I am heartbroken over the new NYC logo designed by Wolff Olins. I gave it a few days. Thought it might grow on me. But, I have to say, it pains me. Sigh.

21 Comments leave a comment below

  1. OMG! I felt the same. Mike & I debated over it in some length last weekend. I thought perhaps the bulky logo was a weird printing-on-cab malfunction!

  2. It looks like a stencil job gone wrong!

  3. You’re so right. It looks oversized and ‘yuckie’! What were they thinking :|

  4. If they were thinking this new logo would make me want to visit NYC they were very wrong. So cold and uninviting. And the website design is horrid too. Bad bad bad.

  5. I agree, the first time I saw it I thought “that looks like crap, who would do such a thing?”, not realizing that it was an actual rebranding campaign. Who let the interns work on this job? I can’t remember the last time I saw such bad typography.

  6. Yeah, so sad. Such a missed opportunity. How often does anyone get to rebrand something so ubiquitous… so New York? What a waste.

    As TimeOut NewYork said: “Amateur stencil job, much?”

  7. I though the work done for the London 2012 Olympics by Wolff Olins was awful, but this may be even worse.

  8. Easy for people to comment on the final outcome, without reading any of the background information, client brief etc. It probably answered every question the client wanted to achieve…We are merely observing the final outcome we were not involved in all the design rounds, discussions etc…..give them some slack…..

  9. Tezza: Yes we do only see the final result BUT I am not connecting with it. Period. And it doesn’t really matter what the client brief said.

    This reminds me of what incredibly talented designer friends of mine said at the AIGA conference last week: They went to a WOLFF Olins presentation on the Olympics logo. Apparently the person was able to talk some sense into it on why it looks they way it looks. BUT, after a moment of silence, we then all agreed that: If you don’t connect with a logo/mark, you don’t connect and therefore, the design didn’t succeed.

    I realize that design aesthetics are a completely subjective thing and nobody’s right or wrong.

    All I am saying is, that I am heartbroken, that this mark is supposed to the be the new face to the city I love so much and that I call home.

  10. Please spare a thought for Londoners, who also have to put up with a dreadful Wolff Olins job – the 2012 Olympics.

    I’d be interested to know how much both NYC and London were charged for this crap. Is is possible to get your money back from a design agency if you get buyer’s remorse?

    Let me ask you a tricky question, Tina: Do *you* give a money-back guarantee?

  11. It reminds me of a “college” logo. Where’s the color? Also, for a city known for it’s skyscrapers, a squat logo seems something more suited to a city in the midwest.

  12. RE: The London Olympics logo.

    I read this somewhere when it the logo first unveiled and now I can’t see anything else: Lisa Simpson giving head.

  13. I’m in total agreement, I (being from Rural Yorkshire, England, so accept my ignorance) was only made aware of this logo via another monstrosity you poor citizens have to put up with “NYC Taxi logo” I guess that’s a seperate thread altogether! I read that the NYC part of the logo was by Wolff Olins and thought, it can’t be I have only recently got over the 2012 Olympics logo, and even more recently “Wacom” both look clumsy in there application and feel uncomfortable where ever I see them!

    It begs the question is the new strategy at WO to create identities that are so so terrible, that the publicity gained through endless chatter on the InterWeb and the press about just how bad it really is, considered a good selling tool!

  14. You want a proper brand identity, you go to Landor. Easy. You want boutique design, you look for something that works for you and you find who did it. This WO madness is simply incredible. London, New York, what’s next…?

    Tezza: Yes, background and brief, but the reason why a client goes to a big design firm is also to get their expertise and guidance. Trust is needed, and needs to be established.

    Scoboco: Thanks for the Lisa Simpson comment. Love it! :)

  15. I agree with you. It’s lacking soul.
    We had a similar problem with Toronto. Not only was the logo a disappointment, but the ads that went with it were lifeless and far from ey catching: http://www.torontounlimited.ca/

  16. Tezza, alls I can say is “huh?” — this is a massive campaign. The logo is everywhere. If we were talking about a teeny tiny shop or something, okay. Fine. Cut them some slack, or at least don’t blame the designer alone. But the city of New York? The design is crap. Crap crap crap. I think the city is just as guilty as the designer–the collaborated to produce the muddiest logo on earth. I’m not cutting anyone some slack.

  17. Reminds me of a bug in an early version of MacWrite in which every time you hit bold, the letters would get bolder and bolder until you got, well, something that looks like this eyesore of a logo.

  18. for real. that thing is hideous. when I first saw it, I thought it was an accident. it looks like what happens when you write on crappy paper with a marker and it starts bleeding all over. ugh.

  19. Why does a city (like new york!) need a logo?

  20. wolff olins had nothing to do with the TAXI work
    and here is the first presentation of the NYC work


    wolff also has nothing to do with the implementation