More iconic than yellow cabs or even the blue and white beacon of an Anthora cup, the “I Love NY” logo is an internationally recognized symbol of this dreamy city that never sleeps. Like any New York narrative, the logo’s story is sure to surprise, intrigue, and inspire you. As if you needed one more reason to love New York, read on to discover 10.
It was created as an attempt to rescue New York’s failing tourism industry
The famous heart-centric logo came to be during a period when New York wasn’t so easy to love. In the 1970s, the city was bankrupt, experiencing an increase in crime rates, and was the site of rampant drug use—not exactly an appealing attraction for out-of-towners. In a last-ditch effort to save the state, the government hired an advertising agency who created a campaign featuring the now-famous logo.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
The logo was originally intended for both New York City and New York State
Have you ever noticed that this city-associated logo refers to “NY” and not “NYC”? That’s because the campaign was actually created to boost New York State tourism. While it’s come to represent New York City to viewers around the world, the logo is, in fact, trademarked by the New York State Empire State Development group and is still used in state-oriented campaigns today.
The creator of the “I Love New York” campaign was a pioneering female professional
Advertising agency Wells Rich Greene was the mastermind behind the “I Love New York” marketing campaign. And who was the leader of this firm? One Mary Wells Lawrence, the agency’s founding president and the first female CEO of a New York Stock Exchange-listed company. By 1969, Lawrence was reportedly the advertising industry’s highest-paid executive. As the mind behind the “I Love New York” slogan and the famous Emilio Pucci-Braniff International Airways collaboration, it’s easy to see why.
This world-famous logo was designed by an advertising industry newcomer
To design the campaign’s logo, Wells Rich Greene tapped American graphic designer Milton Glaser. A talented and forward-thinking creative, Glaser had designed record sleeves, book illustrations, and posters (most notably for the artist Bob Dylan), but he had no experience with advertising campaigns of this nature. Ironically, Glaser’s first state campaign is one of the most successful in the industry’s history.
A new version of the logo was created by Glaser himself after the events of 9/11
In the tragedy’s wake, the values of unity and solidarity took center stage in local and national discourse. To symbolize these ideals, Glaser created a new version of the logo, this one declaring: “I Love New York More Than Ever.” Glaser’s update, which featured a similar design, included a black, bruise-like spot on the heart’s lower left side to represent the fallen World Trade Center.
This internationally known logo came from humble beginnings
Legend has it that Glaser conceived the logo’s design while doodling in the back of a cab. A torn envelope bearing the designer’s rough sketch is on display at New York’s renowned Museum of Modern Art, where it exists as part of the museum’s permanent collection. What’s more is that Glaser designed the logo, which now reportedly generates approximately $30 million annually in merchandise, free of charge, never collecting a dime of its profits.
The designer’s work can be observed across New York City
It should come as no surprise that Glaser has a record of creating New York-centric work. From the masthead of New York Magazine (which he helped found in 1968) to designs for Carnegie Hall, the Rubin Museum, and more recently, ads for the mid-century-set Mad Men, Glaser has certainly left his mark on the city.
The logo’s sister song is the official state song of New York
As part of the “I Love New York” campaign, a song by the same name was created for television and radio use. Crafted by American composer Steve Karmen, who also counted Pabst Blue Ribbon and Wrigley’s Spearmint Gum amongst his clients, the tune became the official anthem of New York State in 1980. Following in Glaser’s altruistic footsteps, Karmen gave up the rights to the song for free.
Originally, the “I Love NY” campaign didn’t include a logo at all
The campaign, comprised of only a slogan and jingle, was released in 1977. TV spots featuring the saying and song, along with Broadway stars such as Patti LuPone and Angela Lansbury, began making the rounds before Glaser completed the campaign’s iconic logo.
The campaign went toe to toe with another New York institution
A year after its release, NBC’s iconic Saturday Night Live poked fun at the now-ubiquitous campaign. Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, and John Belushi all appear in the infamous sketch, which depicts the founders of the Biblical town of Sodom conceiving their own campaign entitled, you guessed it, “I Love Sodom.” A copyright infringement suit was filed against the show, eventually resulting in a “not guilty” verdict.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.