Milton Glaser, a prolific Manhattan graphic designer credited with creating the iconic I Love NY tourism logo has died Friday, on his 91st birthday.
Glaser passed away Friday after suffering a stroke, his wife Shirley told the New York Times. Her husband also had renal failure.
Milton Glaser, was one of the ’60s and ’70s most prolific and influential graphic designers, creating everything from the 1977 “I ♥ NY” logo to psychedelic posters of pop culture icons like Bob Dylan.
Born June 26, 1929 in the Bronx, Mr. Glaser grew to re-draw the map of visual design and advertising after being inspired by his cousin’s drawing of a bird on the side of a paper bag when he was a kid.
He was the son of Eugene and Eleanor (Bergman) Glaser, who were Hungarian immigrants. His father owned a dry-cleaning business and tailoring shop. His mother had been a homemaker.
The Bronx native had come up with the I Love NY logo after drawing it on the back of an envelope in red crayon while on a taxi cab ride.
The logo was designed with black letters and relied on a red colored heart shape, instead of spelling out the word love, and was a precursor to the use of today’s emoji symbols.
The tourism campaign which has relied on the logo started in 1977 and remains in use today.
The logo itself became as well-recognized around the world as some of New York’s landmarks, including the Empire State Building.
I’m flabbergasted by what happened to this little, simple nothing of an idea,’ Mr. Glaser told The Village Voice in 2011, the Times reports.
The logo after the September 11th terrorist attacks was updated to read I Love NY More than Ever and was shown with a small bruise on the heart.