Dyson and Doyle’s thinking was chiefly pragmatic. As Miriam Greenberg, sociology professor at the University of California, Santa Cruz, explains in her book Branding New York, “Tourism marketing transcended conflict, presenting an inclusive face of New York City for everybody, rich and poor, citizen and visitor, to enjoy.”
The key was finding a way to capture and convey this unifying spirit. “I remember Bill Doyle saying that the words that matter in advertising are: ‘new,’ ‘free,’ ‘improved,’ and ‘love,’” recalled Dyson. “And he comes back the next day and says, ‘Well, ‘I love New York’ has ‘love’ and ‘new’ in it. So I got two of the four powerful words of advertising.’”
The city had its slogan—now it needed a visual. Enter
. Having made a name for himself as the co-founder of New York Magazine
and the technicolor visionary behind the much-acclaimed poster for Bob Dylan’s 1967 “Greatest Hits” album, the Bronx native was an obvious choice given both his prodigious talents and lifelong connection to the city. “I never separated the city from myself,” Glaser told
the New York Times
. “I think I am the city. I am what the city is. This is my city, my life, my vision.”
Working swiftly, Glaser sketched out a mockup of a logo with the text embossed over two stacked lozenges. Dyson and Doyle immediately accepted, but the designer remained unsatisfied. Chewing over the problem in the back of a yellow taxi cab the next day, Glaser was hit by flash of inspiration. Scrambling for something to write with, he used a red crayon to scribble the beginnings of the now-iconic I ❤ NY logo on the back of a torn envelope.