New York City is a place that captivates the imagination of people from all walks of life. Whether it’s the towering skyscrapers, the vast expanse of Central Park, or the iconic Statue of Liberty, the city has always been an integral part of the American dream.
It presents a feeling of a dreamy midsummer night that must be experienced with awareness, regardless of one’s first encounter with it. The destination’s new brand system aims at travelers from around the world and includes a new brand strategy and comprehensive for New York city visual identity system
Despite modern ideologies that define who is accepted in other parts of the world, New York remains a true melting pot of cultures. It absorbs and blends various facets of each culture while maintaining American values at the forefront.
The city’s alleys reflect this unique blend of cultures, with each street reflecting a built-up little world of a particular country that is continually evolving and adapting to the city.
The love for New York is universal, with people from all corners of the globe coming back with souvenirs marked “I Love NY.” This love is captured by the iconic logo designed by graphic designer Milton Glaser in 1976, which has since become the identity of New York City.
The logo has been embraced by tourists and New Yorkers alike, standing the test of time.
However, while the logo has remained the same, the brand identity of New York City’s tourism has undergone changes over the years.
Comprehensive visual identity system
In March of 2023, NYC & Company, the Official Destination Marketing Organization and Convention and Visitors Bureau of New York City, announced a rebranding. The new name, New York City Tourism + Conventions, comes with a fresh brand system that includes a revamped brand strategy and a comprehensive visual identity system.
This new system incorporates a new logo, color standards, typography, art direction, and graphic elements. To develop this new brand system, NYC-based global design consultancy 2×4 served as the creative partner. They played a vital role in the process of determining the new name and brand strategy.
The new brand’s visual identity system takes inspiration from the rich graphic heritage of New York City. It also references works by various artists and designers that capture the essence of the city’s five boroughs: Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx, and Staten Island.
The brand sought to translate the city’s energy into its visuals by using irregular shapes and intersections traced from the horizontal streets and vertical buildings of NYC.
Embody the spirit of NYC in new identity
While the primary color palette of black and white follows the graphic design of the 2006 NYC brand identity by Wolffolins, the secondary color palette explores New York City icons and associations.
These secondary colors include Liberty Green, Taxi Yellow, Ferry Orange, Lox Pink, Brownstone, and Rockaway Sand. By incorporating these colors, the brand evokes a sense of place and captures the unique character of each borough.
Elan Cole, Executive Vice President and Co-Lead for Creative/Content at New York City Tourism + Conventions, shared that when developing the visual identity system, the goal was to capture the essence of New York City.
They wanted to reflect the city’s fabric, rhythm, and energy that both locals and tourists love most about it. Working closely with their creative partners at 2×4, they created a system that embodies the spirit of New York City as a place of unmatched diversity and culture that attracts and welcomes people from all over the world.
Accompanied New York city identity by a social media campaign
According to Cole, the new visual identity system represents the vibrancy and abundance of experiences found in neighborhoods throughout the five boroughs. By capturing the essence of the city and its neighborhoods, the brand hopes to convey a sense of excitement and possibility to anyone who encounters it.
The launch of the new name and brand system was accompanied by a social media campaign called #WHATSGOODNYC. This campaign aims to leverage the opinions of New York City’s 8.5 million residents and allow them to share their perspectives on what’s great and worth experiencing in each of the city’s five boroughs.
City’s tourism economy
New York City Mayor Eric Adams expressed his enthusiasm for the new branding and its potential to showcase the city’s energy and spirit to the world. With over 56 million visitors to the city last year, generating billions of dollars in local spending, the mayor believes that New York City is not just making a comeback but is already back.
As a five-borough mayor, he is excited to welcome visitors from all over the world to experience the best that the “Big Apple” has to offer.
Fred Dixon, the president and CEO of New York City Tourism + Conventions, expressed his thoughts on the new brand system, saying that it marks a significant moment for the organization. He believes that the new brand captures the essence of New York City as a destination that offers diverse and authentic experiences that benefit both tourists and locals.
He also emphasized the strategic shift that positions them to continue leading the city’s tourism economy, which is almost $65 billion. Dixon reiterated the organization’s commitment to New York City, stating that it has never been greater.