The logo is a rebus borrowed by Milton Glaser from a Montreal radio campaign. CJAD Montreal Quebec Canada ran a campaign entitled “Montreal, the city with a heart”. 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 a rounded slab serif typeface called 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 created the design based on Wells Rich Greene’s advertising campaign.