What more can be said about Milton Glaser’s ‘I Heart NY’ identity that already hasn’t been said? Well for starters it’s one of DF’s favourite identities ever, for obvious reasons, and if that’s not a good enough reason to write a little post about it then we don’t know what is?
We’ve always thought logo design is at it’s very best when the clients brief is executed in it’s most simplistic and true form with a little twist. Think about it, all the classic marks that grace the logo hall of fame have this very unique quality for example Fedex, the Woolmark, British Rail and Nike’s Swoosh to name but a few. Glaser’s ‘I heart NY’ is definitely up there in our opinion, but what is interesting to find out is that this iconic logo almost never was.
Above is the original sketch Glaser did on an envelope in the back of the NY taxi after having second thoughts and somewhat of a eureka moment and below is the old school cut and paste layout sheet, both of which are now on permanent display at MOMA New York.
As with most iconic logo and creator back stories Milton Glaser didn’t get a cent for his creation back in 1977 which now generates over $30 million a year for the State of New York! Glazer has been quoted as saying “he did it for free, as a gift to New York” in a time when the city needed all the help it could get.
Back in 1977 New York was bankrupt, had rolling black outs and was in the grip of the highest crime levels the city had ever seen. The State needed tourism to help generate income for the city but New York had so much bad press at the time the tourists were staying away. New York State’s department for economic development commissioned the Madison Avenue advertising agency, Wells Rich Greene, to create a campaign that would help combat this. At the time New York’s big selling point was Broadway, and the agency came up with the slogan (“I Love New York”), in the shape of a jingle by the composer Steve Karmen and a television commercial featuring the stars of broadway. But they still needed a logo — and that’s where Glaser came in.
As you’ll see from the above clip a lot has changed but the one thing that’s stood the test of time is Glaser’s simple, iconic logo which we heart a lot.