The Glaser Nobody Knows is a new column featuring work by Milton Glaser that you may never have seen before. There are countless projects by the master, both produced and unpublished, that are unfamiliar even to design aficionados. All of the items in this column are part of The Milton Glaser Design Study Center and Archives at the School of Visual Arts, the chief repository of his legendary work.
The psychedelic style that Push Pin Studios became known for in the 1960s and 1970s had its roots in various historical art movements, but for Milton, the time he spent studying etching with Giorgio Morandi in Italy manifested itself in an intense focus on line. That thin black line, filled in with swaths of flat bright color, easy and quick to produce with assistants, became much in-demand.
These cheerfully psychedelic ads for Fanta are the natural culmination of that style. We hold several original drawings, plus proofs for alternate designs, in the archives. While the flag-waving lips with big brown loafers remain constant throughout, the pen-and-ink illustrations, featuring a Fanta-loving Neptune and a one-man horn-nosed dance band, are the nuttiest of all. I’ve been unable to determine if these ads actually ran, though Fanta had clearly embraced this style in the early 1970s when animator and director Ralph Bakshi produced trippy commercials with Peter Max for the company.
Beth Kleber is the founding archivist of the Milton Glaser Design Study Center and Archives and the School of Visual Arts Archives in New York City. Kleber also curated the exhibition “Primary Sources: Documenting SVA and the New York Art World 1966–1985.” She lectures on design history and research, and assists students and researchers with inquiries on everything from Push Pin Studios to the activities of the renowned artists who have taught at SVA. Kleber has also worked in trade publishing and began her librarian and archivist career at New York Public Library. For more from the Glaser/SVA Archives, head to Instagram.