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We ❤️ NYC: 💩

Although the campaign is striving to win hearts and minds of New Yorkers, it hasn’t even won control of the @weheartnyc handle on Twitter.

1:23 PM EDT on March 20, 2023

The new logo for Partnership for New York City's We Heart NYC campaign.
(Partnership for New York City)

There are a lot of things in New York City that could use a facelift right now—our tenant protections, our public transit systems, our police accountability mechanisms. The list, frankly, goes on and on. But forget about all that petty stuff, because our city's business leaders, the mayor, the governor, and a team of powerful marketing minds agree that what the city really needs right now is a rebrand. An unappealing, celebrities singing "Imagine" in March 2020-esque rebrand that nobody asked for: an official update of the I ♥ NY logo to now read, instead, WE ♥ NYC. 

Feast your eyes on this:

If you also looked at this thing and read it as WE NYC ♥, you are not alone. And if you just plain think it looks like shit, you're not alone, either. 

Like a Pizza Hut that's been gutted and turned into an electronics store or that failed Jesus fresco restoration, the visible bones of something cooler and better—Milton Glaser's original design, dashed off on a napkin in the back of a taxi in 1977—make the new logo even uglier. "We wanted to reference the original mark but push it in a different direction," Graham Clifford, the designer behind the update, told the New York Times. Apparently, the font is supposed to look like the lettering on subway signs, something I was distracted from by the M&M-looking heart and weird, disturbing spacing. 

By the sound of things, the intended message from the Partnership for New York City, the influential business advocacy group that's behind the We ♥ NYC campaign, is just as clunky as its logo. “We want to remind [people] they can make a difference, whether it’s on the block or in the city as a whole," Kathryn Wylde, the group's president and chief executive—who once described herself as "the lone defender of the billionaires"—told the Times.

Now, in the same spirit of fairness and positivity, Wylde and the Partnership for New York City's consortium of corporations and business executives, including Amazon, Goldman Sachs, Con Edison, National Grid, Vornado Realty Trust, BlackRock, Meta, and the New York Times Company want to remind us that "we don’t have to maintain these divisions that have grown up between business and labor and rich and poor." 

Although the campaign is striving to win hearts and minds of New Yorkers, it is striking that it hasn't even won control of the @weheartnyc handle on Twitter. Instead, that distinction appears to belong to someone named "Mark Scally" who joined the social media platform in 2009 and never posted. (The campaign hastily set up shop at @welovenyc_ instead.)

At least it appears the billboard at the campaign's Times Square launch event matches the new logo—because it also looks like cheap shit produced on a shoestring budget.

Ah well. This nice band got paid? Good.

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