By now, the story is well known. A man sits in the backseat of a cab, sketching on a notepad as night falls over a crumbling city. He scribbles the letter I. He draws a heart. And then an N, and then a Y. Right away he knows he’s got something. This is it, he thinks. This is the campaign.
The man was a designer named Milton Glaser. The City was New York. The year was 1977.
The city needed a miracle. And it kind of got one in three letters and a symbol: I ♥ NY
The I ♥ NY campaign was so successful that it became part of the built environment. So people started doing with I ♥ NY the same thing that humans have always done when encountering something in nature: they started imitating it.