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8 Things Milton Glaser Said About Genius, Learning, and Design



Milton Glaser is a well-known graphic designer best known for creating the I ♥ New York logo, the DC Comics bullet logo, and an iconic Bob Dylan poster. He was a co-founder of New York magazine, the founder of Push Pin Studios, and finally Milton Glaser Inc. He is most famous among designers and has had a massive impact on the disciplines of illustration and corporate design.

As can be expected from someone who has played such an oversized role in design culture, he has said more than a few things to inspire graphic designers, business contacts, and others. Whether you are a designer, a small business owner, or simply someone who thinks, ‘I need to design my own logo,’ Mr. Glaser has said many things that we find inspirational:

“We are all born with genius. It’s like our fairy godmother. But what happens in life is that we stop listening to our inner voices, and we no longer have access to this extraordinary ability to create poetry.”

“I go to work every morning with the possibility that I might learn something I don’t already know…. If you look at a problem as an opportunity to show what you already know, it’s useless. You should look at every problem and think, ‘what can I learn by doing this?’ And if you think you can learn nothing, forget about doing it.”

“Solving any problem is more important than being right.”

“Certainty is a closing of the mind. To create something new you must have doubt.”

“Fail more often in order to find out what you’re capable of learning.”

“To design is to communicate clearly by whatever means you can control or master.”

“There are three responses to a piece of design—yes, no, and WOW! Wow is the one to aim for.”

“The real issue is not talent as an independent element, but talent in relationship to will, desire, and persistence. Talent without these things vanishes and even modest talent with those characteristics grows.”

—Milton Glaser, Designer