There was news yesterday that the Empire State Development Corporation, the state's economic-development agency, wants to freshen up the famous "I ♥ New York" ad campaign. "We are looking to actively reenergize and reinvigorate the brand," they said in an ad. The iconic logo was designed in 1977 by Milton Glaser, who also designed New York magazine, which he helped found. We called him yesterday to see how he feels about his baby's impending face-lift.
Have you heard from the tourism people about this new campaign?
Not a word, no.
If they do ask you, will you tell them to leave the thing alone?
What I'd do is think about it and design something that was appropriate for this moment in time — whether it was a variation of this old logo, or whether it was a new initiative. You'd have to think it through in terms of what the city needs at this time.
There is such a thing as change for change sake. You've got to change things to sustain interest. People get bored and indifferent. So first you'd have to ascertain if the change would be beneficial, which is hard to do. Then, I think, the way to go about it is from the point of view of ascertaining, What do you want to say that that logo is no longer saying? I think you'd have to start from scratch in thinking in terms of what is it the city needs right now.
So what does the city need right now?
Oh, I don't give that information away for free, for God's sakes. That's worth $100,000.
I hope they bring back the jingle. I miss the jingle.
The jingle was nice. You know, quite aside from what I did, that whole campaign was quite brilliant. The music and the integrity of the commercials and the visualization and everything else was really one piece. It was very, very effective. It really boosted the city at a point where the city needed to be boosted.
It makes you wonder, do we even need more visitors now? Where would you put them?
That's another question. We should do something to discourage tourism.