personal to my poster through using a different number and size of circles as well as number and orientation of flower petals. I also incorporated these two elements with the image of a bike by making the circles reflective of the bike’s wheels and using the shape of a flower to form the wheel’s spokes. I also used a pastel color scheme for my poster that reflects the one used in the Jackson piece, and incorporated a darker color for the text that contrasts this pastel background. I also used a textured overlay to give the poster more depth as is done in the Saratoga piece. Finally, I used Glaser’s iconic “Baby Teeth” font for the poster’s text that is characterized by extremely blocky letters.

I personally think that I was fairly successful in executing a Glaser-influenced poster without merely reproducing one of his past designs. I think I did a good job in making sure my design was free and flowing while also having a high graphic quality and clean overall look. Furthermore, I think I did a good job in incorporating the texture into the background to give the design more dimension. However, if I could go back and change one thing I would definitely make my color palette a little darker. I was trying to replicate the pastel color scheme in the Mahalia Jackson piece but I think I made it too light and therefore more juvenile than I intended or I think Glaser would like it to be.