The State of Branding: New York (From New York Flags, to New York Brands)

Branding

statue of liberty

Contents

36 min read

New York City, aka The Big Apple.

However, the state has so much more to offer than just being ‘The Big Apple’ as it is home to some fantastic brands.

This week we are moving further East on our state of branding tour, and discussing all things New York, from Niagara Falls and Yonkers, to Rochester, Buffalo, and Syracuse.

Of course not forgetting NYC, and the state capital of Albany.

This includes the branding of sports teams, restaurants, and those all-important famous tourist attractions we are keen to dive into.

Basically, if it’s NY based, we are all for it in this post.

As the state has so much for us to unpick brand wise, it wasn’t an easy task for us to choose what we are going to include. Think of this post as more of a whistle stop tour of the state and the branding that stood out to us!

Of course we will be touching on logos, advertisements, and all of the mainstream brand identity stuff, but we have purposefully picked brands who offer up something a bit more unique.

So, we’d better get started, and what better way to begin than with the state of New York itself…

New York Branding

Population: 19.2 million
Capital City: Albany
TimeZone: Eastern Daylight Time (EDT)
Abbreviation: NY

To keep things consistent, we will be looking at the flag and seal of each city, before diving into some more quirky branding examples from these locations.

However, for the state of NY, we thought we’d provide you with some key facts about the state and a few ‘Did you know’s?’ to give you the feeling of a true New Yorker, before delving into some New York brands.

new york state flag
Credit to State Symbols USA

New York Flag: The State of Branding

The New York state flag and coat of arms are identical apart from the dark blue background of the flag (this colouring choice is unexplained as far as we know).

However, we understand why the state coat of arms is the centre of attention here, as its aim is to represent freedom and equality being central to the state.

There is a lot to unpack for this one so we will split it into two and focus firstly on the Goddess of liberty, and the Goddess of Justice.

Liberty is positioned on the left with her crown fallen to her feet, representing the state’s freedom from England, while Justice is blindfolded and carrying the scales of justice, representing the equal treatment of everyone under her law.

While we are not yet finished discussing this flag and seal, it’s important to note that this wasn’t the first design, in fact the seal has had 5 previous versions.

But onto a little bit more detail…

New York Seal: The State of Branding

As we have just mentioned, the coat of arms, central to the flag and identical to the seal, is based around freedom and justice, but equally represents enduring optimism and strength of the human spirit.

The shield between the two goddesses shows two ships sailing across the Hudson River, and above this is the globe with an eagle perched on top. This seems to us to present the idea of New York’s position in the world as the economic bridge between the East and the West.

Finally, the motto ‘Excelsior’ is presented on the white ribbon at the bottom of the seal, representing a brighter and better future.

The seal and flag design openly focuses on liberty, justice and progress, through using a more traditional style, central to the states core values.

Key Cities In New York

The state of New York is split into 62 counties which are then, believe it or not, split up to make over 1,600 cities and towns.

Now while we’d love to be able to cover all 1,600, there isn’t enough room in one post.

So we’ve narrowed it down to 7 key cities that we will to go into later in this post, which are as follows:

  • New York City
  • Buffalo
  • Albany
  • Rochester
  • Syracuse
  • Niagara Falls
  • Yonkers

Alongside being the most populated cities in the state, these cities made the cut as they all have something unique to offer when it comes to branding.

Whether that’s a sports team’s logo that scores points with us, or local tourist attraction branding, we have collected a range of brand designs and identities you won’t want to miss out on.

empire state building

Key Facts About New York

To get us into the spirit of the state, we thought we’d include some examples of known, and unknown facts about New York.

Here are some key facts about the state:

  1. The Statue of Liberty was a gift from France.
  2. New York is the original birthplace of LGBTQ+ rights in the USA.
  3. New York is the third most populous state in the US, behind California and Texas.
  4. The state is home to over 18,000 cattle and calf farms, making it the third largest dairy producer in the states.
  5. The state bird is a bluebird.
  6. New York was named after the British Duke of York.
  7. New York is known for producing materials such as limestone, salt, sand, and gravel.
  8. The state flower is the rose.
  9. New York is the only state that borders both the Atlantic Ocean and the Great Lakes.
  10. The name ‘Empire State’, is a nickname for the state as well as the name of the building.
  11. New York has 722 miles of subway track.
  12. The New York Post is the oldest running newspaper in the United States.
  13. The Big Apple is a term coined by musicians, meaning to play the big time.
  14. New York has over 70,000 miles of rivers and streams.
  15. The Erie Canal built in the 1800’s still remains an active boating route.
  16. Almost half of the population of New York, live in New York City.

Did You Know That Scrabble Was Invented In New York?

It’s a game we all know and love, and it was created in Queens in the state of New York.

Created back in the late 1930’s by Alfred Mosher Butts, the game involves two to four players forming words with lettered tiles, and each letter represents a different amount of points.

