Is the new I love NY logo really that bad?

It's one of the most famous logo designs around, created by one of the most famous designers. Milton Glaser first sketched his 'I Heart NY' design on a scrap of paper in the back of a taxi – but from those humble beginnings, it went on to become iconic. Did it need updating? Judging by the response to a new campaign, no.

Unveiled by city officials this week, the new 'We heart NYC' campaign is  designed to promote the city as it bounces back from the COVID-19 pandemic. And it's clearly based on Glaser's effort, both in name and design. But while the original is arguably one of the best logos of all time, this new version has prompted ridicule online.

I heart NY logo

Old (left) vs new (right) (Image credit: Milton Glaser/City and State of New York/Future)

The design features basic sans serif text which reads 'We NYC', alongside a heart. And therein lies the first problem – this could easily be read, 'We NYC heart'. And then there's the heart itself – with its not-so-subtle 3D lighting, there's something decidedly 'emoji' about the whole thing. 

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As plenty of brands have discovered the hard way lately, tinkering with a beloved logo design can easily lead to a furore. From Audi's flatter rings to Nokia's jagged rebrand, we've seen no shortage of online ire lately. So, if you're embarking on a branding project of your own, take a look at our guide on how to design a logo.

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Daniel Piper
Senior News Editor

Daniel Piper is Creative Bloq’s Senior News Editor. As the brand’s Apple authority, he covers all things Mac, iPhone, iPad and the rest. He also reports on the worlds of design, branding and tech. Daniel joined Future in 2020 (an eventful year, to say the least) after working in copywriting and digital marketing with brands including ITV, NBC, Channel 4 and more. Outside of Future, Daniel is a global poetry slam champion and has performed at festivals including Latitude, Bestival and more. He is the author of Arbitrary and Unnecessary: The Selected Works of Daniel Piper (Selected by Daniel Piper).