i love new york

Transcending Marketing

In 1976, Milton Glaser was a young designer in New York City. Having barely staved off bankruptcy the year before, New York was suffering from poor headlines and middle-class flight to the suburbs. Desperate to revamp it's tourism industry, the New York State Department of Commerce decided to institute a PR campaign. “I love New York” slogan had already been conceived and Glaser was tapped to draw the logo.

This he did—in a few seconds. On his way to a client meeting, Glaser was in the back of a taxi when he fished a red crayon out of his pocket and drew I ♥ NY on a used envelope. Later, he stacked the text on two lines and turned his creation loose. 

Told the campaign would only run for a few months, Glaser did his work pro bono and refused to copyright it. The thinking was that if the logo was free to everyone, it would become part of the city’s iconography.
— Roberta Klara | AdWeek

Four decades after I ♥ NY first appeared in 1977, the logo designed by Glaser (who didn’t copyright it) still benefits the state’s Economic Development Corporation and also embodies to spirit of the city.