A look at refreshing brand identities and why they work in liminal realms
by Jincy IypeMay 30, 2023
•make your fridays matter with a well-read weekend
by Sunena V MajuPublished on : Apr 06, 2023
Regardless of one's introduction to New York, the city and its charm have been a part of most people's American dream. Be it the gravity-defying skyscrapers, Central Park, the Statue of Liberty or the simple fact that the city never seems to sleep, New York presents the feeling of a midsummer night’s dream, one that must be experienced with consciousness. While around the world modern ideologies mark who is 'accepted' in the city, New York has stayed true to its reputation of being a 'melting pot of cultures,' absorbing facets of each culture while keeping American values at its front facade. The city's alleys reflect this, with built-up little worlds of most countries in the streets, that are constantly evolving and adapting to the city. The love for New York, the world over, seems to run deep, with anyone who visits coming back with a souvenir marked 'I love NY.' The logo designed by graphic designer Milton Glaser in 1976, has since been the identity of New York, both for tourists and New Yorkers, alike. But as the years have passed, while the logo stayed the same, New York City tourism's brand identity kept changing.
In March 2023, New York City’s Official Destination Marketing Organisation and Convention and Visitors Bureau introduced a new name for NYC & Company. The new name, New York City Tourism + Conventions also comes with a new brand system, including a new brand strategy and comprehensive visual identity system comprising a new logo, colour standards, typography, art direction, and graphic elements. NYC-based global design consultancy 2x4 acted as the creative partner through the process of determining the new name and brand strategy.
The brand's visual identity system draws inspiration from the graphic heritage of the city and also references works by different artists and designers, that hold the essence of the five boroughs—Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx, and Staten Island. While trying to translate the city’s energy into the visuals, the brand used irregular shapes and intersections traced from the horizontal streets and vertical buildings of NYC. While the primary colour palette of black and white follows the graphic design of the 2006 NYC brand identity by Wolffolins, the secondary colour palette surveys New York City icons and associations, from Liberty Green, Taxi Yellow, and Ferry Orange to Lox Pink, Brownstone, and Rockaway Sand.
"When creating the visual identity system, we wanted to reflect the fabric of New York City, and the rhythm and energy that locals and tourists alike love most about it. In collaboration with our creative partners at 2x4, we created a system that reflects New York City itself, a place of unmatched diversity and culture that draws in and welcomes people from all over the world. Our new system represents this vibrancy and the abundance of experiences in neighbourhoods throughout the five boroughs," shared Elan Cole, executive vice president, co-lead, creative/content for New York City Tourism + Conventions.
The debut of the new name and brand system was launched in conjunction with a social campaign, #WHATSGOODNYC, harnessing the 'opinion power' of the city’s 8.5 million population, offering them a chance to share viewpoints on 'what’s good' and what to experience across the city’s five boroughs.
"With over 56 million visitors to the five boroughs last year, fuelling tens of billions of dollars in spending for our local economy, New York City is not coming back, it is back. New York City Tourism + Conventions' new branding reflects our city’s energy and spirit and will make sure everyone knows that there’s never been a better time to visit the greatest city in the world. I am a five-borough mayor, and I look forward to seeing visitors all over the 'Big Apple' this year," said Eric Adams, the New York City mayor.
Adding to Adams' remarks on the city’s enthusiasm for welcoming tourists, Fred Dixon, president and CEO of New York City Tourism + Conventions shared, “The introduction of our new name and brand system marks a significant moment for our organisation. Our new brand captures the essence of New York City in its entirety: an ever-expansive destination that offers diverse and authentic experiences that enrich the traveller and benefit all New Yorkers. This shift strategically positions us to continue leading the City's nearly $65 billion tourism economy. It makes clear our purpose and mission as the official tourism organisation for one of the world’s greatest destinations—our commitment to New York City has never been greater.”
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