Graphic Design 2
Art 104 – Virtual Exhibition Project
The theme of our project was graphic design with an emphasis on branding. My two artists are Milton Glaser and Herbert Matter. Glaser is a very well-known graphic designer who has worked with poster and logo design, such as the I Heart New York logo. Matter's work was mainly with poster design and magazine covers.
Section 3. Milton Glaser.
Milton Glaser was born June 26, 1929 in New York City. He attended The High School of Music & Art, and furthered his education at The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art. After graduating, he studied graphic design at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bologna, Italy.
Glaser is most known for his design of the I Heart New York logo. He comments about his work in an interview with Smashing Magazine:
“Doing a logo, you want to be memorable, you want to be fresh, you want to be familiar enough so people will not reject you, you don't want to be to complex, you want to have an internal joke, you want to move the viewer in a perception so that when they first look at it, maybe they don't quite understand it, and then a fraction of a second later, they get the idea, because that act between seeing and understanding is critical, and a good logo, you look at it and there's a little jump before you understand it. That's the success of the “I LOVE NY” because you have to translate it from “I” which is a complete word to “heart” which is a symbol for feeling to “NY” which are initials for a place. You want to do a logo that's a little bit more than decorative, although sometimes, that's all you can do, something that looks good on the page, and one very often settles for that.”
Glaser was awarded the National Medal of Arts by President Obama in 2009. Each year ten recipients are awarded. Glaser was the first graphic designer to receive this award. Furthermore, he was awarded the lifetime achievement award of the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum in 2004, and the lifetime achievement award of the Fulbright Association in 2011. Even at 88 years old, Milton Glaser is still producing and making art as he continues to live out his passion.
Section 4. Herbert Matter.
Herbert Matter was born April 25, 1907 in Engelberg, Switzerland. He died on May 8, 1984 in Southampton, New York. He attended the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Genva for two years, then studied the Academie Moderne in Paris. He returned to Zurich for a few years after schooling to design posters for the Swiss National Tourist Office and Swiss resorts, and soon moved to the United States to pursue graphic design and photography.
Matter was not only famous for graphic design, but for photography and film. He made great contributions to the art world, and is spoken highly of by many other reputable artsits. For example, Paul Rand, a well-known graphic designer and friend of Matter wrote a poem about the quality of Matter's work for the 1977 Yale Exhibition Catalogue:
Herbert Matter is a magician.
To satisfy the needs of industry, that's what you have to be.
Industry is a tough taskmaster.
Art is tougher.
Industry plus Art, almost impossible.
Some artists have done the impossible.
Herbert Matter, for example.
His work of '32 could have been done in '72 or even '82.
It has that timeless, unerring quality one recognizes instinctively.
It speaks to all tongues, with one tongue.
It is uncomplicated, to the point, familiar, and yet unexpected.
Something brought to light, an image, a surprise, an analogy.
It is believable, as it is unbelievable.
It always has an idea, the one you almost thought of.
It may be formal or anecdotal, full of sentiment, but not sentimental.
It is commercial; it is contemplative.
It enhances the quality of life.
It is Art.
Matter received a lot of acknowledgement for his work throughout his life. In 1977, he was elected into the New York Art Director's Club Hall of Fame. Three years later in 1980 he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in photography, and the AIGA medal in 1983.
As introduced earlier, this is Milton Glaser's “I Love NY Campaign”. This work was not necessarily designed for an exhibition, but for New York's city wide marketing campaign. The crime rate was up in the late 70s, and the city itself was on the verge of bankruptcy. This campaign started in order to attract tourists to want to come to NYC. Glaser was recruited by the New York State Department of Commerce to come up with a logo for the campaign. The logo quickly became a pop culture icon, earning the city of New York $30 million each year.
I learned a lot from this project as a whole. Strangely enough, although I am a graphic design major, I had never heard of or researched these artists before. It was really cool to learn about the brains behind works I'm familiar with such as the I Love NY Campaign and the Bob Dylan poster. Luckily both of my artists are pretty well-known and had a lot of information on them and their work, so it wasn't too difficult to research them. It was challenging to pull out some of the elements of art such as the meaning behind their work, because they were designing something for a particular company with a strict purpose. They are still definitely creative, but the meaning behind their work was given to them by whoever they were working for. For example, Herbert Matter's most famous works are the works he designed for a Swiss Tourist Company or for a magazine, so he couldn't incorporate as much as his own original ideas. I really liked serving the role of a curator in this project. It wasn't really like anything I had done before, and it was a little challenging to find common themes between artists, but it was also fun. It would definitely be a cool job to have in a museum. My group's theme of “branding” was pretty general, so it wasn't too hard to find graphic designers that fit under the umbrella of capturing looks for a company, person, etc. Both of my artist's backgrounds and works were fairly similar, in the sense that they both knew they wanted to be artists at a younger age, and went to school with the intent of becoming artists or graphic designers. They also both worked with bright colors and lettering.
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