Tag Archives: Milton Glaser

I [heart] America

There’s been a lot of hullabaloo this past couple of years because of the Cheeto-in-Chief of the good ol’ U S of A.

What with cosying up to dictators and alienating allies he certainly cuts a divisive figure. Unfortunately, this has had a backlash against America in general and its people.

So, to redress the balance, I wanted to write a positive post about some of the things I love about America. After all, one Mango-Mussolini shouldn’t taint the whole country.

In no particular order…


From Elvis Presley to Tom Waits to the Talking Heads. Who could argue that America has produced some of the greatest artists and genres the world has ever seen. Who are your favourites?




Next up, MOVIES.

When we think of American movies we tend to think of Hollywood blockbusters. But there are so many unbelievable directors and actors. Here are some of my favourites, who are yours?





As I have a penchant for the Arts, I’m going to pick out a few photographers who have inspired me over the years.



Marilyn Monroe by Eve Arnold


Gloria Swanson by Edward Steichen


Vivian Maier


Ansel Adams


Cindy Sherman


Saul Leiter

Understandably, most people couldn’t give a rat’s ass about advertising. But I do, because I worked in it for 30 years. When Doyle, Dane, Bernbach set up shop in the 1960s they revolutionised advertising. They focussed on simple product truths. Their ethos/philosophy permeated continents and generations. Still does. I had the privilege of working for DDB Dublin.



Leading on from advertising we have GRAPHIC DESIGN, and this iconic classic by Milton Glaser for the New York tourist board. which has been ‘parodied’ a trillion times. (Yes, including me.)


Milton Glaser

Next up, ARTISTS. Again, a multitude to pick from. Here are a couple of my faves.


Jean Michel Basquiat


Edward Hopper


Mary Cassatt

Moving on to something non art related – LANDSCAPE. America has such a diverse landscape, from snow-capped mountains to sun-scorched deserts.




I’ve always loved CLASSIC CARS, Mercedes, Jaguar, Citroen, Volvo. But I also love American cars for their sheer ostentatiousness.





I couldn’t write a post about America without including a few WRITERS. Too many to choose from. Here are a few of my heroes who have inspired me over the years. Recommendations anyone?






What else do I love about America? I really like their ARCHITECTURE. Whether it be a monumental skyscaper or the traditional colonial white-picket-fence style complete with veranda.




You won’t get very far in the States without some top-notch tucker. What is more quintessentially American than the humble DINER?


Who says Americans don’t get irony? They make some fantastic COMEDY and have some wonderful comedians. Obviously, you’re not as funny as us Brits. But you’re getting the hang of it. (Benny Hill.)





There you have it. Have I forgotten anything, anyone? What would you have included?

Obviously, there is one other thing I would like to give credit to. And that is the American people. (Well, only those that didn’t vote Trump.) You’re an innovative and inspiring bunch. Not only that, you saved our asses in two world wars! So, cheers for that.

My, (our), world would be a lot poorer without you.



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I think pretty much everybody in the world will be familiar with the I ‘heart’ NY symbol. ‘Less you be trekking through the jungles of a remote pacific island unawares that WWII is actually over.

It was designed in 1976 for the New York tourist board by Milton Glaser, commissioned by ad agency Wells Rich Greene.

It has cemented its place in graphic design history having been copied and plagiarised ad infinitum.

I’ve even parodied it myself for a grab hire company in Doncaster. (A grab being a sort of digger on the back of a lorry that picks up muck.)

Now what has all this got to do with hating cheese I hear you squeak.

Well, it’s more to do with opposites: Yin & Yang, Black & White, Day & Night, Love & Hate…

Now, I don’t actually ‘hate’ anyone so I was finding it hard to decide who, or what, to use for my example of I Love NY’s antonym. But there is one thing that I hate and that thing is CHEESE.

Cheese makes me vomit. Literally. I detest the stuff. Even the smell makes me feel nauseous. Except for mozzarella for some reason. Maybe because it comes from buffalos, I don’t know.

I think my loathing for all things curdled stems from my primary school days when a rather buxom dinner lady forced me to stand on a chair in the dining hall and eat a bowl of apple pie and custard with a cube of crumbly cheddar semi-submerged within it.

I imagine most cheese lovers might find the combination repugnant, let alone a six-year old boy protesting that he didn’t like cheese.

Well, suffice it to say, after publicly humiliating me in front of my peers, I promptly threw up all over the table. And her.

I haven’t done any exhaustive research to see if this idea already exists. By that, I mean inverting the heart symbol to signify hate, not the idea of promoting cheese hating. If it does, I apologise for wasting your time.

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