The game was a hit, with millions playing, and even now I’m sure you all have one at home in your board game stash.

To this day, the 35th Avenue street sign in Queens has a scrabble tile design, with smaller numbers next to each letter, just like the game.

Did You Know Grand Central Station Has a Whispering Gallery?

With 44 platforms, Grand Central Station, is by far the largest train station in the world, spanning over a whopping 49 acres, and based in New York.

But unknown to some is the whispering gallery within the domed intersection of the lower floor walkways.

You can stand with your ear up against the wall and hear the whispers of others from all around the station, and remember its 49 acres and 44 platforms, so you could be eavesdropping on a lot of conversations.

new york city skyline at night

New York City Branding

Population: 8.8 million
Time Zone: Eastern Daylight Time (EDT)
Abbreviation: NYC

It would be wrong not to start with the Big Apple, as it is known globally for its flashy broadway shows, business tycoons and pizzerias, and with these come a whole lot of visuals for us to explore.

We could go on all day about the city that never sleeps, but let’s drill down into the city’s branding.

new york city flag
Credit to Patch

New York City Flag: Setting the Standard

For the flag of NYC they have adopted the colours orange, white and blue.

Each colour has its own third of the flag, which is a vertical section, with the state seal central to the middle white panel.

The city seal (which we will dive into below) has a similar vibe to the state seal in that it consists of a shield, two figures, and an eagle, but on the flag the seal is one deep shade of blue keeping it rather simple.

This flag won’t be the first time we see repetition, as for some reason the state on the whole loves the idea of having the state seal central to their flag, with the seals often looking fairly similar too…

New York City Seal: Too Traditional?

The date is an important characteristic of this seal as it represents the year New Amsterdam became New York, a pretty important milestone, so we can see why it is being celebrated.

The shield in the centre displays two pillars of the state’s economic success: the beaver and flour, and beside the shield stand two figures.

Now there are different examples of what the NYC seal looks like, but officially we are going with the example that presents a sailor and native american standing on (and surrounded by) a laurel branch, representing harmony between the native americans and new settlers.

Again, we have the eagle on the globe representing the western hemisphere, and everything already feels a bit samey, we would have preferred it if the cities were switching up their seal and flag designs, even just a touch.

New York City Branding: Knicks, Times Square, and Hidden Eateries

So, now we have discussed the flag and the seal, it’s time to look at some classic New York brands that we associate with the Big Apple, and some hidden gems.

But let’s start with the obvious, New York Knicks.

Knicks logo
Credit to Ticketmaster

New York Knicks

We can’t talk about New York brands without looking at The Kncicks.

First of all, let’s give the team the credit they deserve as they have won two NBA championships, and have totted up a total net worth of over $6 billion.

So our question is, why the logo?

While we love the classic knicks colouring of orange, white, and blue (can you see the flag colouring repetition already), the logo reminds us more of a kids superhero emblem rather than a wealthy, professional basketball team.

We don’t know whether it’s the triangle outline or the blocked 3D lettering, but it seriously reminds us of something similar to superman.

However, the branding is reliable as the colours are present throughout all aspects of the teams identity, from the basketball jerseys to the website design.

times square
Credit to Civitatis

Times Square

Forget Grand Central, we’re moving onto Brand Central, as Times Square is one of the most iconic displays of advertisements and branding, in the world.

With its illuminated billboards from wall to wall, it’s impossible not to be sold on anything from Budweiser, to Broadway shows.

Although the branding included on the LED screens isn’t always advertising Time Square itself, it’s interesting how they have caused companies to bid for the best spots by positioning and shaping boards differently to one another.

This is effective, as more bids, means more revenue.

The billboard we are interested in though is the One Times Square Digital Billboard, located in the heart of the action, centre stage with so many possibilities.

This billboard in particular has been said to be the most valuable advertising opportunity in the world (lucky NYC).

Ironically, however, the billboard isn’t trying to sell tourists or passersby anything at all, as it reads “Welcome to Times Square.”

Simple, effective, and as we’ve said, the best spot in the world.

beauty and essex sign
Credit to Twitter

Beauty and Essex

This branding is one for the curious and adventurous, as what looks like a regular pawn shop from the outside, has so much more to offer.

This brand has got disguise down to a T, with one of the best disguised restaurants we’ve seen, as on the face of it, the building looks like an average shop with its bulbed light logo reading “Beauty and Essex”.

However, through the hidden door is a spiral staircase down to a luxurious underground restaurant, decked out in mirrors, marble, and chandeliers.

Located on the lower east side of the city, this exclusive restaurant has succeeded in becoming one of the most hidden and most popular spots in New York.

