New York Adapts Its Iconic ‘I Heart NYC’ Logo, But It Hasn’t Touched Many Hearts
By Alexa Heah, 21 Mar 2023
If there’s one city that’s become synonymous with its brand, it’s New York City—beginning 46 years ago when gift shops were first filled with countless ‘I ♥ NY’ merchandise.
The iconic logo, which has graced everything from T-shirts to mugs, was designed by graphic designer Milton Glaser in 1977. And after four decades of serving its initial purpose, the motif has now been adapted to “We ♥ NYC.”
Governor Kathy Hochul and Mayor Eric Adams recently launched the new emblem in Times Square, explaining that the overall campaign hoped to “showcase the city’s strengths” and celebrate all residents’ contributions to the region.
Part of the change involves a civic engagement initiative by NYC Service—dubbed ‘Spread Love NYC’—which aims to spur New Yorkers to take part in bite-sized, one-hour or longer-term volunteer projects that can help uplift communities.
“The We ♥ New York City campaign asks everyone who loves the greatest city in the world to show it by lending a helping hand and spreading that love to every block across all five boroughs,” said Mayor Adams.
However, not all residents are too keen on the update. A Twitter user responded by saying the new logo felt “emoji-like” and lacked the touch that had made the prior logo “timeless or iconic.”
“Please tell me this is an obscure joke,” quipped another response, while a different person pointed out that aside from the unflattering typeface—the same one used in the city’s subway—the motif seems to read as “We NYC Heart” instead.
Graham Clifford, the art director behind the new emblem, told the New York Times he had wanted to give the logo “more of a modern twist.” Though with how New Yorkers have responded on social media, it’s uncertain if the goal was achieved.
I think the city that currently owns the most iconic branding in the entire world should not rebrand.— Allana Harkin (@AllanaHarkin) March 20, 2023
Milton Glaser got it right the first time. pic.twitter.com/aQJolahYOh— George Hahn (@georgehahn) March 20, 2023
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