Logo Design Love

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WTC Logo Preservation Project

World Trade Center logo

The World Trade Center Logo Preservation Project was created by Korean designer, Ji Lee, currently working as creative director at Google Creative Lab, NYC.

“World Trade Center buildings are present in thousands of classic New York skyline logos owned by local businesses in the city. They tend to belong to small businesses that are likely to disappear over the years to come. So are their logos and the Twin Towers.

After 9/11, I started to photograph and archive these logos in order to preserve the many different graphic expressions of these important historical buildings.” Ji Lee

World Trade Center motif

Manhattan fruit truck

World Trade Center logo

Manhattan beer distributors logo

Downtown Little League logo

Brings back a lot of memories from a visit to Manhattan in 2001. I arrived in New York in June, after winning a student travel bursary and arranging an internship. I spent a few days in Manhattan before catching a Greyhound bus to Pittsburgh, where I spent three fine months with the Graphic Arts Technical Foundation (and working part-time in the Sewickley Country Inn).

My return flight to the UK was via New York, where I spent a few more days between September 13th and 17th, 2001. In a way, the people on the street seemed closer together, but witnessing the hundreds of thousands of ‘missing person’ flyers pinned throughout Manhattan was heart-wrenching.

The WTC Logo Preservation Project. Worth building upon.

Via swissmiss.

Logo Design Love: A Guide to Creating Iconic Brand Identities, second edition

11 appreciated comments

  1. the towers falling hugely impacted a large section of graphic design. one small example is how it became an ordeal to find a photo without the towers in it for after 9/11 ads. changing logos would be another ordeal to overcome. I’m glad someone is archiving them.

  2. Flor

    There is certainly a need for preservation now that these logos are tied to history, but I’m curious to find out how the future skyline will impact NY logos once the new World Trade Center is built.

  3. Do you know if the plans for Freedom Tower are going ahead?

    Here’s quite a detailed artists rendering.

  4. I’ve been to the WTC back at Uni, and also visited ground zero a couple of years ago, which was a sad sight. I watched the National Geographic channel program about the design of the proposed new WTC designs, but have no idea when/if its going ahead.

  5. It is interesting to see how many stores / businesses still keep the logo… I suppose for a variety of different reasons ranging from money to laziness to respect to memories – each would have their own reason for keeping their logo.

  6. Flor

    As far as I know, plans for the new tower are progressing. Projected completion is 2013. Although, the name “Freedom Tower” has dropped for One World Trade Center from what I’ve read. Apparently the former was a little too inflammatory.

  7. Andrew,

    It was a bit foggy when I was on the roof of a tower, but even then, the view was absolutely spectacular.

    Jacob,

    From a cost standpoint, it makes sense to keep the twin tower logos in place until any new construction is complete. I wonder if any will be kept on afterwards (I reckon sentiment will answer yes).

    Flor,

    Thanks for the info. After you commented, I read how it was just last month when The Port Authority came under fire for trying to remove the ‘Freedom Tower’ name.

    According to a recent report on WTC.com, the new project won’t be finished until 36 years after 9/11!

  8. I believe pictures like these should be archived so we can talk to our children about 9/11 and the problems with religion and the violence it brings.

  9. Jess

    Jessica Sideways,

    No doubt religion causes many problems, but to suggest it was a purely religions attack is just naive.

  10. I’m wondering how much of this project is for aesthetic reasons. I only like the “Downtown” one of the provided examples, and then I’m not even sure on the usage of type.

  11. Tjeerd,

    I’m certain the logos aren’t being collected due to their design quality, but because of what they signify — a piece of history.


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