Communicating better by design

7 Jun

Have you heard of Milton Glaser?  Perhaps you haven’t heard of him by name, but you certainly have seen his work. Glaser was the originator of the I (heart) NY concept, the co-founder of New York Magazine, and designer behind Ms. Magazine and countless other publications.

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Last night I watched MILTON GLASER: TO INFORM AND DELIGHT. What a revelation. Every communicator should watch this documentary to learn both how good design can transform, and the importance of communicating simply and directly.

Glaser rightly believes that design can transform the world, that better design leads to better communication. One campaign that gave him great pleasure was working on supermarket design–from the layout to the signage and the logo. He made it easy for people to find what they were looking for. We take things like this for granted, and we really shouldn’t.  How many times do we have trouble finding something because signage is lacking?

Glaser attended New York City’s famed (and in fact on which the movie Fame! was based) La Guardia High School of Art&Music and Performing Arts.  The high school approached him about redesigning its logo, and first he suggested changing the high school’s name to LaGuardia Arts, as being simpler. And then he did a fabulous logo that he says can be sung. See it here.

I have seen people take short cuts with design–trying to save a few bucks or thinking it is no big deal. But design is a big deal. Good design will make communication easier.  For those of you who have clients who think this way, show them MILTON GLASER: TO INFORM AND DELIGHT.


2 Responses to “Communicating better by design”

  1. Daria Steigman June 7, 2010 at 10:41 am #

    It’s good for communicators, especially those of us who use words, to be reminded once in a while (if not more often) that words alone rarely tell a good story. Storytelling can be about words, but it’s often the visuals too that help create that emotional connection.

    The supermarket example is a good one, because it’s not sexy but it is oh so important. Akin to the value of painted lane divider lines on the road.

    I have a framed poster of Milton Glaser’s Images of Labor on my wall, so I guess that makes me an official fan.

    • Deborah Brody June 7, 2010 at 12:02 pm #

      He definitely is fan worthy! Most people respond to visual cues before they respond to written language. I think words and images should work together. Some messages need more than visuals!

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