Monday, September 12, 2011

Milton Glaser Monday: Secret #1

I just started following Barney Davey's blog and found an old post from Milton Glaser that lists "10 Things I Have Learned - The Secret of Art."  It is a great post but each one of the 10 items is so powerful and thought provoking by itself that I've decided to repost them one at a time, one per week at the beginning of the week.  Here's what Davey says about Glaser:

Milton Glaser is...well, words nearly don't do him of the most important, prolific and profound leaders in visual and graphic arts in your lifetime and his. He is personally responsible for the design and illustration of more than 300 posters for clients in the areas of publishing, music, theater, film, institutional and civic enterprise, as well as those for commercial products and services. The image above and the essay below are reproduced here with permission. Read on to discover his sage advice with words that ring as true today as when written in 2001. Peruse his bio and work on his Milton Glaser Web site for more essays and insights into this man's creative force, remarkable accomplishments and matchless oeuvre.

And, here's Glaser:

This is a curious rule and it took me a long time to learn because in fact at the beginning of my practice I felt the opposite. Professionalism required that you didn’t particularly like the people that you worked for or at least maintained an arms length relationship to them, which meant that I never had lunch with a client or saw them socially. Then some years ago I realised that the opposite was true. I discovered that all the work I had done that was meaningful and significant came out of an affectionate relationship with a client. And I am not talking about professionalism; I am talking about affection. I am talking about a client and you sharing some common ground. That in fact your view of life is someway congruent with the client, otherwise it is a bitter and hopeless struggle.


  1. Lovely idea Joyce, to share Glaser's thoughts one-at-a-time. I cheated and read the rest of them and they are definitely life changing ideas that a weekly absorption of individually could have significant impact on how we choose to live our life. Thank you for steering us toward this decade old writing that has even more value today than ever.

  2. Thanks, Suzanne ... glad you enjoyed ... even if you did read them all at once! ;-) I read them all at once and then realized I wanted to re-read them slowly so I set up this weekly approach.

  3. Love this idea -- and definitely needed to read this today as I head back to Calgary mid-week and then to work next -- a place I am struggling with at the moment, mostly because of.... people I work with!!!!

    Thanks Joyce my friend. This one hit me deep in the gut.