Milton Glaser's iconic logo welcomes visitors back to MoMA - Poster House reopens
MoMA announced the special installation of Glaser’s iconic 'I ♥ NY' in its lobby.
“Conceived during New York City’s financial crisis of 1975, Glaser’s design has become a symbol of hope and enduring love for the city” notes the museum.
I Love New York (stylized I ❤ NY) is a slogan, a logo and a song that are the basis of an advertising campaign used since 1977 to promote tourism in the state of New York.
The trademarked logo, owned by the New York State Department of Economic Development, appears in souvenir shops and brochures throughout the state, some licensed, many not.
The logo was designed by graphic designer Milton Glaser in 1976 in the back of a taxi and was drawn with red crayon on scrap paper with the original drawing held in the Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan.
The logo consists of the capital letter I, followed by a red heart symbol (❤), below which are the capital letters N and Y, set in the rounded slab serif typeface American Typewriter.
In 1977, William S. Doyle, Deputy Commissioner of the New York State Department of Commerce hired advertising agency Wells Rich Greene to develop a marketing campaign for New York State. Doyle also recruited Milton Glaser, a productive graphic designer to work on the campaign and create a design based on Wells Rich Greene's advertising campaign. Glaser's final sketch to accompany the agency's “I Love New York” slogan was conceived on the streets of the city.
It comprised the letter I and a heart shape followed by NY, all on the same line. As the idea developed he decided to stack the I and heart shape on a line above the NY characters, later stating that he may have been subliminally” influenced by Robert Indiana's LOVE pop art image.
Glaser expected the campaign to last only a couple months and did the work pro bono. Yet, this innovative pop-style icon became a major success and has continued to be sold for years.
Following the September 11 attacks on the city, the image became a symbol of unity for the city’s residents.
Glaser created a modified version to commemorate the attacks, reading “I Love NY More Than Ever” , with a little black spot on the heart symbolizing the World Trade Center site.
The black spot approximates the site's location on lower Manhattan Island. The poster was printed in the New York Daily News and was a fundraiser for New York charities supporting those affected by the attacks. Added text at the bottom encouraged people to “Be generous. Your city needs you. This poster is not for sale.”
MoMA is one of many museum openings since the state excluded indoor cultural activities from Phase 4 of reopening.
Poster House aka the first museum in the USA dedicated to the history and impact of posters is open as well with three exhibitions on view.
The Swiss Grid explores the development and impact of the International Typographic Style, considered one of the most important movements in graphic design history, through a selection of posters and ephemera, The Sleeping Giant: Posters & The Chinese Economy explores China’s economic relationship with the world through poster design and #COMBATCOVID, the museum’s initiative in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Poster House teamed up with PRINT Magazine, Times Square Arts, and For Freedoms and launched a citywide public art campaign featuring PSAs and messages of love, gratitude, and solidarity with New York City’s frontline workers. The PSAs are displayed throughout New York City on nearly 1,800 digital screens and billboards thanks to partnerships with LinkNYC, JCDecaux, Silvercast, Pearl Media, and Times Square Arts.
As noted by WSJ’s Kevin Sun “the coronavirus lockdown has put museums under financial stress, with the Metropolitan Museum of Art recently laying off 353 employees as it faces a projected $150 million shortfall. After reopening, museum officials say they will take various precautions to ensure the safety of their visitors, including limiting capacity and reducing hours to provide time for deep cleaning.”
“Being open isn’t the whole answer,” said Laura Lott, president and CEO of the American Alliance of Museums.
So book your tickets online and breath some art.