If you like American pop culture, you must know his work, even if you don’t know his name: the American graphic designer Milton Glaser, known for the popular tourist logo “I love NY”, died on Friday, his birthday, the age of 91.
It was his wife, Shirley Glaser, who announced his death to the New York Times.
Born June 26, 1929 in the Bronx of a Hungarian Jewish family, Glaser was known for his cheerful retro style, which helped shape the visual identity of popular American culture in the 1960s and 1970s.
In addition to his “I <3 NY", with his red heart on a white background well known to all visitors to the American financial capital, Glaser had made an impression in 1967 with his promotional poster of the best-of by Bob Dylan representing the profile of the singer, in the shadows, with crazy psychedelic hair.
He had also reimagined the logo of the comic book publisher DC Comics or designed the logo of the Brooklyn Brewery, now popular with hipsters around the world. More recently, he had notably sketched the poster of the last season of the hit series “Mad Men”.
“What Milton Glaser gave to New York will stay with him for a long time. I love New York was the perfect logo at the time and the rest today. We have lost a brilliant designer and a great New Yorker, ”reacted New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Saturday morning.
Co-founder of the Push Pin studio and New York Magazine, he created the “I love NY” logo in the 1970s at the request of the city, whose image and reputation were much less attractive than these days. The popularity of the logo had so “exceeded his expectations” he explained in an interview in 2018, that he “did not even consider himself as its creator”. “But that doesn’t take away from the pleasure I feel when I realize it was me.”
He received the National Medal of the Arts in 2009 from Barack Obama, becoming the first graphic designer to receive the highest distinction awarded by artists to the United States government.
Citing Pablo Picasso or Giorgio Morandi as references, he was an internationally respected artist whose works have been exhibited in the greatest museums of modern art, from New York’s MoMA to the Center Pompidou in Paris.