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Milton Glaser on Donald Trump

Milton Glaser was recently asked, “What do you think of Donald Trump?”

“Well I’ve met him — I’ve even done a vodka bottle for him as a matter of fact. I don’t know how to think about him. He’s an example of the power of the ego. How can anyone be so totally egocentric to not understand that there are others in the universe. It also shows the power of that position: When you don’t think there are others, everything is attainable for you. I just find that the combination of incredible ambition and a lack of modesty can be a terrifying prospect. And if you’re in a roomful of people like that, you realize that that’s why the world is the way it is.

Trump Vodka
The Milton Glaser label design for Trump Vodka, bottle by Bruni Glass

“And the other thing is: I can’t figure out his hair. From the point of view of someone who is into art and form-making, I can’t figure out the structure of it: where it’s coming and where it’s going. And then I also wonder, what does he think this object on his head achieves? It’s just a great mystery.”

Catch the rest of the interview on New York Magazine. The same questions are asked to other New Yorkers in the magazine’s 21 questions series.

From the archives: Milton Glaser on design studios.

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10 comments about “Milton Glaser on Donald Trump”

  1. The first time I went to New York I was amazed at these ugly buildings with the words TRUMP in large letters across them. TRUMP is a term meaning FART in the UK where I grew up. But that was back in 2001 a few months before 9/11 and I hadn’t heard of ‘The Donald’.

    I find it odd that he furnishes them in the style of a 17th century French Palace.

    All of which probably explains his hair.

  2. Not one of Mr Glasers best jobs I have to say. Why on earth is a property tycoon and tv ‘personality’ releasing a vodka? Is he an expert vodka producer, does he have Russian heritage and it’s based on an old family recipe? What’s the connection?

    Which probably goes to explain why it failed.

    This bandwagon of every unworthy celebrity sticking their name on countless products they don’t care about, have knowledge of or expertise in surely has to end soon?

  3. A quote from TIME, “On Larry King Live, he said he got into the vodka business to outdo his friends at Grey Goose.”

    The power of the ego in search of one-upmanship. The label isn’t one of Milton Glaser’s finest designs, but it’s probably very fitting for the Trump brand.

  4. Great response from Glaser; it’s amusing but also true.

    I think Milton Glaser could have (and might have) designed a better label but the design is probably exactly what Trump wanted and it actually fits the “Goldfinger-ness” of the Trump brand.

  5. I can’t help but think that designing for Donald Trump would be rather torturous. Much like looking at his hair or hearing him speak.

  6. I find it odd that Glaser says he doesn’t understand Trump’s hair. It’s iconic in the modern celebrity obsessed society. E! News constantly talks about, the magazines talk about, reporters talk about it…It’s part of his identity, and just another differentiator between him and the billionaire standing next to him.

    As an identity designer, I’m sort of surprised that Glaser would question it in the manner that he did, and not be able to appreciate the power of it. People talk about it all the time. If he had a “normal” hairstyle, people would talk about him less. Seems like Trump understands how to build an identity out of anything.

  7. Actually I kinda like the design…am I really alone on that?
    Sleek, clean, and of course meeting the customers requests in the design brief (probably the use of Gold was Trump’s idea )
    Anyway, as to the hair thing,I doubt he wears it that way because its iconic….It’s just that when he looks in the mirror all he see’s is, perfection. He probably can’t understand any kind of negative feedback it just doesn’t register with him. (Wish I could be like that.)

  8. All I can say is that “TRUMP is an attitude.” He is a man with high internal power. Moving with less reaction to environmental factors. He is an ACTOR in his industry.

    If I may ask, Who are the ACTORs in our art&designs industry.

    Soji BENN

  9. Milton Glaser… I studied him long ago in college and loved his design sense and now I see his opinion of Trump mirrors my own. Trump has done a great job creating his own brand identity (albeit a rather tacky gold-plated disaster). But nonetheless, he’s made himself recognizable and someone that people continue to watch – and I highly doubt he doesn’t appreciate the attention!

    Thanks for this article!

  10. Donald Trump… We Turkish people don’t know him well but Trump Tower in the middle of Istanbul tells us about his ego.

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