Rhode Island has unveiled its new tourism slogan: "Rhode Island: Cooler & Warmer" along with a logo designed by legendary graphic artist Milton Glaser (I *heart* NY). I understand the time and effort put into this process and I have respect for Glaser. But seeing the results of my state's efforts leaves me both underwhelmed and arrested.
First the slogan, "Cooler & Warmer", as an effort to entice, lacks confidence. It translates to: "It's nice. It's warmer. It's OK." 'Cool' is either a wink to hip culture—which by its declaration nullifies that impression—or evokes a controlled or disciplined temperament, which is great for crowd control but not really attractive. 'Warm' is a particularly delicate word that can fall into unsavory territory unless its position is more specific. Warm breezes vs. warm beer. Maybe its just me...but I went there immediately. Eww, it's warm.
Second, the logo. One of the things I love about my chosen profession as a graphic designer is that it is so full of potential experience and success. As a self-taught designer, I've always liked that I can scan the portfolios of leading graphic designers across the globe and feel like I can genuinely compete with at least some of that work. Looking at this logo makes me feel like there is a hairline between legendary accomplishment and amateur obscurity. Honestly, down here, I feel like I'd be out of business if I offered up this kind of work. As a shape, it feels cheap, dated, and unsophisticated. As a logomark it lacks strength and versatility.
I don't think our state's glowing personality will be overshadowed by a bad hat. Decent website BTW: Visit Rhode Island. All identities deserve time to evolve and find their best voice once they enter their public place. I, for one, wish for better days for this logo—or my own perspective—as the forces of time and utility leave their own impressions.