A look at Milton Glaser’s impact during the 60s and 70s

A new book by Monacelli focuses on just two decades of Glaser’s long career. Here, editor Steven Heller talks about the process of curating someone else’s creative output

As graphic design legends go, the late Milton Glaser remains one of the most prominent. The furore around the recent tweak to his classic 1977 I ♥ NY logo – reworking it into a slightly less impactful We ♥ NYC – is testament to how significant his designs remain.

In an interview he did with Creative Review back in 2019, just after his 90th birthday, he shared how his curiosity about the world around him still hadn’t wavered. “I’ve been working for a very long time, I still look forward to coming to work and finding out something I didn’t know previously,” he said at the time. “So I suspect that impulse to pursue an objective you’re not quite certain of is beneficial. It certainly keeps your brain active in a way that sitting in front of a TV set doesn’t.” 

It makes sense then that Glaser was prolific in his output, with the designer still creating work up until his death on his 91st birthday in June 2020. With a career so vast, there have been multiple books about the designer’s oeuvre over the years, but a new book published by Monacelli (a Phaidon imprint) titled Milton Glaser: Pop hones in on a more specific time, his work during the 1960s and 70s. 

Top: Untitled Wall display, Thom McAn. Above: Milton Glaser: Pop cover. All images: © Estate of Milton Glaser