Organized by NYCxDESIGN, the "An Ode to NYC" poster campaign began in earnest last week and will run throughout October. Paying homage to the civic spirit of the late designer and SVA faculty member Milton Glaser's famous "I ♥ New York" symbol, the initiative is a heartwarming tribute to New York City. Twenty-one talented local creatives have produced works that embody their love and unwavering affection for the city, and among them are two members of the SVA BFA Interior Design: Built Environments Department: its chair, Dr. Carol Bentel, and faculty member Jack Travis.
The "Ode to NYC" posters will be on view to inspire New Yorkers and visitors in design showrooms, restaurants and retail stores across the city. They will also be digitally projected in such quintessentially "New York" locations as Fulton Center, the Oculus at Westfield World Trade Center and onboard the NYC Ferry fleet.
Dr. Bentel's poster is titled New York Style, and when she first got the call to participate in the campaign, she was taken aback. "I thought for sure they had made a mistake!" she says. "I am an architect and interior designer whose work is almost exclusively 3D. Frankly, I had mentioned others at SVA with the expertise to do amazing 2D poster designs, but they assured me that they had called me and that they were gathering many types of designers from NYC."
Her design? The iconic New York pizza slice. "I have designed [everything from] food trucks to high-end restaurants in New York, so I decided to focus on food," she says. "I assumed an NYC pizza slice might also be distinguishable by its size as compared to other pizza slices from elsewhere, so as a geometry-loving-architect, I started to measure it. First, I bought an actual NYC pizza, photographed it, measured it, and then sat down with my quarantined family and had lunch!"
Many of the creatives partnered with local organizations to support the campaign's mission, including Bentel, who did so on behalf of The International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF).
Jack Travis' poster, We Keep From Goin' Under, a reference to a lyric by Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five, the seminal South Bronx hip-hop group. "It was important to me to celebrate an iconic message expressing the love for my beloved city, created by one of the most beloved NYC designers, with another iconic message from my most beloved borough," Travis says. "You cannot stop NYC. Love you, NYC, Miss you, Milton Glaser!"
NYCxDESIGN's "Ode to NYC" posters are available for sale on Poster House's website, with proceeds going to the Black Artists + Designers Guild (BADG), a nonprofit aimed at creating a more inclusive and equitable art and design world.
"The local designers we tapped have created poignant, inspiring posters that illustrate the resiliency, strength and rebirth of our beloved city," says Valerie Hoffman, program director, NYCxDESIGN.
"As a collective of independent Black artists, makers and designers striving towards creating inclusive art and design environment through equity and representation, we are gratified and excited to be a part of this wonderful initiative, put forth by the efforts of so many talented New York-based creatives," Malene Barnett, founder of BADG, says.
For more information on the "Ode to NYC" poster designers, locations and sale, go to NYCXDesign.