Milton Glaser on what he has learned

hiero

Two years ago, as I was doing the illustrations for Dante’s Purgatory, I got very interested in the Road to Hell and designed a little questionnaire to see where I stood in terms of my own willingness to lie. So here it is — 12 steps in the Road to Hell. I personally have taken a
number of them.

  1. Designing a package to look bigger on the shelf.
  2. Doing an ad for a slow, boring film to make it seem like a light-hearted comedy.
  3. Designing a crest for a new vineyard to suggest that it has been in business for a long time.
  4. Designing a jacket for a book whose sexual content that you find personally repellent.
  5. Designing a medal using steel from the World Trade Center to be sold as a profit-making souvenir of September 11th.
  6. Designing an advertising campaign for a company with a history of known discrimination in minority hiring.
  7. Designing a package for children whose contents you know are low in nutrition value and high in sugar content.
  8. Designing a line of t-shirts for a manufacture that employs child labour.
  9. Designing a promotion for a diet product that you know doesn’t work.
  10. Designing an ad for a political candidate whose policies you believe would be harmful to the general public.
  11. Designing a brochure for an SUV that turned over frequently in emergency conditions known to have killed 150 people.
  12. Designing an ad for a product whose frequent use could result in the user’s death.

The range goes from making a package that seems a little bigger to somebody’s death. The interesting thing is how slippery that slope is and how easy it is to move from stage to stage until you arrive at the ultimate human sin. But then again, why talk about it. This discussion has been going on since the dawn of history.

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