I Love NY logo makeover

“New York Governor Andrew Cuomo launched the campaign inviting both locals and visitors to replace the heart in the logo with another item which represents New York for them.”

Quoted from The Telegraph.

I Love NY logo makeover

David Lubar of ad agency BBDO (the company behind the new campaign) said the old logo had been “co-opted by literally the rest of the world. If you go to Russia, if you go to Spain, you see ‘I heart something’ and it’s lost its New York cachet. My team’s assignment was to bring new cachet back to that logo and make it mean something important.”

Milton Glaser (who designed the original in 1975) rightly said, “I saw one that said ‘I Pizza NY’. I don’t get it.”

The campaign features these two TV ads that’ll air for seven weeks.

See more submissions at http://followyourheart.iloveny.com/.

Reported elsewhere:
“I Love NY” Logo Getting New Look, on Channel 6 News
‘I Love NY’ campaign gets a makeover, on pressconnects.com
The logo’s heart symbol makes way for other New York sketches, on Adweek
“I Love NY” — The Doodle That Became an Icon, on NBC New York


To say that it’s lost its cachet is just bizarre. Even though it’s been bastardised, twisted, appropriated and re-appropriated it still retains its NY resonance, that’s cache in my book and really doesn’t need to be expanded on.

Perhaps a new campaign or complementary set of assets may have been more appropriate.

“Lost it’s New York cachet” is total theory. Seeing it adopted for other world cities does not inherently muddy the original or diminish its impact when used in NYC.

And it’s not a stretch to suggest that what they’re doing with it now does in-fact diminish the impact of the original. I don’t get it either Milton.

This is an ad campaign, not a new logo. The logo is the same on the http://www.iloveny.com/ site and the ads.

They are asking ‘What do you love about New York State’ and adapting the logo to tell the story. It may even help them claim the original logo as their own now that it’s been stolen by everyone else (and made a little bit naff along the way) by linking it what people actually love about the place.

This is a really good example of how the media really doesn’t understand advertising or design and then there is a massive knee jerk reaction.

There is no real story here. The story is ‘new ad campaign for New York uses classic IHEARTNY logo for ad campaign after a hiatus of 3 years and uses it to show what new yorkers love about where they live’.

So if that’s the case Lee why is David Lubar describing it as the ‘old logo’, surely it implies these are the new versions? Indeed the city may well keep the classic but it appears that BBDO are going to push these new iterations hard rather than building something around the equity left in the Milton Glasers work.

Its true that the logo is used everywhere, however, is that not something to be proud of? New York used to be known as the center of the world, the ultimate mashup of world wide culture, with the most spoken languages, ethnic food, and great people; it almost fits that the rest of the world should use it.

Seeing the I love Ny or I love Paris, Bucharest, Frankfurt, Beijing, Sydney, Tokyo, etc, sparks a constant thought that no matter where in the world we are, we are together bonded by humanity.

The new logos are horrendous drawings, some look to be done by children. I would have rather seen I love myself with an image of a thumbprint, the prospected drawings are not symbolic to Ny. The ballet shoes can said for Chicago, Seattle, Paris. Pictures of fashion speak more for Paris than NY.

This reminds me of the Gap logo incident in 2010.

Well see how long it lasts.

Hopefully my fellow New Yorkers would be up in arms if BBDO decides to replace ‘our’ logo. Everytime the I Love NY logo has been co-opted by another country, state, city, town or whatever, it only reinforces it’s origin and actually makes the original more valuable.

Because they use the original IHEARTNY logo on the ads and the website and because the articles about the logo say stuff like this (from the original press release):

“The New York State Division of Marketing, Advertising and Tourism…together with BBDO Advertising, developed the summer advertising campaign asking New Yorkers as well as out-of-state visitors to share their most meaningful travel experiences in the state by sketching what they love about the state’s vacation destinations.”

The key statement is: “summer advertising campaign”.

