The Glaser Nobody Knows: A Little Ditty For Teli Deli

Posted inGraphic Design

The Glaser Nobody Knows is a 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 There are countless projects by the master, both produced and unpublished, that are unfamiliar even to design aficionados.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.

This is a little ditty for Teli Deli, one of the more obscure food outlets in the World Trade Center overseen by restaurateur Joe Baum. 

In 1970, Baum was brought on as a consultant by the Port Authority to devise food service plans for the eventual 130,000 people who would populate the complex when it opened in 1973. Windows on the World was the most famous, of course, but there were forty-two places to get food in the World Trade Center, ranging from sit-down to take out, formal to casual. Milton Glaser worked with Baum on the design for many of the dining options, including Windows on the World, Big Kitchen, The Corner, Market Bar, and Sky Dive; after the World Trade Center mega project, Glaser would continue to design restaurants with Baum: Aurora, Rainbow Room, Crystal Pavilion, Heartland, and Quayside, among many others. 

Teli Deli, located on the Sky lobby level of the World Trade Center, offered breakfast and easy lunches (with a generous side of quotation marks). The logo was all Glaser, an anthropomorphized and very hungry telephone. It’s one psychedelic step removed from Glaser’s dancing lips for Fanta or his 1968 illustration for the first issue of New York magazine.

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.