Design Advice from Uncle Milton

Mark Busse – No Comments

What if our favourite uncle were perhaps the most famous graphic designer alive today, having given the world such cultural iconography as the famous Dylan poster and wildly popular I Love New York logo and dozens more? What advice would he give us looking back at his own career as a seminal figure in American graphic design for more than 50 years? At a recent AIGA National Design Conference, “Uncle” Milton Glaser captivated audiences with his keynote address entitled This Is What I Have Learned.

Glaser is the co-founder of Pushpin Studios, head of his own design firm, Milton Glaser Inc., Creative Director of New York Magazine, instructor and board member of School of Visual Arts and an esteemed author and speaker. His work is as pervasive as it is important, having helped define an entire generation of graphic design. In his 2002 AIGA speech, Glaser lists his top ten lessons he’s learned about the practice of design:

1: You can only work for people you like.
2: If you have a choice, never have a job.
3: Some people are toxic, avoid them.
4: Professionalism is not enough or the good is the enemy of the great.
5: Less is not necessarily more.
6: Style is not to be trusted.
7. How you live changes your brain.
8. Doubt is better than certainty.
9. Solving the problem is more important that being right.
10. Tell the truth.