Howard Milton was born and educated in London. He studied art under Ruskin Spear at Hammersmith Art School and Graphic Design with Tom Eckersley at the London College of Printing. When he graduated in 1974 he joined Michael Peters and Partners, designing for Winsor & Newton, Thresher, Seagram, Wall’s and Kraft Food. He also met designer Jay Smith. The pair left together for New York and Milton spent a year at Advertising agency, Burson Marstellar and Jay with industrial designers Robert Gersin.
In 1980 they returned to the UK to found Smith & Milton in London.
During the following decade they led the creative breakthrough in brand identity and became spokespersons for the design industry. They were the showcase company for the ‘designer decade’ and created seminal works for the likes of NatWest, Sharwoods and Dulux.
They produced iconic corporate branding for the likes of Rowntree, Switch, PPP Healthcare and Asprey. Milton broke packaging sector rules to gain Tesco a human face and created retail ‘brands’ that out performed the established market leaders.
Milton was a founding member of the Design Business Association in 1986. He has won numerous D&AD, Clio and Design Week awards for outstanding creativity and design effectiveness.
Over the following years he extended the Smith & Milton ‘enduring brands’ philosophy into the international arena, managing the brand identities for Travelex, AXA, Coca Cola brands, Nestle and Disney.
Smith & Milton remains an independent business dedicated to the development of enduring brand design. He has lectured to diverse audiences at the AIGA California USA, Kent State University Ohio USA, the Marketing Society London, and Central St. Martins.
In 2009 Howard and Jay were recognised for their contribution to the industry in a nomination for the 50th anniversary of the Prince Philip Designers Prize.
Today, he writes regularly for the marketing press and is a ready commentator on corporate brand issues. He sits on the Board of Governor’s at Falmouth University.
He has written two books published by the Design Council:
Packaging Design 1990
Putting Theory into Practice 1991
In 2006 Cyan Books published a 25 year history of Smith & Milton.