On page 423 there is a poster for the Juillard School showing a red upright ladder almost reaching a cloud in a dark blue night sky, Milton Glaser says of his work: "I remember a painting by Joan Miro that used a ladder leading to the heavens. If you're going to steal, steal from the best". I could well apply those last eight words to the work in this remarkable book. Remarkable because the first poster is from 1962 for the School of Visual Arts and last for Blueform Design in 2017, between these years Glaser designed the 427 posters in the book and whether they are illustrative, photographic or typographic the creativity shows through every time.
Glaser's long time client the School of Visual Arts has the most entries, over forty I think, there are obviously dozens promoting American cultural events and several for European cities that had exhibitions of his work. What I found intriguing is that there is no real discernible style to Glaser's creativity even the illustrations, which tend to be unique to an artist, vary enormously throughout the book, perhaps the originality is the main style point.
When I first saw the book I thought it was too small for posters but there are 704 pages and in fact the book's just the right size for your hand and inside the format works well. Each poster fills the right-hand page and the facing page has some technical details plus Glaser provides some interesting thoughts about the poster, frequently there is some additional visual material, a rough, photo or maybe an historic painting that provided his inspiration. The book's last twenty-five pages has an interesting section with ninety-seven posters from 1966 to 2016, mostly four to a page, that Glaser, with hindsight (and maturity) says he no longer finds completely satisfying.
Milton Glaser designed this handsome book and it will appeal to anyone interested in visual promotion.