Milton Glaser designs It's Not Warming, It's Dying
campaign to tackle climate change


Its Not Warming campaign by Milton Glaser

News: Milton Glaser, the graphic designer behind the ubiquitous I heart NY logo, has launched a campaign to raise awareness of climate change.

Glaser's It's Not Warming, It's Dying campaign aims to create a greater sense of urgency around climate change, moving away from benign language like "global warming".

"There is no more significant issue on earth than its survival," Glaser told Dezeen. "The questions is, 'how can anyone not be involved?'"

Its Not Warming by Milton Glaser

He designed a simple visual for posters and button badges, comprising a green disk obscured by black smoke.

The graphic suggests an aerial view of the Earth with only a narrow band of life remaining. The green section is printed in glow-in-the-dark ink for maximum impact.

"I can never answer the question of how ideas originate, and apparently, neither can anyone else," said Glaser. "But, symbolically, the disappearance of light seemed to be an appropriate way to begin."

Its Not Warming campaign by Milton Glaser

Badges are available to buy from the campaign's website at $5 for five – sold in sets to reduce costs and to encourage people to give them away to friends, family members and colleagues. All proceeds will be put towards the production and distribution of more badges.

"If half the people on earth wear the button even the 'masters of the universe' will be moved to action," said Glaser, referring to the large corporations he says have prevented significant action to protect the planet against the changing climate.

People are also encouraged to spread the word by posting pictures of themselves wearing the badge via social media channels using the hashtag #itsnotwarming.

Its Not Warming by Milton Glaser

The campaign's Twitter account is providing a stream of news reports and scientific data to support the message.

"Those of us responsible for communicating ideas to others must bear the burden of the consequences of such communication," Glaser said. "If one is looking for a purpose and theme to their life, avoiding the worst event in human history is a good place to begin."

"I hope people will respond by acknowledging what is real," he added.

Its Not Warming by Milton Glaser

New York's School of Visual Arts (SVA), where Glaser is acting chairman and a faculty member, has erected a poster featuring the campaign slogan on the exterior of its East 23rd Street building. The SVA is also distributing free buttons on college campuses nationwide through its network of institutions in the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design (AICAD).

On top of his iconic I heart NY logo for New York State, which adorns a myriad of souvenirs, Glaser also created a poster to raise money to rebuild the Tohoku region of Japan that was devastated by an earthquake and subsequent tsunami in 2011.

His previous projects also include graphics for Brooklyn Brewery and posters for museums across the US.

  • nikitx

    Earth is called the blue planet. Just saying.

    • The Liberty Disciple

      Green things turn brown when they die. Shadowing the Earth suggests that the Sun is dying. This isn’t an instantly read symbol.

  • Simon

    A great idea and graphic solution. But with delivery to London from $43.50 for a pack, it may take some time to reach ‘half the people on earth’. Trying to tackle a global problem needs more of a global input. Maybe they have launched a little too soon?

  • holleybak

    It’s a good idea, generally, but humans will be the ones to die, not Earth. Once we’re gone, Earth will continue on… just the way it did once the dinosaurs became extinct.

  • haromaster

    The planet isn’t dying, it will be just fine once all the humans have died out.

  • randy

    Habitat destruction, poaching, and pollution are far more threatening issues than “global warning”. These people need to wake up and stop with this tragic distraction.

  • emma

    Fighting global warming by producing more waste.

  • Thijs

    Great symbol and idea. I really think this is a message that has to be spread. Really good, intensive and it looks really cool, but lets distribute a ton of badges, made from what?

    The website of the campaign does not give any information except that you can buy more buttons.
    Lets say I see the button, feel like I want to make a change and I go to the site. Is buying buttons going to save the world?

    Are these buttons themselves, by manufacturing, distributing and discarding them across the globe not a symbol of pollution and death of the planet itself? If there is a great story behind the button and its biodegradable material and/or rabid universal production to decrease or contain a small part of the worlds CO² levels, why is this not propagated?

    Its seems like a great “swing and a miss”.

  • Ugo Crazy

    Funny how we assume that, because our environment is changing and might ultimately become unfriendly to our needs, the planet is dying.

    Dude lift your head up a bit and see the light. WE are dying, not the planet.

    • Vicente Fictício Cruz

      Some people can’t think about the planet “sans” humans.

      • rs959903

        Well we’re taking every other living species with us. So even if you think we humans deserve our fate it is a moral outrage that every other living thing must go with us. For that reason alone its worth fighting against our own extinction.

  • Vicente Fictício Cruz

    Who the hell cares about Earth? We’re going to f*** up Mars soon =)

  • windy2

    70% of the man-made CO2 is coming from poor and developing countries. What we need is a movement or campaign to get more engineers working on solutions to solve the problem of the rapid growth of world energy poverty.

    We need more useless artists and designers promoting a death cult campaign wearing green buttons about as much as we need another Ebola outbreak.

    If you have no actual solutions to growing energy poverty in the world, and all you have is a button and a doomsday message that the world is dying, stay as far away from me as possible. TIA

    • Rodion

      70% of the man-made CO2 is coming from poor and developing countries because of the harvest of natural resources needed for the needs of the first world and developed countries. It’s a vicious circle.

  • Prairieweb

    I am going to print it out on label paper. I see no copyright, but whatever is happening to earth, we should feel responsible for its future.

    • Richard Proffitt

      And in the last days, millions of sincere and yet somehow cynical badges littered the earth.

  • Nat!

    I love the Irony:

    1) What’s the badge made of?

    2) Are they packaging them in plastic bags rather than recycled paper or card envelopes?

    True genius.

  • Logan

    Why not #itsdying? It’s much less ambiguous than #itsnotwarming. It’s also shorter and has a greater impact.

  • Will

    “All proceeds will be put towards the production and distribution of more badges” because producing ultimately useless stuff isn’t the main reason “climate dying” is happening? Not to be a cynic, I do like the sentiment, but so much “social design” I’ve seen seems to have underlying irony, contrary to its message.

  • Aleksander

    I see it a bit differently. We are somewhere in the middle of a great cycle.

  • Verael

    I wonder why Milton chose green instead of blue? Since we know it as the blue planet from space.