With Further Ado #224: Lost DC Logos!!

My favorite logo designer is a brilliant gent named Rian Hughes. I’ve been a fan for years, and I’ve even been a client. (He designed our Agendae logo.) His book on logos is brilliant. He’s created many big company logos and comic logos. I keep his book on my office bookshelf and always trot it out when I need some creative inspiration. Longtime readers will even remember I featured his book in my very first With Further Ado column.

And I just received Hughes’ newest book Rayguns & Rocketships, published by Korero, which I will be reviewing in a future column.

But this past weekend, we went to another vintage book sale and rescued some more treasures. (I’m developing a nice Big Little Book collection, in fact.) One treasure was an oversized coffee table book, Milton Glaser: Art is Work, celebrating legendary designer Milton Glaser.

Even though you’ve undoubtedly seen his work, you might not know Milton Glaser. You know the I <Heart> NY thing? That’s him. You know Brooklyn Brewery’s Green Circle with a white “B”? That’s him. Or that iconic Dylan album cover where his hair is like a psychedelic rainbow? That’s Milton too. He died a couple of years ago, and I don’t think there will ever be another talent quite like him. Here’s his bio from his site:

To many, Milton Glaser is the embodiment of American graphic design during the latter half of this century. His presence and impact on the profession internationally is formidable. Immensely creative and articulate, he is a modern renaissance man — one of a rare breed of intellectual designer-illustrators, who brings a depth of understanding and conceptual thinking, combined with a diverse richness of visual language, to his highly inventive and individualistic work. *

Born in 1929, Milton Glaser was educated at the High School of Music and Art and the Cooper Union art school in New York and, via a Fulbright Scholarship, the Academy of Fine Arts in Bologna, Italy. He co-founded the revolutionary Pushpin Studios in 1954, founded New York Magazine with Clay Felker in 1968, established Milton Glaser, Inc. in 1974, and teamed with Walter Bernard in 1983 to form the publication design firm WBMG. Throughout his career, Glaser has been a prolific creator of posters and prints.

His artwork has been featured in exhibits worldwide, including one-man shows at both the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. His work is in the permanent collections of many museums. Glaser also is a renowned graphic and architectural designer with a body of work ranging from the iconic logo to complete graphic and decorative programs for the restaurants in the World Trade Center in New York. Glaser is an influential figure in both the design and education communities and has contributed essays and granted interviews extensively on design. Among many awards throughout the years, he received the 2004 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, for his profound and meaningful long-term contribution to the contemporary practice of design.

Comic fans appreciate his talent, as he’s the guy who created what many consider to be “the best” DC logo. Affectionately referred to as “the DC Bullet”, it’s an iconic and impactful logo.

And this book, this rescued treasure, offered a real treat. It showed one of the other treatments Glaser for the DC logo. Often designers present several choices to clients. And you know what, sometimes the client picks the worst one – so only show options that you feel comfortable with!

Take it me from me. I’ve learned that lesson the hard way!

Anyways, here’s Milton Glaser’s “lost” DC logos. They made it into this wonderful book, but they weren’t selected by the client. I wonder if they were Milton’s favorite ones?

And more importantly, what do you think?