In New York, the city's new slogan sows discord

<h2>A heart of gold</h2>In 1977, New York City is in a chaotic state

In New York, the city's new slogan sows discord

A heart of gold

In 1977, New York City is in a chaotic state. The municipality is close to bankruptcy, violence is eating away at all the neighborhoods, rich and poor alike, dirt is everywhere in the streets. An advertising agency, Wells Rich Greene, is commissioned by the State of New York to imagine a campaign promoting tourism to the "Big Apple" ("Big Apple"). A logo is retained: "I Love New York", scribbled by American graphic designer Milton Glaser (1929-2020), according to legend, during a taxi ride. Having become one of the most famous slogans in the world, reproduced (and hijacked) on all sorts of objects, his original drawing is now in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art.

Collective efforts

More than forty years later, with more than 45,000 dead, numerous restaurant and store closures, and mass exile to the suburbs, the Covid-19 pandemic has upended the city. So much so that the authorities, hand in hand with Partnership for New York City, a consortium of companies, decided to reinvent the slogan, as part of a campaign costing 20 million dollars (18.5 million euros ). Thus was born "We Love NYC". The focus is on the city, hence the "C" in City - New York City being the official name of the metropolis. And the personal pronoun became collective, to, according to Mayor Eric Adams, invite "everyone who loves the greatest city in the world to show it by lending a helping hand and spreading that love to every neighborhood in the five boroughs." .

A character of closeness

Milton Glaser's successor is graphic designer Graham Clifford. Designer of logos for various companies, including alcohol brands, he told the New York Times that he wanted to give "a more modern twist" to the original design. From the same to the same between 1977 and 2023? At first glance, the difference is not striking. But the design uses a typeface inspired by that of the New York subway signs, which is, according to Graham Clifford, “the beating heart of the city (…). Wall Street types can be seated next to construction workers. It's a place where you can gather everyone."

An unhappy union

No sooner had the "We love NYC" been unveiled than Internet users had a blast. The logo has been compared to an emoji or the presentation of a 9-year-old schoolboy. It was written on Twitter that he "feared on every level imaginable and also on some levels that exist beyond human perception." Writer Adam Gopnik, a figure of North American letters, split a vitriolic article on the logo in The New Yorker magazine. Parodies circulated, including "Rats love NYC", a reference to the more than 2 million Norway rats estimated to live in the city. The bet of the campaign is successful: the inhabitants of this city like no other are united... but against it.