Milton Glaser‘s decades-long graphic design career left a lengthy legacy of inimitable designs but his best-known work is indisputably the “I ♥ NY” campaign. Sadly, The New York Times has reported that the legendary graphic designer has passed away at the age of 91.
From his covers for New York Magazine, which he co-founded, to 1967’s iconic Bob Dylan poster, Glaser’s work is recognized across the globe. The “I ♥ NY” (also known as “I Love New York”) design, however, became his clearest legacy, a strikingly simple ode to his home city that has since been imitated, satirized and reprinted across uncountable souvenir T-shirts and tchotchkes. “I’m flabbergasted by what happened to this little, simple nothing of an idea,” he once told The Village Voice.
A graduate of New York’s Cooper Union, Glaser studied at the Italian Academy of Fine Arts before returning back to The Big Apple to found Push Pin Studios with fellow Cooper Union grads. Glaser’s output encompassed everything from Shakespeare book covers to Columbia Records posters. Glaser later left Push Pin to form Milton Glaser Inc. in 1974, where he redesigned Britain’s Grand Union supermarkets, created the World Health Organization’s AIDS logo, imagined posters for Mad Men and, of course, realized the “I ♥ NY” campaign for the state of New York.
Glaser’s wife, Shirley Glaser, is his only immediate survivor. She told the Times that the cause of death was a stroke, though the artist also suffered from renal failure.