Yesterday the new Rhode Island logo and slogan was released by the state’s Commerce Corporation. According to Betsy Wall, chief marketing officer for the ocean state, the logo and slogan are part of a $5 Million initiative by the governor to increase tourism to the state, attract people to live in Rhode Island and do business here. The $5 million initiative was contracted to Milton Glaser, the New York designer who came up with the “I love NY ” slogan, and two marketing firms Havas PR and Epic Decade, the money would pay for the creativity, design and the cost of placing advertisements.
According to Betsy Wall the new logo was meant to “evoke the ocean, artistry, uniqueness and the hip youthfulness of the capital city, along with the warmth of local communities.” The word “Cooler&Warmer” were supposed to allude to Rhode Island being a “hip and innovative location with a younger culture”.
After dropping the initial logo and slogan there were many mixed reviews from the public. The Providence Journal reports that even members of the Commerce Corporation board of directors “expressed divided views of the new tourism and business-attraction slogan”. One director said he was having a tough time with the colors, “Give me some emotional connection to this logo because I’m not getting it at first glance” he was quoted saying. Another director said he liked the design of the logo and the “cooler” but not necessarily the “warmer”. The release of the slogan and logo also came with short promotional videos intended to showcase Rhode Island’s “quirky culture”, these commercials are expected to air in airports around the country and on fights longer than three hours.
Rhode Islanders have expressed their dislike for the logo, particularly the slogan, via the #BetterRISlogans hashtag on social media.
In a poll ran by the Providence Journal 95% of readers did not like the new slogan.
Due to the immense criticism the Commerce Corporation released a log without the words “Warmer, Cooler” in the logo, it simply says, Rhode Island.
The Providence Journal asked design experts what they thought of the logo, John Caserta, head of the graphic design department at RISD and founder of The Design Office, said “Its generic, and its packing a lot of words, and its neither clear not enigmatic. It doesn’t make me want to understand the state more…” Caserta also mentioned he was a bit shocked that RISD, “one of the world’s top design schools”, was not consulted or approached for ideas during the creation of the logo and slogan.
Matt Buckhurst a designer who worked with Facebook and Airbnb said the new Rhode Island logo and slogan “feels like someplace I’m supposed to go and enjoy…there’s a positive, summer breeziness to it…it is beautiful in how minimal it is”. To learn more on this new tourism initiative follow @CommerceRI on twitter or log on to commerceri.com.