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 There are countless projects by the master, both produced and unpublished, that are unfamiliar even to design aficionados.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.
Milton Glaser’s interest in trompe l’oeil, implied movement, and color gradients were at peak levels in the 1970s. But he didn’t always require the giant canvas of a poster or even a book cover or album sleeve. Glaser’s lesser-known letterhead and logos designs were personalized mini-experiments in color and dimensionality.
The best-known of this group, Glaser designed the logo for the huge 1974 music festival in Kinshasa, Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo) that would accompany “The Rumble in the Jungle” boxing match between Muhammed Ali and George Foreman. Foreman’s injury delayed the fight, but the music festival, organized by trumpeter Hugh Masekela (also connected to Glaser) and music producer Stewart Levine, went on as scheduled. Both the fight and the music festival were featured in the 1996 documentary When We Were Kings.
For Astoria Press (an NYC-based printer to the Push Pin Graphic, as well as Peter Paul and Mary souvenir books from the 1960s designed by Glaser and Push Pin), Glaser designed lovely (though possibly impractical) lined color gradient stationery.
Security Printing Company
Letterhead for Security Printing Company features an “S’ that seems to circle the page.
This typographic treatment for Mexican guitarist Jorge Santana (brother of Carlos Santana) appeared on the back of his 1978 self-titled album designed by Glaser, but it seems the logo was also distributed on its own; we have this in our collection as a sticker.
Bonnier International Design AB
A three-dimensional “B” for the International Swedish design and media group Bonnier gets placed in the corner of color-blocked stationery.
Can one happy and one sad eighth note make it work? The generic nature of this company name makes it pretty impossible to research. If you know anything about it, let me know!
This New York City listings magazine covering theater and arts was published from 1932-1980; (at which point it was, ironically, bought by then Rupert Murdoch-owned New York magazine). Glaser’s dynamic logo takes up a third of the page.
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.