Milton Glaser: Italian art and graphic design

On June 26th, 2020, Milton Glaser, world-famous graphic designer with a special love for Italy, died on his 91st birthday

A pure New Yorker, Milton Glaser is famous all around the world for the “I love New York” logo he designed in the late Seventies to relaunch the city, whose fame at that time was declining. Even today, this logo is among the most famous images linked with New York, printed on t-shirts, cups, hats and gadgets of different kinds.


Other American symbols that have become really popular are the poster of Bob Dylan that Milton Glaser designed for the cover of his album “Bob Dylan’s Greatest Hits” in 1966 or more recently the poster of Barak Obama.


Milton Glaser and Italy

Milton Glaser had also a special connection with Italy. His language, which revolutionized the world of contemporary graphic design, has its roots also in Italian history of art.

In the early Fifties, Milton Glaser attended the Accademia delle Belle Arti di Bologna, where he met Giorgio Morandi. His special passion for Piero della Francesca resulted into an exhibition titled Milton Glaser Piero della Francesca. This exhibition, organized to celebrate the 500th anniversary of Piero della Francesca’s death, consisted in a series of watercolor paintings; after its inauguration in Arezzo, it was presented in Milan and New York.


Graphic and product design

Among his countless advertising projects, a special space is dedicated to design and made in Italy. In 1982, Glaser designed a series of posters for the furniture collection created by Ettore Sottsass for Knoll.


Also Olivetti had several campaigns designed by Milton Glaser, from the famous “Mourning Dog”, dedicated to the Valentine typewriter in 1968, to many other campaigns created for other products.


Finally, in more recent times, Milton Glaser paid a tribute to made in Italy with the poster dedicated to the Vespa’s 50th anniversary. His immense production contributed to radically changing the world of graphic design, creating universal symbols shared all over the world.

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