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We ♥ NYC: Milton Glaser’s iconic logo gets a modern makeover

We ♥ NYC: Milton Glaser’s iconic logo gets a modern makeover. New York City has decided to introduce a new branding campaign with a logo that pays homage to Milton Glaser’s legendary ‘I ♥ NY’ logo.

Graham Clifford is the new logo “We ♥ NYC” designer.

The new logo features an adapted version of Helvetica, the font found on NYC’s subway signs, and a rounded heart emoji intended to express “all the vitality and variety of the five boros.”

According to Clifford, the new logo is a supplemental option meant to represent a new era of New York and will live alongside the original ‘I ♥ NY.’

The use of emoji suggests a willingness to be more aligned with the times, while the font reflects a desire to appeal to everyone who may come across the logo.

The switch from “I” to “We” speaks to the city’s desire to unify people and cut through divisiveness and negativity. However, the city’s decision to change Glaser’s logo has inevitably sent shockwaves of frustration and confusion across the Internet.

Compared to Glaser’s original design, ‘We ♥ NYC’ is unmistakably contrived, and replacing Glaser’s logo with a beating-heart emoji seems more heartless than helpful.

The real test of the new branding will be if it ever finds its way on a G-string, much like the original logo. Only time will tell if the new branding will be successful, or if it will be swallowed whole by an angry Twitter-mob.

Overall, the new branding campaign attempts to capture the soul of Glaser’s famed logo while modernizing it for a new era.

However, the response to the new logo has been mixed, with some criticizing the city’s decision to change the original logo and others applauding the effort to unify people through the use of “We” instead of “I.”

One thing is for certain, Glaser’s original logo has become an iconic symbol of New York City, and it will be challenging to replace it with anything as recognizable and timeless.

The city’s decision to use a heart emoji in place of the flat, 2D heart in the original logo has been particularly divisive, with some seeing it as a cheapening of the sentiment and others seeing it as a more modern and inclusive interpretation of the logo.

Only time will tell if the new branding campaign is successful and if the ‘We ♥ NYC’ logo becomes as ubiquitous as the original ‘I ♥ NY.’

Regardless of the outcome, the city’s attempt to refresh and modernize the logo is a reminder of the enduring power of Milton Glaser’s original design and the love and pride that New Yorkers have for their city.

Milton Glaser

Milton Glaser was an American graphic designer, illustrator, typographer, and teacher, born on June 26, 1929 in New York City, and died there on June 26, 2020.

He was the son of Hungarian-Jewish parents and studied at the Cooper Union in New York from 1948 to 1951, as well as at the Accademia delle Belle Arti in Bologna, Italy from 1952 to 1953, under Giorgio Morandi.

Together with Seymour Chwast, Reynold Ruffins, and Edward Sorel, Glaser was a founding member of the Push Pin Studios, a design agency in New York (1954-1974).

The so-called “Push-Pin style,” with its playful handwriting, broke with the dominant design in the United States at that time, which was heavily influenced by European and relatively strict and sober Swiss graphic design of the 1950s and 1960s.

From 1955 to 1974, he was the editor and art director of Push Pin Graphic (along with Chwast and Ruffins). However, Glaser left Push Pin in 1970 and founded his own studio, Milton Glaser Inc., in 1974.

Throughout his career, Glaser designed a wide range of work, including logos, posters, advertisements, and book covers. One of his most famous works is the “I ❤ NY” logo, which he created in 1977 to promote tourism in New York City.

The logo, with its simple and bold design, has become an iconic symbol of the city and has been widely imitated and parodied.

Glaser’s design philosophy was characterized by a playful and imaginative approach, as well as a belief in the power of design to communicate ideas and emotions.

He once said, “Design is the process of going from an existing condition to a preferred one. Observe that there’s no mention of art in that definition. Design is not art. Design is utilitarian, art is not.”

In addition to his work as a designer, Glaser was also a passionate educator. He taught at the School of Visual Arts in New York for many years and was a visiting lecturer at various institutions around the world. He also wrote several books on design, including “Art Is Work” and “Drawing Is Thinking.”

Glaser’s contributions to the field of graphic design were widely recognized throughout his career. He received numerous awards and honors, including the National Medal of Arts from President Barack Obama in 2009. His work continues to be influential and inspiring to designers around the world.

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