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Milton Glaser, designer of ‘I Love NY’ logo, dies at 91

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Milton Glaser, designer of 'I Love NY' logo, dies at 91

NEW YORK —
Milton Glaser, the innovative graphic designer who adorned Bob Dylan's silhouette with psychedelic hair and summed up his feelings for his hometown, New York, with "I (HEART) NY", died on Friday at the age of 91.

The cause was a stroke and Glaser also had kidney failure, his wife Shirley Glaser told The New York Times.

In posters, logos, advertisements and book covers, Glaser's ideas captured the spirit of the 1960s with some simple colors and shapes. He was the designer of the team that founded the New York magazine with Clay Felker in the late 1960s.

"In our entire office, of course, he will forever be a small team of men and women who, in the late 1960s, pulled New York from the newspaper's morgue and turned it into a major American magazine," the magazine's obituary . Glaser said.

Soon, city magazines were emerging and imitating its simple and witty design style. When publishing titan Rupert Murdoch forced Felker and Glaser to leave the New York magazine in a hostile takeover in 1977, the team left in solidarity with the editors who were leaving, leaving an incomplete edition three days before it expired on newsstands.

"We provoke – albeit small – a change in people's visual habits," he told The Washington Post in 1969. "Television conditions people to demand imagination."

But he said he had to work to keep his style fresh.

"There is enormous pressure to repeat past successes. It is a certain death." Referring to a beloved design motif from the 1960s, he added that he couldn't make another rainbow "if my life depended on it".

His pictorial sense was so profound, and his drawings, so influential, that his works in recent years have been preserved by collectors and studied as fine arts.

But he chose not to use the term "art".

"What I am suggesting is that we eliminate the term art and call it all work," Glaser said in an interview with the Associated Press in 2000, when the Philadelphia Museum of Art organized an exhibition about his career. "When it's really extraordinary and moves it in a certain way, we call it great work. We call it good when it does a task, and bad when it misses a target."

The bold "I (HEART) NY" logo – cleverly using typewriter-style letters as a font – was invented as part of an advertising campaign started in 1977 to improve the state's image when crime and budget problems dominated the headlines. Glaser designed it for free.

Almost a quarter of a century later, a few days after the September 11 terrorist attacks, he revised it, adding a dark scar to the red heart and "more than ever" to the message.

"I woke up on Wednesday morning and said, 'God, I have to do something to answer that," "he told The New York 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 actually done design work for the restaurants in the destroyed World Trade Center complex.

His 1966 illustration of Dylan, his face a simple black silhouette, but his hair sprouting in a profusion of colors in a curvilinear way, graphically shaped the 1960s philosophy that letting your hair fly freely was a way to free your mind. (For him, however, it was not a drug-inspired image: he said he borrowed from Marcel Duchamp and Islamic art.)

The poster was placed on Dylan's "Greatest Hits" album, and reached the hands of millions of fans.

"It was a new use of the poster – an offer that should encourage people to buy the album," Glaser told The New York Times in 2001. "Then it took on a life of its own, appearing in movies, magazines, whatever. It didn't die. , as these ephemeral forms usually do. "

Among Glaser's other notable projects were cover illustrations: Shakespeare's Signet brochure editions; drawings of types like Baby Teeth, used for the first time in the Dylan poster, and Glaser Stencil; and a poster for the Mostly Mozart Festival with a colorful splash of Mozart. His projects also inspired Tony Kushner's script for "Angels in America"

Glaser was born in 1929 in the Bronx and studied at the Cooper Union art school in New York and Italy.

In 1954, he co-founded the innovative graphic design company Push Pin Studios with Seymour Chwast and others. He spent 20 years before starting his own company.

The Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, awarded him a lifetime award in 2004. In 2009, he received the National Medal of the Arts.

"I like to do everything, and I have always been interested in seeing how far I could go beyond borders," he said.

——

Polly Anderson, a former employee of the Associated Press, was the main writer of this obituary.

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