News / Graphic Design

New York City tourism agency rebranded with custom typefaces and hundreds of icons

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NYC & Company, the official tourism and marketing agency for New York City, has rebranded with two custom typefaces, a redesigned website, a colour palette and hundreds of icons. The new brand identity has been created in-house at NYC & Company, and the icons are free for use by all the city’s public and governmental agencies. 

The two original typefaces are named City Block and NYC Sans; NYC Block is derived from the NYC logotype by Wolff Olins (launched in 2007), and NYC Sans draws from the typeface used in Massimo Vignelli’s 1972 subway map. The latter was inspired by the digitised version of the typeface, created for the MTA’s (Metropolitan Transportation Authority) Standards Manual reissue.

“NYC Sans takes inspiration from NYC’s diversity by embracing alternates,” says NYC & Company creative director Emily Lessard. “We have 4 Y’s, we have 4 M’s. Some are a little strange, but we’re OK with that. We relish their differences, just like the city.”

The marketing agency has also created a huge body of icons for the city’s public and governmental agencies from the Department of Health to the nyc.gov website. These were created in collaboration with the agencies themselves — NYC & Company created a grid and invited the departments to submit symbols to represent their remit. These were then honed by Emily and her team to ensure cohesiveness. There are 250 icons in the first release, with more batches being rolled out quarterly.

New York City’s official tourism website, NYCgo.com, has also been redesigned as part of the rebrand. The colour palette is inspired by iconic elements of the city, such as the yellow of the taxis and the green of the Statue of Liberty, used with black.

The design team was Caitlin Clingman, Sara Duell, Louis Lee, Alexander Quinn, Jose Quinteros, Noah Venezia, with writers Sophie Roberts, Stephanie Hu, and creative director Emily Lessard.

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