Photo Credit: New York State Department of Economic Development

Locals and tourists alike have heard the phrase “I Love New York” and are familiar with the iconic logo. However, there’s a new logo in town, unveiled by officials earlier this week. It reads: “We Love NYC.”

The new design celebrates the city’s triumph over the pandemic and other challenges of recent years. However, New Yorkers are rolling their eyes and venting displeasure on social media.

Milton Glaser’s “I Love New York” won’t be completely replaced, but it’ll exist along with the new logo, designed by Graham Clifford. Both designs have a heart where love would traditionally be spelled out.

At a press conference in Times Square, Mayor Eric Adams and Governor Kathy Hochul tried to drum up enthusiasm.

Here’s all you need to know about the new logo, the history of the original, and the response of New Yorkers.

New York’s Leaders Support “We Love NYC”

The mayor and the governor seem to be at odds with New Yorkers. Mayor Adams told reporters that the new slogan acknowledges the resilience of New York as a metropolis and its people.

“We took the ‘I’ out of ‘I Love New York,’ and we brought the ‘we,’” Adams explained. “We’re in this together.”

Governor Hochul echoed the sentiments. “‘We Love New York City’ is a message to all of you,” she said.

The artist, Graham Clifford, ran in his own direction with Glaser’s design in mind. While both feature black and bold lettering, the font and the placement of the heart in Clifford’s work are different. New Yorkers set social media ablaze with criticism for the new ‘We Love NYC’ concept. From criticizing the current living conditions of some in the city to overall displeasure with crime and other issues, many find it to be an ill-timed campaign.

What’s Wrong With Glaser’s Original?

According to New Yorkers, absolutely nothing. They are as sensitive about it as they are their beloved pizza and bagels, and question why perfection needs to be changed. One Twitter user said that if Glaser wasn’t already deceased, the lack of creativity and ingenuity of the new design would have put him in his grave. One woman, Karen K. Ho, jokingly suggested that the slogan be changed altogether.

On The Daily Show, Al Franken took aim at the mayor and the new slogan. “That’s right,” he said. “It’s not ‘I’ anymore, it’s ‘we.’ As in ‘we can’t afford rent.'”

The all-too-true bit earned cheers from the audience.

On the more extreme end, some called for the removal of Mayor Adams from office. Opposers claim he is out of touch with New Yorkers on just about every issue, including the new logo.

The Story Behind The Original Logo

Photo by Chris Scott

The idea for the I love New York design came to Milton Glaser in the back of a taxi. Glaser sketched the logo with a crayon on an envelope he was carrying with him. Conceiving the work free of charge, Glaser had no idea how iconic it would later become. He would eventually learn how integral it would be in New York’s advertising efforts from the 1970s and beyond.

Following the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, Glaser modified his slogan to, “I Love New York More Than Ever.”

After a long, successful career, Glaser died in June 2020 at age 91. However, his logo remains instantly recognizable to many. Tourist shops across New York sell t-shirts, hoodies and coffee mugs with I love New York blasted across them.

Whether you’re a New Yorker or not, the “We Love NYC” logo will certainly take some time to get used to.