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Milton Glaser (1929–2020) has been one of the most internationally renowned and highly influential figures in design. To many, Glaser is the embodiment of American graphic design during the latter half of this century. Having initially trained as a classical fine artist, his historical roots in design were as co-founder of the New York-based Pushpin Studio in 1954, with Seymour Chwast, Edward Sorel, and Reynold Ruffins. In Pushpin, Glaser was in the vanguard of a movement that reacted against the strict authoritarianism and austerity of modernism. Exploring and re-interpreting the visual material of both fine art and commercial art of the previous era, they sought to bring fresh ideas, humor, and a new decorative and illustrative approach to the design of record sleeves, book covers, posters, and magazines.

Immediately recognizable, the work of Pushpin Studio evolved to become an international force in graphic design during the 1960s and 1970s. He has had the distinction of one-man shows at the Museum of Modern Art and the Georges Pompidou Center. He was selected for the lifetime achievement award of the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum (2004) and the Fulbright Association (2011), and in 2009 he was the first graphic designer to receive the National Medal of the Arts award.

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