The life of the designer with Milton Glaser

May 14, 2007

I recently discovered this fantastic short documentary on Milton Glaser by Hillman Curtis for Adobe Studio. Milton Glaser, for those who may not know, is a renowned graphic designer, most famous for the “I [Heart] NY” logo and his colorful Bob Dylan poster. Glaser’s comments in the documentary both on the role of design and the life of the designer are immensely powerful and well worth contemplating for anybody in the field. My favorite quotes:

The life of the designer is a life that is very much between two sets of sensibilities: that of the businessman and that of the artist … Art performs this pacifying function in culture. Its practitioners create commonalities; they create things to gather about … Artists provide that gift to the culture so that people have something in common.

His description of the role of art in culture is simple, yes, but also very profound. I look at the various relationships I have with people in my life, and many of them began and are reinforced by shared interest in pieces or types of art, especially motion pictures and music. Artists give us the ability to find commonalities with others that we may never find otherwise.