Designer Milton Glaser Shares His Inspiration for Creating the Iconic I ♥ NY Logo in 1976

The absolutely wonderful short film “I ♥ NY ” by Dress Code features Milton Glaser, the legendary graphic designer behind the iconic I ♥ NY campaign, sharing his story first hand. The extremely knowledgable and amiable Glaser recounted his family’s flight to the United States (“the land of opportunity”) to escape the Nazis, the powerful words of his beloved mother (“You can do anything you want”) and the sad state of affairs in Manhattan at the time. It’s as if each of these influences merged together and flowed through Glaser during a 1976 cab ride and with a red crayon, created one of the most recognizable visual logos in the world.

Strangely enough it worked. It worked because it was a real expression of people’s feelings. The wanted to say I love New York, they wanted to say this is my home and I’m not going to leave. Everybody in the city was feeling the same thing – I love this city. Once it started, it spread all over the world. …Things become iconic for reasons we do not know.