Monday, September 26, 2005

Milton Glaser for president

"Who's he?" you might say if you're not a graphic designer. He's the guy who designed the "I heart NY" logo in the 1970s, and then the "I heart NY More Than Ever" one after the terrorist attacks on 9/11. He's passionate and generous of spirit. He gave one of the keynote addresses at the AIGA Design Conference I attended last week in Boston. He was speaking to 3,000 designers, people who seriously believe their profession can change the world.

After hearing Milton talk, the notion that design can change the world was reaffirmed for me. AIGA's own Design for Democracy initiative, whereby voter education materials and ballots are redesigned carefully is just one small example. Milton's poignant posters, such as the one accompanying this post, are another way.

Here's an excerpt from Milton's talk:

"In my lifetime, I’ve witnessed a world war, the Holocaust, McCarthyism, Vietnam, Korea, the threat of nuclear annihilation, the Cold War—and in these times, AIDS, genocide in Africa and Bosnia, 9/11, global warming, the war on Iraq, the acceptance of torture, the Patriot Act, the tsunami, the devastation of New Orleans and the gulf coast and overshadowing everything else in our minds—the emergence of international terrorism.

The political exploitation of the fear of terrorism is as alarming as terrorism itself. It has caused me to examine my role as a citizen and to think about whether designers as a group have a dog in this fight, to use a pungent, down-home cliché. Our dog in this fight may be human survival."

You'll be inspired if you read Milton's entire presentation.


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