Milton Glaser: Designer of I heart NY logo dies, aged 91

Bronx-born artist also created groundbreaking designs for Bob Dylan

Andrew Buncombe
Seattle
Saturday 27 June 2020 19:05
Comments
The design was created in 1977, when the city and state of were going through tough times
The design was created in 1977, when the city and state of were going through tough times

When a design enthused with affection and love for your home town becomes known around the world, you are likely on to something good.

And so it was for Milton Glaser, the pioneering graphic designer whose “I (HEART) NY,” design became iconic, and who has died at the age of 91.

He passed away in the New York borough of Manhattan on Friday, his birthday.

His wife, Shirley Glaser, told the New York Times the cause of death was a stroke. Glaser had also been suffering from renal failure.

Glaser was known for many things – for creating a design for Bob Dylan that layered the musician with psychedelic hair, for designing a logo for the Brooklyn Brewery, and for magazine covers and designs in the 1960s that defined an era.

Glaser was awarded the National Medal of Arts in 2009

Yet, it was perhaps his illustrative paean for the city and state in which he was born – Glaser was born in 1929 in the Bronx and studied at New York’s Cooper Union art school and in Italy – for which he will be best remembered.

The bold “I (HEART) NY” logo, using a typewriter-style font, was conjured up as part of an advertising campaign started in 1977 to boost the state’s image when crime and budget troubles dominated media headlines. Glaser did the design free of charge.

Days after 9/11, two decades later, Glaser updated it, adding a dark scar to the red heart and “more than ever” to the message.

“I woke up Wednesday morning and said, ‘God, I have to do something to respond to this’,” he told the Times.

“When you have a heart attack, part of your heart dies. When you recover, part of your heart is gone, but the people in your life become much more important, and there is a greater awareness of the value of things.”

Glaser had done design work for the restaurants at the destroyed World Trade Centre complex.

In 1954, he co-founded the innovative graphic design firm Push Pin Studios with Seymour Chwast and others. He stayed with it for 20 years before founding his own firm.

The Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum awarded him a lifetime achievement award in 2004.

In 2009, he was awarded the National Medal of Arts, by Barack Obama.

“I just like to do everything, and I was always interested in seeing how far I could go in stretching the boundaries,” he said.

Additional reporting by Associated Press

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in