Thanks for that, Lee N. I updated the post by embedding the two TV ads. I get the idea, at its strongest where the sketches morph into a video clip on location (horse racing, hiking, etc.), but I’m not sure how effective it’ll be collecting public submissions. I saw a carrot, a smiley face, lips, earth, a chicken drumstick. Milton has a point.

Thanks for commenting, folks.

The Niagara Falls shown in the first commercial is the Canadian side, isn’t it?

If anything, this dilutes the iconic look of the original.

The new AD campaign is not bad but then again not exciting either. Replacing the IHheartNY and scenery, you can pretty much apply the concept to any other states.

I think Jay-Z and Alicia Keys “Empire State of Mind” will do a much better job, although it is more nyc focused. It captures the essence of the Big Apple and connects with people on many levels. What make local proud will attract people from other states. That money can be better spent for sure.

I will probably get clobbered for this comment…but

I have never liked the I heart NY logo. I am so glad it is on its way out! I never understood why Glaser was sainted for it. I have always thought Lindon Leader should have got that for the Fed Ex logo.

Please throw no tomatoes…

Am I mistaken … or didn’t the original logo represent NY City and not NY State? This clearly broadens it to the entire state. I recall Glaser’s design was to evoke a love for the city … which at the time was a mess in a lot of ways.

I think it’s good to remember that this isn’t a logo, and isn’t supposed to function at all like one. I know the drawings aren’t superb, and maybe they could have filtered some of the submissions, but I think the campaign concept itself is decent. Asking NYCers what they love about their city is a good way to get some pride flowing and to advertise for the city at the same time (and yeah.. they probably should have left it to the city). And since the things people love about NYC might not be the same things people love about the other cities that are using the logo, it would make them stand apart even if the other cities donned the same campaign.

I also think that since the logo is so well-known, people won’t have any problem associating whatever takes place of the heart with the heart (or love) itself… I kind of doubt anyone will literally think, “I Pizza NYC”. Dare I say that Glaser may have been a bit miffed that they messed with his logo for a campaign?

I blogged about this myself only the day before (http://villainschorus.posterous.com/on-messing-with-the-classics). I think it’s a good refreshing way to use the existing logo in a short burst campaign. It’s obviously not going to stand the test of time, or 35 years like the original. But it’s not meant to, it’s just meant to inspire public interest and creativity similar to the way the original one did at a time when New York was on a downer. I understand Milton Glaser’s comment, but though its ambiguous I think the message in the new logo/campaign is easy to understand and he’s being purposefully condescending. If anything this will just reinvigorate his original logo, which as referred to in one of your older blogs, he himself never expected to last more than a couple of months.

I think Glaser is being disingenuous. He knows this is a long term campaign, not a single impression. It will build (quickly) over time, and people will understand it, and look forward to more variations. But they should toss the occasional I ♥NY into the mix, just as a familiar reinforcement.

This is a classic example of trying to fix something that is unbroken, not to mention misunderstanding the original. I’m not saying it’s not an interesting, inclusive, fun idea to play around with, which only works because it is such an iconic image. However, to explicate the symbol: what makes the original so strong is that it incorporates a symbol for the concept of liking or loving, which is perhaps one of the strongest persuasive elements of influence. Another example is the ‘like’ button on Facebook. I don’t think anybody is going to be changing that on FB any time soon! The fact that the original has ‘gone viral’ might be a reason to reflect on exactly Why that happened, and be grateful to Mr. Glaser for delivering a huge amount of like-ability not to say love to New York for the rock-bottom price he was paid.

I just got your web page from my friend.

My name is ken-tsai lee, a Taiwanese designer who came to New York in 2002 at age 34. The first project I made was called – My name is ken-tsai lee. I used different languages to write my name, as Andy Warhol said everyone will be famous for fifteen minutes.

The second project I made was called – I and NY. As a foreigner in NY I felt that people have different feelings about NYC, why does everybady love NY?

So I asked people to write how they feel about NY instead of the heart. I spent almost year on the project, got over 500 pieces and held my solo exhibition in Soho, 456 Gallery, Broadway.


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