I Love NY becomes We Love NYC for a “mobilizing campaign” in New York

The iconic logo “I Love NY” developed by Milton Glaser in 1977 seems to give way to a new emblem for the city as the authorities of New York have launched the We Love NYC campaign to “showcase the city’s strengths and mobilize New Yorkers to make sure it remains the greatest city in the world”. The campaign was entirely developed by Founders Agency, demonstrating an evolution from the individual “I” to the collective “We”.

Milton Glaser created the I Love NY emblem, which had to contribute to developing tourism in Big Apple, in tough times when the city was experiencing a serious financial crisis and a disturbing rise in crime. In contrast to that gloomy context, the logo proved to be simple, clean, and friendly. The ingenuous and poppy design was not long in imprinting in the popular imagination. “I Love NY” is one of the best city brands ever created. For almost 50 years now, it has been a symbol of the city and a beloved emblem of New Yorkers and visitors from all over the world. So why replace it?

In fact, there is no dramatic change in it. It is rather a modification of Glaser’s original logo. With it, the main goal is to start a mobilizing campaign for everyone who loves New York, to tell what makes this city unique, and vitalize it in every way after the coronavirus pandemic.

The campaign’s visuals are being implemented in outdoor advertisements at iconic locations, like Times Square, Madison Square Garden, and the Yankees stadium. Alongside the We Love NYC logo, they feature iconography celebrating residents of New York as a diverse and inclusive community that is open to people of all ages and nationalities. This creates a graphic system made up of symbols understandable in any culture.

Another goal of the campaign was to involve New York’s residents in the promotion of the city. With this purpose, the authorities applied to By The Newyork, a network of independent agencies. As a result, the design team created a series of posters representing what New York means to them. Moreover, this is an open project offering other artists to create their own posters which will be demonstrated on the We Love NYC official website and social media.

The logo expectedly met a mixed reaction when unveiled online. The most criticized aspect was the reworking of typography, adapting Glaser’s emblem. Designer Ryan McGuinness offered his version of the logo, explaining the advantages of the classic “I Love NY”. Glaser, as he said, used an ordinary font of a typewriter, being close to people as almost everyone could replicate it on his own typewriter.

The 1977 design features rounded serifs making a vibe together with the bulging heart. All the elements are flat, that makes them perfect to reproduce. Anyway, it would be better, according to McGuinness, to use a serif font, maybe, even with a lowercase “e” and a flat heart, at least to honor Milton Glaser’s NY logo.