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.
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.