An independent archive of typography.

We ❤️ NYC

Contributed by Raven Mo on Mar 25th, 2023. Artwork published in
March 2023
We ❤️ NYC 1
We Love NYC. License: All Rights Reserved.

Graham Clifford Design, the team behind the recently launched We Love NYC campaign, writes about the project:

How does one expand on a pure original and stay true to its spirit? We were asked to design the system around the sequel to the original Milton Glaser mark as part of a campaign to celebrate our extraordinary city. Since the phrase now involved “we” and the famous acronym, we needed to make it as versatile as possible: not just boldly expressive in all media and environments, but also making the phrase modular, with emojis replacing the heart to express all the vitality and variety of the five boros. Proud to be a part of it.

On March 20th, 2023, New York City Mayor Eric Adams, New York Governor Kathy Hochul, and the Partnership for New York City launched “We ❤ NYC” — “a civic campaign to showcase the city’s strengths and mobilize New Yorkers in every community.”

According to the official website of the City of New York:

The citywide campaign will kick-off with a celebration of New Yorkers who are making a difference through community service and will identify volunteer opportunities where everyone will have the opportunity to contribute.

There are three typefaces used in the system thus far:

The logo uses caps from the Black weight of a Helvetica – possibly Neue Haas Grotesk, which is distinguished from Neue Helvetica by a shorter middle bar in E. It might also be another version, with customizations. According to Graham Clifford, the logo is meant to invoke the subway system’s use of Helvetica: “The subway system is the veins or the beating heart of the city,” he told the New York Times.

The secondary display type is New York Line, designed by Coert De Decker and published by Kustomtype.

The typeface used on the website and for text is Proxima Nova, designed by Mark Simonson, published by Mark Simonson Studio.

Graham Clifford Design worked together with agencies MaryamB and Founders and illustrator Rox Cristaldo.

We ❤️ NYC 2
Source: Graham Clifford Design. License: All Rights Reserved.
We ❤️ NYC 3
Source: License: All Rights Reserved.
We ❤️ NYC 4
Source: We Love NYC. License: All Rights Reserved.
We ❤️ NYC 5
Source: We Love NYC. License: All Rights Reserved.
We ❤️ NYC 6
Source: Photo: Raven Mo. License: All Rights Reserved.
We ❤️ NYC 7
Source: Graham Clifford Design. License: All Rights Reserved.
We ❤️ NYC 8
Source: License: All Rights Reserved.
We ❤️ NYC 9
Source: License: All Rights Reserved.
From a tweet by the campaign, with replies tellingly disabled.
Source: License: All Rights Reserved.

From a tweet by the campaign, with replies tellingly disabled.


  • Neue Haas Grotesk
  • New York Line
  • Proxima Nova




Artwork location

3 Comments on “We ❤️ NYC”

  1. Thank you, Raven!

    Various commentators have pointed out that the I ❤️ NY campaign from 1977 was commissioned by the State of New York, while this one focuses on the city – hence the added C.

    The design obviously leans heavily on Milton Glaser’s iconic mark. And while it is described by the initiators as “a 21st century version of the ’70s campaign”, We ❤️ NYC is not intended to replace it. The established brand is continued by the New York State Department of Economic Development, see

    According to, the new campaign is “a public-private endeavor that intends to continue through 2024, which marks 400 years since the Dutch colonial settlement on Manhattan Island.” Initial funding is provided by the Partnership for New York City, “a nonprofit organization of business leaders.”

    But on Hyperallergic, Dan Cassaro of Brooklyn-based design studio Young Jerks rightly comments:

    It doesn’t even matter if it’s not meant to replace Milton’s piece, those are the optics, man! You’re in politics, you should think about this stuff!

  2. The campaign has met with a lot of criticism, ranging from anger and disbelief to ridicule.

    Many have pointed out that the arrangement suggests a nonsensical reading as “WE NYC ❤️”, and that the emoji-style heart looks cheesy.

    To Scott Kellum of Typetura, it’s “an identity for the corporate interests who are developing NYC into a capitalist hellscape.”

    In a piece for Curbed, Steve Heller, design critic from New York, writes:

    The typeface Glaser used, a serif typewriter typeface, seems effortless and friendly. The bold gothic type […] of the new logo is a workhorse face. When stacked, its horizontals and verticals fit nicely together. But in this context, staggered or lined up, it is too bold and too mechanical. Inviting? No! It doesn’t say “welcome,” but rather, “STOP.” This text is then inharmoniously stuck to the logo’s second element, its bulbous emoji heart, which clearly references the more delicate symbol of Glaser’s original, which uses the heart as a shorthand for love. The new version is a heavy-handed, sensationalized variation that cartoonishly beats like the actual organ on digital ads as you wait for the bus. Granted, people are accustomed to encountering emoji even in their dreams, but in this instance, I see the heart as blowing a valve. Is that any way to represent New York?

    Connor Davenport, type designer in New York, comments:

    I honestly think the worst part about this is the supplementary typeface, it makes me feel uneasy.

    Raven Mo, a New York-based designer and AIGA NY board member (who contributed this post), finds this font choice problematic, too:

    The We ❤️ NYC campaign claims to use design elements that pay tribute to NYC grassroots, yet picked the worst thing possible for its secondary display font: New York Line, a font that encapsulates nothing but tourist gaze.

    Designed in 2018, Court De Decker based his nostalgic New York Line typeface on the lettering of what today is known as Hotel New York. Around 1900, this building on Wilhelminapier in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, served as the headquarter of the transatlantic Holland America Line, and was the departure point for Dutch emigrants leaving to New York.

    The “Holland Amerika Lijn” lettering at Wilhelminapier, Rotterdam. Photo: Florian Hardwig, 2012, CC BY-NC-SA

    Mo continues:

    Nothing modern, nothing grassroots, not even designed for English in the first place. I simply wouldn’t associate New York Line with anything authentically New York because it has the city in its name. If that’s the case, they should’ve picked Comic Sans because this whole campaign is a joke.

  3. Possibly Inter as the logo font with a modified middle E bar.

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