Well, the city authorities in New York were asking for it, weren't they? Messing with a design as iconic as Milton Glaser's classic 'I love New York' logo was always going to be a risk. A few derisive reactions to the new design shouldn't have surprised anyone, but they might not have expected quite so many memes.
The logo has been updated as part of a campaign to promote New York post-pandemic, with the 'I heart NY' phrase updated to read 'We heart NYC'. But people were quick to ridicule the emoji-like shading and the strange illegibility of the design (we NYC?). And then the memes began (they should have read our guide to how to design a logo).
they even paid tribute to the old Massimo Vignelli version of the logo which i think is a nice touch pic.twitter.com/Ac5zH8Q0yzMarch 21, 2023
One of the funniest responses to the 'we love NYC' logo debacle was from a designer who decided to fix it for us. Dan Cassaro of Brooklyn-based design studio Young Jerks resolved the logo's legibility problem by imagining it as part of a wider series of designs in the tweet above. But quite a few people didn't realise he'd cooked up the designs himself as a joke and thought it was the real city campaign.
"This doesn’t show a system though. The heart is a symbol for the word 'love' as such the system would be words replaceable with iconography," one person replied. "Slapping emojis on something doesn't make it a functioning system," someone else responded. "We (Hotdog) got hotdogs? So does every other city on the planet. It reads as lazy. And WTF is "Let's Liberty" supposed to mean?" "Is this real I seriously cannot tell if this is real," someone else said.
yeah they made some cute ones for the boroughs very cool pic.twitter.com/F2RzY76wbdMarch 21, 2023
Cassaro followed up with some designs for New York's boroughs, including “Crafted in Brooklyn” featuring a Bushwick hipster with thick-rimmed glasses and a handlebar moustache. Other Twitter users continue to create their own takes on the New York logo disaster too. Dylan Abruscato saw it as a missed marketing opportunity for the co-working chain WeWork.
We Heart NYC, but as a WeWork brand campaign pic.twitter.com/WmPGuRnt0xMarch 21, 2023
The revamped We love NYC logo is for a temporary campaign and isn't intended as a permanent replacement to Glaser's classic design, which is just as well for the city because the memes would never stop. Then again, if the aim is to get people talking about New York, it's certainly done that. If anything it's shown people that New Yorkers have a sense of humour, which might draw in more visitors than the original campaign. As for the original I love NY logo, we've revisited our classic interview with Milton Glaser where he told us why it is that the city was so important to him.