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The "I love NY" slogan and logo was developed to promote tourism in New York State. Created by graphic artist Milton Glaser, it was first used in 1977. The use of a heart as a symbol for the word "love" has been widely imitated since then.
The most successful effort to "brand" the city came during the final moments of the city's fiscal crisis in the 1970's. Crime was rampant and, then
as now, the city's coffers were empty. Businesses (and their employees) were leaving the city in droves. Fear permeated perceptions of the city, and
tourism was suffering. The city had lost much of its glamorous allure, and the State of New York turned to Madison Avenue for help. The state commissioned
the ad agency Well, Rich and Greene and graphic artist Milton Glaser to develop a campaign, and the "I love NY" slogan was born. Its goal: to promote
Launched in 1977, the "I love NY" design became one of the most recognizable logos of any city in the world. The campaign was so successful it was plastered on everything from coffee mugs, to buttons, to bumper stickers. John Lennon and other boldfaced names have all been famously photographed wearing T-shirts emblazoned with the slogan, and the state still sells official "I Love NY" merchandise today.
After the twin towers fell in 2001 Glaser revamped the logo, so that it read, "I love NY more than ever," the heart blackened ever-so-subtly in the bottom left-hand corner. Then in December, the graphic artist suggested yet another slogan: "Together for the City We Love."
But the city and state, which had bought Glaser's original logo, did not buy into his revisions. They are sticking with "I Love NY."
Note: New York State Empire State Development holds the trademark to the "I Love NY" logo, and licenses its use. It cannot be used without their permission.
The law designating the slogan "I Love New York" as the official New York state slogan is found in the New York State Consolidated Laws, STL, Article 6, Section 82.
STL - State
ARTICLE 6 - ARMS AND GREAT SEAL OF STATE
§ 88. State slogan. "I Love New York" shall be the official state slogan.