Milton Glaser: Vote and Be Heard.
"The role of design is not to persuade, it’s to inform. If you try to persuade people to do something that is not in their own good, you’re committing a dreadful act against the culture and against civilization.”
Those are the words of Milton Glaser, and if you think those words are powerful, poignant, and incredibly wise and beautiful, trust me - just wait until his his next sentence. Because no matter what it is, I can almost assure you that it will be not only quote-worthy but potentially life changing - especially if you happen to be a designer (I speak from experience).
And, true to Milton’s role as one of the most celebrated designers in the field’s history, when the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) came looking for a ways to encourage voter participation this year as part of their "get out the vote" campaign, he did not hesitate.
His message is simple. It’s not pro Democrat or pro Republican. It is not pro Hillary, nor is it pro Donald. What it is, is pro citizen. It is pro you and me. It is a reminder that your vote is your voice, and if you do not speak you cannot be heard. Here is Bloomberg.com’s wonderful interview with Mr. Glaser, "Milton Glaser Wants You to Prove You Exist" and beautifully produced video where Milton uses his incredibly eloquent words to explain his motivations behind the piece.
If you’re not a designer and don’t live within the design community, you may not know who Milton Glaser is, but if you’re a human who’s been alive and breathing over the past 50 years of so, you most certainly know or have seen his work.
Just to give you the briefest sense of his accomplishments, this is the short version of his bio from miltonglaser.com: "Milton Glaser (b.1929) is among the most celebrated graphic designers in the United States. He has had the distinction of one-man-shows at the Museum of Modern Art and the Georges Pompidou Center. He was selected for the lifetime achievement award of the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum (2004) and the Fulbright Association (2011), and in 2009 he was the first graphic designer to receive the National Medal of the Arts award. As a Fulbright scholar, Glaser studied with the painter, Giorgio Morandi in Bologna, and is an articulate spokesman for the ethical practice of design. He opened Milton Glaser, Inc. in 1974, and continues to produce a prolific amount of work in many fields of design to this day.”
Impressed yet? Oh, and he also happens to be one of the founders of a small publication. You may have heard of it? New York Magazine. Just sayin’ -
He is simply no less than a “living legend” in the design community. His career, his triumphs, his contributions, and his philosophy have shaped and inspired several generations of designers, and his influence will certainly carry on to shape many generations to come.
In addition to having created some of the most iconic, powerful, and well-known "brand visualizations" in modern history, Mr. Glasier’s career since around 2006 has had a very obvious slant towards social responsibility when he and the Art Director’s Club coined the term “Designism”, and specifically (and almost rhetorically) asked the design community "whether design can and should do good?” (link: )
This most recent poster is just another way Milton is not only challenging the design community to “do good”, but challenging all of us to take ownership of our destinies and of what matters in our world.
As Milton said, “The role of design is not to persuade, it’s to inform.” What you do with that information is up to you.