Current Campaigns – I Love New York!

10 03 2011

The “I Love New York” logo was designed by Milton Glaser. I Love New York is both a logo and a song that are the basis of an advertising campaign have been used since the mid-1970s to promote tourism in New York City, and later to promote New York State as well. The trademarked logo appears in souvenir shops and brochures throughout the state, some licensed, many not. The song is the state song of New York.


The logo is a rebus that was created by Milton Glaser and Bobby Zarem consisting of the capital letter I, followed by a red heart symbol (♥), below which are the capital letters N and Y, set in a rounded slab serif typeface called American Typewriter. In 1977, William S. Doyle, Deputy Commissioner of the New York State Department of Commerce hired advertising agency Wells Rich Greene to develop a marketing campaign for New York State. Doyle also recruited Milton Glaser, a productive graphic designer to work on the campaign, and created the design based on Wells Rich Greene’s advertising campaign. Glaser expected the campaign to last only a couple months and did the work pro bono. It was possibly inspired in part by the state tourism slogan Virginia is for Lovers which had featured a “Love” theme and red heart symbol (♥) since 1969. The innovative pop-style icon became a major success and has continued to be sold for years. In the popular mind (though this was not the original intention) the logo has become closely associated with New York City, and the placement of the logo on plain white T-shirts readily sold in the city has widely circulated the appearance of the image, making it a commonly recognized symbol. The image became especially prominent following the September 11 terrorist attacks on the city, which created a sense of unity among the populace. Many visitors to the city following the attacks purchased and wore the shirts bearing the I Love New York logo as a sign of their support. Glaser created a modified version to commemorate the attacks, reading “I Love NY More Than Ever”, with a little black spot on the heart symbolizing the World Trade Center site. The black spot approximates the site’s location on Manhattan Island.

New York State song

“I Love New York” was written and composed by Steve Karmen in 1977 as part of the advertising campaign. In 1980 Governor Hugh Carey declared it as New York State’s anthem. In a move that was remarkable for Karmen, who is well known for retaining the publishing rights to his songs, he gave the rights to the song to the state for free.

Popular culture

This “In popular culture” section may contain minor or trivial references. Please reorganize this content to explain the subject’s impact on popular culture rather than simply listing appearances, and remove trivial references.  The logo has become a part of the American pop cultural canon, since inspiring countless knock-offs (t-shirts, bumper stickers, etc.) of the “I …” form. New York, in turn, has tried to uphold its trademark by filing a total of nearly 3,000 trademark objections against imitators. The logo has also been used in relation to other places. One example is New Cross, London, where the logo has been altered to read “I Love NX” due to the growing interest in the area because of a suggested rise of new music scene in the area. Similar shirts can be found in Atlanta (I ♥ ATL), Boston (I ♥ Boston), Los Angeles (I ♥ LA), San Francisco (I ♥ SF), Jersey City (I ♥ JC), FordRekord (I ♥ FR), Oregon( I ♥ OR) Mexico City/Distrito Federal (I ♥ DF, also Yo ♥ DF), Argentina (I ♥ AR), La Paz City (I ♥ LP) and in Como -Italy- (I ♥ Cʎ) where “C” stay for Como and “ʎ” for the symbol of the lake. In England, one example is in North Yorkshire, where the NY is said to be North Yorkshire, rather than New York. Another is I ♥ AM, where the A-M is Ankh-Morpork, the fictional Discworld city created by English author Sir Terry Pratchett. In Beijing, China, tourists can buy I ♥ B-J shirts; English speaking tourists often misinterpret the text, assuming it means “I love BJs.” The trend has also reached Australia, which has seen a “We ♥ the Gong” campaign launched, which was inspired by the I ♥ NY model and plays on the nickname for Wollongong, ‘the Gong’. The logo has also been used by the band New Young Pony Club in their album sleeve for Fantastic Playroom but altered to read “I Love NYPC”. Parodies of this phenomenon, such as “I Spayed My Pets” (using a ♠) or “I Club Seals” (using a ♣) have also appeared. A recently popular parody is a shirt reading I {have never been to} [in the shape of a heart] New York. Another variation is the recent “I ☘ NY”, T-shirt reflecting the city’s sizable Irish-American population. Japan’s largest professional wrestling promotion, New Japan Pro Wrestling, has sold a t-shirt with a logo reading “I Love NJ”, as New Japan’s initials are NJPW. Expressions beginning with “I heart…”, based on a literal reading of the logo, have become a somewhat facetious way to express one’s affection for something (e.g., the film I Heart Huckabees). Another recently popular parody is a shirt reading “I Feel Relatively Neutral About New York” as well as the “I [♥] transitive pictograph verbalisations” T-shirt. Madonna recorded one song for her 2005 released album Confessions on a Dance Floor called “I Love New York”. She also sang this song at her Confessions Tour with the popular I♥NY symbol clothing. When Apple opened their first Apple Store in NYC in 2001, they produced a pin which was emblazoned with “I [Apple] NY”. The American Red Cross in Greater New York came up with items bearing their rendition of the logo. It was “I [Red Cross] NY”. This was done to raise more desperately needed funds for the chapter. On May 22, 2008, Dan Piraro, creator of the Bizarro comic strip, published a strip showing three overweight tourists all wearing “(I ♥ NY)” t-shirts boarding a horsedrawn carriage. The horse had a black thought balloon which parodied that slogan, thinking “I ☠ NY”.




Another great campaign that went viral world wide, with its simplicity and simple icon just to promote tourism.




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