Keep Calm and Milton Glaser On

Posted by on Apr 8, 2015 in ComLead, Integrated Marketing Communication

Keep Calm aKeep-calm-and-carry-on-scannd Carry On… that iconic meme has been morphed into thousands of slogans throughout the last few years becoming an internet sensation of its own. Have you ever stopped to wonder the origin of this catchy slogan? Well I have, so I did some research on it to find out where it all began. And, to my surprise, the poster was actually created in 1939, post World War 2 to strengthen public morale.When it found its way onto the internet in 2007, about 70 years later, the buzz was hot and every rendition you could think of has been created around this phrase.

So, what? What does this have to do with communications? I think it goes to show how a simple, clean phrase, that’s straight to the point and carrying no extra baggage can become an advertising phenomena that’s relevant for decades upon decades. It’s amazing how we’re accustomed to think our ads have to be new, vibrant, and flashy to get our consumers’ attention, but this may not necessarily be the case.

Another example of this is the “I LOVE NY” logo designed by Milton Glaser in the late 70’s for a marketing campaign intended to boost tourism to the city. At the time the streets of New York were plagued with crime and the city was nearing bankruptcy. In an attempt to reform, the State looked to Madison Avenue with $400,000 in hand and a desperate plea for change.

It’s amazing to me that even today, some 50 years later, this logo still makes up the heart and soul of the city’s advertising. Whether it’s on a t-shirt, bumper sticker, coffee mug or key chain, you can’t tour the streets of China Town without bumping into this logo 501 times.

The logo is technically owned by New York State, but it has taken on a complete personality of its own. Recently, there have been a variety of replications of this logo to spark tourism to other areas of the state. Check out this article to see the kinds of designs that tourists and New Yorkers have made to share what  they love about New York.

What can you design that will have the ability to be transformed into new life?




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