Milton Glaser (1929 - 2020)

If Apples had Teeth

Text: Shirley Glaser
New York: Enchanted Lion Books, 2017
[16] fol., col. pen drawings
22 x 17,7 cm, hardcover, col. dust jacket


Ital. Edition: Mantua: Corraini, 2017
Se le mele avessero i dento


OE: New York, Alfred Knopf, 1960

"Doubt is better than certainty."
The book and its history

What if apples had teeth? This little book explores these and other "weird" questions. In rhymes, puns or, where possible, with funny alliteration, questions are raised, and their answers are illustrated in pictures. If snakes were sprinkled with salt, you could think they were pretzels - plus a pleasantly shaped pretzel snake. Or: "If pickles were tickled, they would never be sour". What an idea in combination with a grinning cucumber, which seems to be tickled by a feather at the bottom!
Funny, whimsical, simple pictures unfold from page to page, which put you in a good mood and encourage you to ask more wordplay questions. Another example: "If a crab didn't grab, he would have more friends." The drawing shows a green crab with scissors holding a pink starfish.
This early work by the newly married graphic artist, which seems to have been created during a trip to Europe with his wife, Shirley, as a kind of creative game, thrives on the light-handed combination of text and image. Almost 60 years after its first appearance, this small timeless artistic masterstroke is still just as compelling.

Biographical note

Milton Glaser, born in New York City in 1929, died there in 2020 and is considered one of the most distinguished graphic designers in the United States. He lived in his native city until his death and succeeded in directing his studio Milton Glaser Inc.
From 1948 to 1951 Glaser studied art and design at the Cooper Union School of Art and, with a Fulbright Scholarship in Bologna, at the Accademia delle Belle Arti in Bologna/ Italy under Giorgio Morandi. In 1974 Glaser founded his own design studio. Glaser can look back on an extensive work of logos and posters. His iconic New York logo, "I love NY", in which he replaces the word “love” with a red heart, made him world famous.
Milton Glaser has received many awards. In 1975, the New York Museum of Modern Art dedicated a solo exhibition to him. Two years later, his works were shown at the Centre Pompidou in Paris. Glaser's posters can be found in the collections of many museums. In 2009 Glaser was the first graphic designer to receive the "National Medal of Arts" from President Barack Obama.

Shirley Glaser studied art and photography in New York. In 1957, she married Milton Glaser, with whom she then undertook a long journey through Europe. She subsequently wrote two more picture book texts, which Milton Glaser also illustrated.


Back to Collection