Simon Griffee · Design · Photography · Writing · Illustration

What: milton glaser

Milton Glaser

A color drawing of a dog by his dead owner’s feet and a typewriter.
Milton Glaser’s poster for the Olivetti Valentine typewriter.

Today I called my mother in Italy and she told me she read in a newspaper there that Milton Glaser died last night, on his 91st birthday. Mom has one of Milton’s posters that he gave to me, and I gave to her. Although she never met him she was, like many, touched by his work.

It took me a while to absorb this, but tears came as I waited in line at the farmer’s market, later in the morning.


Milton and Sue, New York City, 2015

Happy birthday to master Milton Glaser, creator of the I ❤️ NY logo among countless fine works, who I was lucky to discover through his book Graphic Design when I was younger, and even luckier to learn from and work with in person, with Sue Walsh and Dan Bates, for some months when I arrived in New York!

If you have 5 minutes today, please go see this video of Milton drawing. and read his essay, Ten Things I Have Learned (pdf).

I ❤️ Milton, Sue & Dan!

With Milton Glaser, New York City, 2017

I ❤️ Milton. Photograph by Dan Bates.

I Vote Because I Exist #

Milton Glaser on why you should vote. See also: Art is Work and Lecture on Drawing.

Milton Glaser Still Hearts New York #

Milton Glaser Studio

It was after reading Milton’s book Graphic Design that I decided to be a designer in addition to a photographer, and the chance to work with Milton was a transformative experience that inspired me to begin drawing again as I had in my childhood.


Milton and Sue, New York City, December 2015

Self-Portrait in Pencil on Google Guest ID

A drawing to celebrate a surreal day where things that give me energy — design, technology and photography — intertwined. Met Milton, Sue, and Dan in their studio in the morning. Then bemused Chelsea gallery receptionists with inquiries regarding work submissions, and visited Google in the afternoon (thanks, Gino!). Photographed in Union Square then spent time with other photography aficionados at Professor Thom’s (thanks Mike, Theo and Marie!) in the evening.


Breaking Point

Going back to the office job reminds me of my father’s retirement (Breaking Point), and of Milton Glaser, one of the greatest graphics designers, speaking about aging (Ten Things I Have Learned - Milton Glaser):

Last year someone gave me a charming book by Roger Rosenblatt called ‘Ageing Gracefully’ I got it on my birthday. I did not appreciate the title at the time but it contains a series of rules for ageing gracefully. The first rule is the best. Rule number one is that ‘it doesn’t matter.’ ‘It doesn’t matter that what you think. Follow this rule and it will add decades to your life. It does not matter if you are late or early, if you are here or there, if you said it or didn’t say it, if you are clever or if you were stupid. If you were having a bad hair day or a no hair day or if your boss looks at you cockeyed or your boyfriend or girlfriend looks at you cockeyed, if you are cockeyed. If you don’t get that promotion or prize or house or if you do – it doesn’t matter.’ Wisdom at last.