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factfile1.9 Milton Glaser


I Heart NYMilton Glaser is an influential American graphic designer who was born in New York in 1929 and whose most famous design is probably the 'I "Heart" NY' icon.

The vector drawing below illustrates one of his well-known posters called "Images of Labour". Milton Glaser designed this poster in 1994. It was one of a series of ten posters by different artists on the theme of 'labour' or 'work' for the Bread and Roses Cultural Project. Each design was inspired by a famous quotation.

Glaser's quotation was by Nicola Sacco, a poor Italian immigrant and pacifist, who had been executed in 1927 for a murder he didn't commit. Sacco said from prison, "It's true indeed that they can execute the body, but they cannot execute the idea, which is bound to live". These words appeared on the poster (see 4).

The design shows a bird being freed from a pair of hands that are tied together, symbolising ideas being liberated. The hands also represent the bird's wings.

The colours are simple and contrasting - pink, blue, white and black - adding emphasis and impact. The pastel colours could suggest hope or new life emerging from the darkness, as they are often used in designs for young children.

You can see the original poster at the Milton Glaser website here.

1.The visual hierarchy of the design is centred on the graphic of the bird/hands – the eye is drawn up to it by the negative space between the arms – that is, an inverted triangle or arrow pointing upwards.

2. The bird's head and beak lead the eye up to the main heading, which is centred in a traditional Serif font like Times, which suggests official documents, the law, history.

3. Below this the subhead is aligned in a block

4. The quotation is centred at the bottom of the design in a font that looks like handwritten script to make the message more personal.

5. Glaser's signature is the final element
you notice.


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