For the first 10 years after Milton Glaser created the now-iconic “I [heart] NY” logo, his design was not copyrighted so as to encourage use and acceptance by the public. This move worked better than anyone could have ever dreamed.
So when Empire State Development (previously the New York State Department for Economic Development) decided to alter the design in order to woo Amazon to headquarter in New York City, it was a cringe-worthy moment for many. Inserting Turner Duckworth’s Amazon smile mark into Glaser’s logo created a less-than-pleasing design, but it also smelled of a sell-out. Yes, over the years the original design has been the victim of various careless abductions by other organizations that simply insert their cause in place of “NY.” But when the brand keeper and guardian permits equity erosion, it feels very different.
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