The agency behind the We Love NYC logo welcomes criticism: Inside the campaign


MaryamB is the marketing firm behind the redesign; Edelman worked on earned media strategy and execution of the campaign launch.

New Yorkers have been unimpressed by the We Love NYC logo redesign.

NEW YORK: MaryamB, the marketing firm behind the much-criticized We Love NYC logo, which was unveiled last week, welcomes the hate it’s receiving. 

The logo, an updated take on the original I Love NY logo by design legend Milton Glaser that debuted in 1977, has gotten lackluster reviews from New Yorkers. It is part of a campaign launched last Monday by the nonprofit Partnership for New York City, New York Governor Kathy Hochul, New York City Mayor Eric Adams and business, labor and civic leaders from the five boroughs. The aim is to inspire civic engagement and volunteerism in the city.

MaryamB worked on the out-of-home, digital and website content for the campaign.

Maryam Banikarim, founder of MaryamB, said she was “surprised” by the volume of criticism, but said it was a strategic decision not to use a wholesale new logo. 

“It is an amazing thing, because as everybody likes to say, it is better to be talked about than not talked about,” Banikarim said. “My question is, ‘You like the logo, you don’t like the logo — what are you going to do to help the city?’”

We Love NYC has been responding directly to critics via its Instagram and TikTok pages to explain that the logo is not replacing the original. Banikarim said she is also personally responding from her own social accounts. 

“I don't mind that people have criticism,” she said. “I welcome it. New Yorkers have strong opinions.”

Banikarim said the campaign was inspired by the need for optimism in New York City and civic action to help the city after the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“That was what prompted us to come together and enlist others in the process,” said Banikarim. “We wanted to initiate a movement to connect the dots to make it easier for New Yorkers to step in to help their city.”

Edelman collaborated with MaryamB and the Partnership for New York City on earned media strategy and execution for launch day, which took place on March 20. The firm, which is part of the group of companies that make up the Partnership for New York City, worked pro bono on the push. Contributions from more than 60 businesses and individuals supported the campaign. The organizations did not provide a campaign budget. 

“We’re wrapping up, given it was a pro bono project,” said Lisa Kovitz, an MD at Edelman who is based in New York.

The campaign launched last Monday with a news conference produced by the Broadway League with support from the Times Square Alliance. It featured a performance by Anna Uzele, star of the upcoming Broadway musical “New York, New York.” 

The launch also featured examples of New Yorkers making a difference who are celebrated on the We Love NYC website, including Bobby Akumah from Dare 2 Dream; John Wang from the Queens Night Market; Catie Savage from Hell’s Kitchen Litter Legion; Anthony and Janique Edwards from Eat Okra; and Sasha Gutiérrez of the Opera Nextdoor. 

The campaign seeks to reaffirm that New York City is the safest, cleanest and most exciting place to live and work. Planned activations include engaging New Yorkers to give 1 million hours of service to care for NYC Parks; a vote for the most popular subway performer in partnership with Shutterstock; and Spread Love NYC, a campaign to engage New Yorkers via volunteer programs. The campaign encourages city residents to get involved at

“Small and big actions help people feel better; it gives you a sense of control and has incredible positive outcomes on a personal level and city-wide level,” said Banikarim. “That is what we want to see over the next couple of years.” 

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