Milton Glaser was asked, “Are you ever annoyed by the prevalence of the ‘I Love New York’ logo? Are you upset you don’t have the trademark to the image?”
“No, not in any way. I’m astonished, but not annoyed. You very rarely do anything in your life that gets exploited, if you will, or recognised, or observed, or used to the extent that that has been. I don’t get it. I don’t know why it became an icon that moved around the world. […] It is a great pleasure for me to see that it’s still around and it still seems to be effective.”
In the Big Think interview embedded above, Milton Glaser talked about the background story for the I Love New York logo coming into existence. “The city was desperate, it was going out of business, a lot of people were moving. There was a sense of despair and sadness. There really was a need for people to express their affection for the city.
“I was sitting here in the office one day and a guy walked in. His name was Bill Doyle […] assistant commissioner of commerce. They needed a visualisation for a tagline ‘I love New York,’ so I did something, made a little note in a cab. I thought it was going to last two weeks. Strangely enough, it worked. It worked because it was a real expression of people’s feelings. They wanted to say it — I love New York.”
One of the most iconic logos you’ll see.
NYC in the archives, you might like Paula Scher’s New York Philharmonic logo.
Don’t forget to love the original York.
Ah yes, Old York.
Great short video, I like Milton’s attitude about the trademark bit and how it being a pleasure just to have designed the logo.
Ah that takes me back to my I♥NY tee in my wardrobe that I bought on my last trip there, which I never wear due to it being 3 sizes too small ;)
I love that I’m wearing my I♥NY right now.
There’s going to be a film shown about him September 25 in Santa Barbara, California if anyone is interested.
You can keep it for the kids then, Andrew. Or for a Hulk impersonation.
That’d be good to watch, Victor. Here’s some info about the Glaser documentary for anyone else who’s interested.
Such a timeless and iconic logo. It’s simplicity has made it so adaptable as a design ‘tool’ to associate so many things with New York. The typeface choice adds a lot of weight to it’s character – American Typewriter – giving it that personal edge even though it has become so ubiquitous.
I can’t imagine this image, or the thousands of parodies, ever not being part of the New York visual landscape – can you? You can’t go far without seeing somebody wearing the classic tee in England, especially in London. Though I’ve not worn mine for a few months, one of my friends regularly flaunts her ‘I Feel Relatively Neutral About New York’ version.
I prefer my I ♥ CMYK t-shirt!
I love how all of the classic graphic designers are so critical of their classic logos and identity systems. These are CLASSICS!
Milton Glaser thought his logo would only last a few months. Paul Rand always used to regularly discuss how his UPS logo (and others) still needed refinements.
There are some awesome videos of Paul Rand on YouTube if you haven’t seen them.
Current designers can learn a TON from watching this masters in action.
The great thing is that this story has enabled Glaser to gain more notoriety than he probably ever would’ve had if he’d kept ahold of the trademark.
The trademark infringement seems to go against the whole philosophy behind Glaser’s logo.
What a great video find. Love hearing the thoughts from designers about logos we see all the time in our day to day life. It just goes to show that simple, yet effective designs can stand the test of time.
One of the reasons this logo has lasted so long and remained as popular as it has, is that the New York tourism board (or whatever it is, had the good sense not to much it up, change it, add things, make it look “more contemporary,” etc. How many logos don’t change AT ALL in 30 years? Someone in this thread mentioned Paul Rand’s brilliant UPS logo… which the company has recently thrown in the trash and replaced with a generic, meaningless shield/gradient/bevel-thing that looks like the “Raid” insecticide package.
It’s not all up to the designers… a great design results from a collaboration with clients who are not idiots. Which seems to be more and more rare.
Wow. Glaser is my idol.
Astute, Rob. Iconic design results from a good designer / client relationship.
what a great guy. modest, generous… that was an inspiring watch. but i wonder…does anyone know whether ANYONE owns rights to this logo? i’d like to use it in a you tube video in a grant application. can anyone tell me if they know whether this would be a problem?
I have a few “I Love NY” poster from the Catskills, by Milton Glaser and some signed by him. Does anyone know how much they are worth? I can not find a good web site to find out,
love, peace, Joy
PS In “RE:” please put “poster”
The heart from the I Love NY logo looks exactly like the heart in the Logo Design Love logo.