‘Ten Things I Have Learned’ by Milton Glaser

It isn’t often that I repost other people’s posts, but i have to give credit to the ‘Ten Things I Have Learned’ by Milton Glaser. Please go to the original article to read the full thing, but I wanted to pull a few of my favorite quotes that I believe in.

Point 3 talks about avoiding poisonous people. The test is to spend some time with that person.

“If you are more tired then you have been poisoned. If you have more energy you have been nourished. The test is almost infallible and I suggest that you use it for the rest of your life.”

Point 4:

“What professionalism means in most cases is diminishing risks…After all, what is required in our field, more than anything else, is the continuous transgression. Professionalism does not allow for that because transgression has to encompass the possibility of failure and if you are professional your instinct is not to fail, it is to repeat success.

In point 5 he talks about how absurd the quote “less is more” is. He suggests a new saying “Just enough is more.” I think this statement struck me because of how obvious this statement should be, yet I have never heard it. I guess it has hints of laziness. I am sure a client would never want to hear ‘I did just enough to finish the site’. But to me ‘just enough’ implies perfection. Maybe I am looking at it with optimistic eyes.

On point 8:

“Deeply held beliefs of any kind prevent you from being open to experience, which is why I find all firmly held ideological positions questionable… Of course we must know the difference between scepticism and cynicism because cynicism is as much a restriction of one’s openness to the world as passionate belief is.”

This may seem to be a direct jab at religion, but he goes on to apply it to the design field, and it should be applied to everything you do. To me scepticism is almost its own religion. Or perhaps it is the road some take to find thier own religion. Ironically, the best quote I could find to emphasize my point is a proverb:

“For the waywardness of the naive will kill them, And the complacency of fools will destroy them.” Proverbs 1:32

And lastly, on point 10:

We can accept certain kinds of misrepresentation, such as fudging about the amount of fat in his hamburger but once a butcher knowingly sells us spoiled meat we go elsewhere. As a designer, do we have less responsibility to our public than a butcher?”

There are plenty of other good tidbits (and even a joke toward the end of 9 that I will be guilty of repeating) throughout the article.

Ten Things I Have Learned by Milton Glaser