A mark for I ♥ Texas
The I ♥ NY mark has been a popular classic icon since its introduction in 1977. The designer, Milton Glaser, used a pictorial symbol for the word Love and typographic symbols for I and New York.
I wondered if the type symbols could also be replaced with pictorial symbols, especially for the state of Texas, possibly the most recognizable shape of the 50. California, Alaska, and New York might be close seconds, but, the outline shape of Texas is universally known and recognized.
Below: I sketched a side view of an eye and stacked the symbols. But, then I remembered that Paul Rand replaced the I text symbol with a pictorial symbol for IBM in 1981:
Rand's orientation of the eye symbol was more consistent with the symmetrical heart and a row of symbols was more useful than a column. Conducting further research on marks for 'I ♥ Texas' brought up these images:
There were others, but all were like these, with only the state letters replaced by an image and the 'I' still a letter character (except for the I Texas Texas one on the right.) I am surprised that the eye symbol hasn't found its way into the classic mark to replace the letter I, especially when a symbol or image is used for the other part (where the NY was originally). Using the eye symbol seems like a natural evolution of replacing words (like heart) with symbol images.
New mark with all image symbols
I used a simplified Rand's eye symbol and rounded the sharp corners of the state shape to better relate to the other two symbols. It worked. The symbols clearly communicate and respect each other as a cohesive unit of 3 marks forming a strong statement. Then, I wondered about adapting the rendering to other states.
Above right: I Love Colorado or I Love Wyoming or I Love Rectangles. This one would not work outside of those states - the state shape is just not unique enough to be quickly recognizable.
The 3 states above (Delaware, Maryland, and New Jersey, but not necessarily in that order) may be a bit too obscure to be successful.