At NYCxDESIGN 2021: Ode to New York

At NYCxDESIGN 2021: Ode to New York

The NYC of today bears little resemblance to the city in the late 70s. With increasing crime, financial woes (to the brink of bankruptcy), and crumbling infrastructure, morale among inhabitants was decidedly low.

Ode to New York We love New York poster by Karim Rashid hot pink background with a scribbled cityscape in white

One could argue that Milton Glaser's seminal "I Love New York" design marked a turning point for Gotham. As Glaser himself said, "Suddenly the city simultaneously got fed up and said, ‘It’s our city, we’re going to take it back, we’re not going to allow this stuff to happen'... Part of that moment was this campaign.”

Ode to New York I love NY logo by Milton Glaser

Indeed, declaring yourself to be a New Yorker and actually having the fortitude to stay a full-time resident of the city merits a kind of red badge of courage.

Ode to New York Our Apple poster by Rodolfo Agrella red apple with adjectives describing NYC

Even though it was originally part of a NY state tourism campaign, the logo and the city have become intertwined. It's ubiquitous yet potent; sublimely kitschy yet meaningful; interpreted over the years as everything from a banal yet celebratory mark of allegiance to a rallying cry for civic unity during times of duress, as when Glaser reconfigured his original design to say "I love NY More Than Ever" after 9/11. The "Ode to New York" campaign for NYCxDESIGN is another such moment.

Ode to New York The View from Here poster by Kati Curtis view from a NYC apartment looking out on neighboring building

"An Ode to NYC" poster campaign is NYCxDESIGN's tribute to the spirit of Glaser's original design, as well as a city-wide effort to restore morale, which has been left somewhat battered (but never broken) by the disproportionate toll of the pandemic.

Ode to New York If You Make it in Ny poster by Marie Burgos view from behind the statue of liberty looking onto the city

The posters are the collective output of 21 local designers. On display during the festival throughout in all five boroughs, the artwork can be seen throughout the teeming metropolis, at showrooms, restaurants, and retail shops; at marquee locales and off-the-beaten path; and at quintessential NYC attractions like Fulton Center, the Oculus at Westfield World Trade Center, and on-board the city's Ferry fleet.

Ode to New York poster by Manuel Miranda with bar graph showing breakdown of expenses for NYC residents

Content varies from the glib (above) to the purely scenic, from weightier matters (below) to artistic homages in painterly styles that evoke Monet, Seurat, and even Georges Braque.

Ode to New York Black Is You poster by Kelly Marshall black background and white letters evoking the black experience

Ode to New York The Future of NY is made of Dreamers poster by Ignacio Serrano Perez colorful cartoon like NY crowd passing by a waterfront

Ode to New York New York: In Full Color poster by Lori Weitzner cityscape in a patchwork collage-like style

Ode to New York: Euclid Takes the E Train poster by Alison Rose cubist representation of a ny subway map

The art is for sale exclusively at the Poster Shop. Proceeds go to the Black Artists and Designer's Guild.

Ode to New York NYC poster by Harry Allen letters on black background with a flower growing as if emerging from concrete

Ode to New York Black Spaces Matter poster by Ifeoma Ebo with a photo collage of black personalities and well known black locations

Ode to New York Women in Design poster by Lora Appleton thumbnail images of women designers in black and white

If you happen to be out and about in NYC's fabulous boroughs and witness these posters interacting with the life of the city, please send us a photo. We'd like to do our part in showing the rest of the world that N.Y. is still standing, still exploding with the vibrant, hectic, beautiful, mad, celebratory, melancholy mania that characterizes the greatest city in the world. Send to and identify the location. We'll update this post with the best images. And see Designer Pages Media for more on NYCxDESIGN. Much love to NYC!

Posted November 11, 2021 by Joseph Starr

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