The Stories Behind Great Iconic Logos

New York City

The unofficial logo of New York City, designed by Milton Glaser in 1975, didn’t always look like the perfect, undesigned icon we know it as today. Originally, when Glaser was hired by the New York Commerce Commission to create a logo that would enhance tourism, the city was at one of its lowest points: filthy, crime-ridden and not at all suitable for visitors. Glaser submitted a dashed-off idea that was quickly approved. “It was just a little typographical solution with two lozenges and a word in it, two ovals, and the word inside it,” he told Chip Kidd for the Believer, “it was not in any way distinguished. But I always thought the whole thing was going to be a three-month campaign… It was like one of those things you bang out because it didn’t seem to merit any more attention.” A week later, he called the commission to tell them he had a better idea, and the I Heart NY logo we know and love was born.