Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Loco for Logos: I (Heart) NY

Chicago is very different from New York. However, as far as graphic design goes, the Windy City can learn a thing or two from the Big Apple.

To illustrate, take a close look at one of the Big Apple's most iconic logos: the "I (heart) NY" logo. This graphic design was born in an era of political scandal and economic recession known as the 70s. New York bore the brunt of bad imagery--unchecked spending, says historians, drained the city's budget, forcing municipal programs to be put on hold.

As it turned out, a graphic designer's simple idea would be the city's salvation. During this time, Milton Glaser scribbled the iconic logo as a random doodle in a cab. The advertising agency hired by the city to promote tourism loved it and proceeded to improve it further. More than 30 years later, this basic rebus helped earn New York $30 million a year in souvenirs.

So what drove its success? What made this so popular that it's being imitated by the rest of the world? For some, it's a rebus that consists of the letters I, N, and Y in American Typewriter font, and a big red heart; what's not to love there? It could be read by virtually anyone, yet still had a bold statement about love, which, in essence, is what graphic design for marketing is all about.

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