New York: inventor of the coolest logo doesn’t want any money to this day

City trips New Yorkers with a heart

The inventor of the classic logo doesn’t want any money to this day

Milton Glaser was in the cab as he scribbled his love letter to New York on an envelope. The logo became a classic and now brings in millions. But its inventor remains humble.

Published on 08/19/2019 | Reading time: 4 minutes

The “I love NY” logo from Milton Glaser adorns glasses, T-shirts and countless other souvenirs from New York

Milton Glaser’s “I love NY” logo adorns glasses, T-shirts and countless other souvenirs

Source: AFP / Getty Images

WToday we come to what is probably the greatest classic of the modern souvenir goods industry: the logo I love NY with a heart. This lettering, which has been copied a million times and is particularly fond of decorating mugs and T-shirts, is now used in a modified form by many cities around the world. As a tourist you can love Berlin just as much as Singapore, Rome or Bangkok. But then the original is best loved: New York.

The “I love NY” logo has become an icon of the city over the past 42 years. The 1977 campaign is from the advertising agency Well, Rich & Greene. The client was the Department for Economic Development of the State of New York.

Because the city of New York was at a low point at that time – and practically bankrupt. There has never been a higher crime rate at the same time as a widespread drug epidemic. According to then-police chief of New York, Robert McGuire, the city was out of control, in a state like the Wild West.

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One of the many blackouts resulted in mass looting and 4,500 arrests. Homeowners even burned their buildings down to collect insurance sums and get away. Just out of NYC. That was roughly the situation when people wanted more tourists for the metropolis. You needed a really good campaign for that.

Milton Glaser scribbled the logo in a New York cab

For designing the simple but effective slogan I love NY the graphic designer Milton Glaser, who had founded the Push Pin Studios design agency together with colleagues, was commissioned. The New Yorker from the South Bronx had already founded “New York Magazine”. But Glaser did not believe in the success of the campaign for the ailing city and therefore did not take a fee.

He had previously scribbled the logo on an envelope in the Yellow Cab. In the first draft, the slogan was on the same line, but instead of the word love there was already a heart and only the initials of the city name. In principle, this purring of an emotion onto a symbol is an early form of today’s emojis.

It was only in the second draft that Glaser stacked the letters on top of one another. Today the 90-year-old admits that his inspiration for this was the “LOVE” sign published in 1970 by the American pop artist Robert Indiana, which also consists of stacked letters.

Inspired Milton Glaser: The “LOVE” sign by American pop artist Robert Indiana in Philadelphia

Quelle: pa/Photoshot/OBIT_ROBERT_INDIANA

For Glaser, good communication is linked to switching on his brain. I love NY, written with hearts, is an easy-to-solve puzzle for him. The I is a whole word, the heart is a symbol and NY is the abbreviation for the place. In his opinion, people love it when they can solve a problem.

But actually, Glaser still has no precise explanation for why the logo became an icon. The lettering has been copied so often that it has become an empty phrase. The designer Ayzit Bostan has consequently left out the location of the logo. There is only one left on her t-shirt I love with hearts, and everyone knows what that means.

New York: the American designer Milton Glaser in 2014

Has his heart in the right place: the American designer Milton Glaser in 2014

Quelle: pa / dpa / Christina Horsten

The envelope from the taxi that was then hastily scribbled together is now in the Museum of Modern Art in New York. There is another original design by Glaser that is in a New York museum: it is the redesign of his logo after 9/11 in the Copper Hewitt Museum. Back then it was I love NY worn by many people as a sign of solidarity. It says on Glaser’s new version I love NY more than everand there is a black mark on the heart.

The license fees of I love NY bring in about $ 30 million annually for the Empire State Development. Milton Glaser still doesn’t want any money for it, for him it’s his kind of will. A gift from someone with a heart in the right place.

Glaser’s new version of the logo graced the front page of the New York newspaper “Daily News” on September 19, 2001

Source: pa / dpa / dpaweb / Tim_Ockenden

This text is from WELT AM SONNTAG. We are happy to deliver them to your home on a regular basis.

WELT AM SONNTAG from August 4, 2019

Source: WELT AM SONNTAG

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