Milton Glaser on design basics

“Many basic skills are simply never learned anymore. This sounds like the old guard revisited, but it’s the truth because the interest is so focused on conceptual things, the kids are not interested in developing their muscle system. […] Now what happens, if you haven’t got the muscle systems and the skills, the understanding of the formal values in a traditional way, you’re limited to one kind of work. You depend on other people’s hands and other people’s abilities to essentially articulate your conception. And what that also means is, stylistically, you have a whole generation of people doing the same thing, clipping from the same sources, combining the same photographs, using the same photographers and the same renderers. So there’s a universality of style because all these people can’t do anything with their hands. Literally, they cannot. It stunts the possibility of creative growth because you only think in terms or what you physically can do. And if you can’t do anything, you can only operate out of a circle that’s that big.

The whole thing has to do with building a foundation to support certain expressive content later. If you haven’t got that kind of base, you can never really move. You have to accept the tyranny of the situation and become a victim of it. When your one thing is phased out, you’re finished.”

— Milton Glaser