Milton Glaser, Iconic Designer, Dead at 91

Glaser's work includes the "I ♥ NY" logo

USA - Graphic Designer Milton Glaser
Graphic Designer Milton Glaser in his studio in New York City
Neville Elder/Corbis via Getty Images
By Tobias Carroll / June 27, 2020 3:31 pm

You might not have recognized Milton Glaser if you saw him out in public, but odds are very good that you’re familiar with his work. The iconic graphic designer, who died on Friday at the age of 91, created the iconic “I ♥ NY” logo along with a number of other eminently recognizable logos. He was also one of the founders of New York magazine.

Writing about Glaser’s life in The New York Times, William Grimes noted Glaser’s ability to blend multiple styles into a single compelling work:

For the Dylan poster, a promotional piece included in the 1967 album “Bob Dylan’s Greatest Hits,” he created a simple outline of the singer’s head, based on a black-and-white self-portrait silhouette by Marcel Duchamp, and added thick, wavy bands of color for the hair, forms he imported from Islamic art.

Glaser may be best-known for the “I ♥ NY” logo, developed as part of a 1977 New York State tourism campaign. Glaser returned to the motif after the September 11 attacks, creating an updated version declaring “I ♥ NY More Than Ever.” As the earlier version became a symbol of the city from the late 1970s onward, so too did this new version become interwoven with the story of the city in the early 21st century.

Following the news of Glaser’s death, a number of admirers of his work turned to Twitter to share favorite examples of his work. This included his work in theater:

His creation of the Brooklyn Brewery logo:

And even a number of designs familiar to comic book readers of a certain age:

Glaser was the pre-eminent designer of his generation for a reason, and his influence on the industry will be felt for years (if not decades) to come.

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