How Three Letters and a Heart Changed New York City! April 11 2014

I Love New York’ the success story of a campaign and its world famous logo.

The 70’s, time of Disco, free love, marijuana and wild colors or the so called Woodstock culture. At that time New York City an 18 Mil. Metropolis and one of the most dangerous on the planet with a crime rate three to four times higher as today, 130.000 stolen vehicles yearly compared to ‘only’ 17.000 in 2012, a dirty and dangerous subway system, a city swamped with hookers and drug addicts. One of the most surprising and interesting facts about New York in the 70’s is that the city of Wall Street was close to bankruptcy.


Milton Glaser, a graphic designer, from New York and the creator of the logo borrowed the rebus from “CJAD Montreal Quebec Canada” which run a campaign Montreal, the city with a heart".

Glaser and the advertising agency Wells Rich Greene were hired by William S. Doyle, Deputy Commissioner of the New York State Department of Commerce, in 1977 to evolve a campaign which would promote New York State. Instead, ‘I Love New York’ and its logo became an allegory for NYC!

The attitude in the city changed tremendously, the safety and the infrastructure changed over time. Statistically New York City is the safest large city on the planet. Its infrastructure is enviable a 24-hour subway system transports daily more than 5 Million passengers. ‘The Big Apple’ is the second favorite destination on the world with over 50 Million tourist a year.    

The slogan represents ‘The City That Never Sleeps’ over three decades and white T-Shirts with the emblem are being sold Millions of times until today.


Correction to our post from April 11, according do Mr. Dan Bates from Milton Glaser Inc.


"Mr. Glaser neither borrowed, was inspired, or even aware of the "Montreal, the city with a heart" campaign. In fact, he's never been to Montreal. 
The claim, which seems to have originated on Wikipedia's entry on the I Love NY logo is without citation and completely contrary to the development of the mark, and its function, conceptually speaking".