I was living in Boston in 1977. As a transplant from California, it was my mission to explore as much of the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic as I could. That took me to New York quite a bit. At that time, New York was reeling from an economic downturn, a legendary blackout, Son of Sam killings, and other negative events. With that backdrop, the city and state needed to take positive steps.
Enter Milton Glaser, legendary graphic designer and founder of New York magazine, who created a logo as part of a campaign to attract business and boost tourism. I vividly recall the campaign’s broadcast ads, which had a very catchy “I love New York” tune. The tune was nice, but what went viral before “viral” was a thing, was Glaser’s iconic I ♥ NY graphic.
Glaser died on June 26, exactly 91 years since his birth. In the second half of his life, I doubt Glaser received many of the payments he no doubt deserved from so many who “borrowed” his idea for their own purposes.
As an example, we in the Public Relations Consultants Group had a successful conference earlier this year in San Juan, Puerto Rico. To emphasize the pun on both what we do and where we were, we took a group photo at a San Juan landmark. It’s the one you see here in the article.
We couldn’t have done that had Milton Glaser not created his brilliant graphic.
Thank you, Milton!
John Knox owns Knox Communications, which has been delivering excellence in public relations and marketing communications since 1989. Knox Communications is the San Francisco Affiliate of PRConsultants Group.