The “I ♥︎ NY” logo has had far reaching influence than any other in history. Having been contacted to help with the graphic design in the New York State marketing campaign led by Wells Rich Greene, Milton Glaser was headed to one of the campaign meetings in the back of a yellow taxi in Manhattan in 1977 when he conceived the phenomenal idea that would cast his name in stone in the history books.
Glaser’s preliminary design comprised of all the letters and the heart shape arranged in a line, but as he developed the idea he decided to stack the letters so that the letter “I” and the “Heart” sat on the “NY” squarely.
Glaser had to come up with the right typeface for the design, and settled for the American typewriter. However, due to its chunky nature, the typeface had to be redesigned for aesthetic appeal and to give it a perfect match with the heart shape. The heart symbol was the masterpiece of the logo idea and marked the start of an era where the use of emoticons is employed to express how we feel. Currently, typographers have incorporated the heart to every typeface used today.
How Did Milton Glaser Influence Design?
It is no doubt that this simple sketch by Milton Glaser inspired one of the most successful marketing campaigns in history. It was so successful, that the Museum of Modern Art in New York took custody of the torn envelope containing the original idea and put it in its permanent collection. The logo has ubiquitously permeated popular culture across the world, attracting more imitations than any other logo design conceived under the sun.
The logo has since been copyrighted by the New York State agency and it generates over $30 million every year from the sale of merchandise bearing its design. In particular, the brand sells big in Japan and Italy in addition to other parts of the world.
Award And Recognition Of Milton Glaser
Milton Glaser was awarded the America’s National Medal of Arts in 2009, partly because of the great success of the “I ♥︎ NY” logo, and partly due to his numerous achievements in graphic design.
Other landmark designs by Milton Glaser include the 1967 psychedelic portrait of Bob Dylan which was a cover photo for his album in one of his most remarkable hits. This design brought out Glaser to the limelight ultimately enabling him to open his own studio in the mid-seventies.