We don’t know about you, but if we were to walk past, we would perhaps now take the time to have a look inside.

buffalo city
Credit to The New York Times

Buffalo Branding

Population: 253,800 (roughly)
Time Zone: Eastern Daylight Time (EDT)
Abbreviation: BUN

Buffalo, or the booming centre for trade and manufacturing, (thanks to the Erie canal), is next on the list, and don’t worry we didn’t forget the wings…

buffalo flag
Credit to Pinterest

Buffalo Flag: The State of Branding

The Buffalo flag is slightly different from the two we have already discussed, with a navy blue background, and surprisingly, a new seal…

But we will get into that in the section below, you know the drill by now.

However, this flag embellishes the city’s seal this time instead of leaving it to stand alone, with the addition of 13 lightning bolts around the seal’s edge.

This results in the seal looking more like the sun, and between each bolt, there is a star, representing New York as one of the original 13 colonies.

Buffalo Seal: A New Element

So, now let’s get onto the seal.

While still circular (a recurring theme throughout the exploration of the seals of this state), this time the seal contains not a beaver, not a sack of flour, but a lighthouse instead.

The lighthouse sits to the left hand side next to a pier, facing a ship with 3 masts and a canal boat drawn by two animals on the right.

Again, the seal is enclosed by a double circle, which creates a thick ring around the scene with the words ‘Seal of the City of Buffalo’

To us this feels pretty much aligned with the other seals we have come across so far, in that they encompass the state of New York’s core values time and time again, of liberty, hard work, peace, and justice.

Buffalo Branding: Sabres, Sharks, and The Home of The Wings

As you have probably guessed from the heading below, we have incorporated a fair few New York state sports teams unique to each city, as this way we can compare logos and branding across one area.

But don’t worry, we have thought long and hard about the other branding examples we have included to keep things interesting.

buffalo sabres players
Credit to The Guardian

Buffalo Sabres

First up we have the Buffalo Sabres, a professional ice hockey team based in the city and currently rank 18th in the US.

Like many other American sports teams, the Sabres keep their colours clean and simple, with a classic blend of blue, white, and yellow.

The logo consists of, of course, a Buffalo, and two crossed sabres as a play on the clashing of hockey sticks during a match.

Despite the logo only being around for a year or two, it is very similar to the original, pointing to the team’s professionalism and reliability.

buffalo riverworks
Credit to Buffalo Riverworks

Buffalo Riverworks

Branded as Buffalo’s biggest entertainment destination, Riverworks is host to a whole lot of activities, events, and eateries.

The location is particularly interesting as the adventure emporium is just along the banks of the Buffalo river within the warehouse yards. So, despite everything on offer, the buildings do look slightly worn down, or ‘shabby chic’ should we say.

The main word that springs to mind when we think of Buffalo Riverworks branding is random.

What with the mix of a ferris wheel, giant shark mouth mural, and 100 foot silo six pack of beers we can’t quite work out what their branding is exactly.

A taste of everything in Buffalo perhaps? Or maybe the plan is for them to provide everything that the rest of the city can’t offer.

The one that ultimately caught our eye was the zipline into the brewery through the great white shark’s mouth.

At least after going through the trauma, you can grab a fresh ale or larger!

Overall, it somehow works, as by having so much to offer and branding themselves as exactly that, they are certainly appealing to a wider audience.

anchor bar
Credit to Pinterest

Anchor Bar

What do people go to Buffalo for – the wings.

Luckily we think we’ve found ‘the home of the original wing’ at Anchor Bar, or at least that’s what they say.

On their site, which might we add does a great job at letting you know what they’re known and famous for by having their web page open on a huge picture of their chicken wings, they have no trouble boasting about a host of celeb visits.

The likes of John Lennon, Britney Spears and even Mr Presley himself have been said to visit Anchor Bar for a Buffalo wing or two.

With only 12 locations worldwide however, we can’t help but feel that the brand hasn’t moved along with its popularity, as claiming to be the home of the OG Buffalo chicken wings surely comes with some sort of fanbase.

We thought they would have had queues out of their door, but maybe this lack of modernisation has prevented the brand from growing to a larger extent.

The logo itself looks a bit like something from top gun or on top of a totem pole, but includes a huge Buffalo with wings that looks like a cartoon cooked chicken at first glance.

Both the original restaurant and logo seem to have remained the same, but this may be seen as part of its charm, as customers can experience the wings in the same exact place, true to their history.

city of albany
Credit to Britannica

Albany Branding

Population: 94,800 (roughly)
TimeZone: Eastern Daylight Time (EDT)
Abbreviation: ALB

Onto the capital city of Albany now, with a rich history spanning over 400 years, the city is known as the centre for banking, railroads, and international trade.

The capital can equally be seen as a cultural hub, priding itself in a thriving art and performance community to compete with.

albany flag
Credit to Vecteezy

Albany Flag: The State of Branding

Now forgive us but we did warn you, the repetition is back as the Albany flag is nearly identical to the New York City one.

Orange, white, and blue are back again but this time the strips of colour are horizontal and the seal is still central and proud, but slightly more updated.

Despite the colours popping up again and again for the state and city flag’s, we have failed to mention the origin of the colours.

The colouring comes from an older version of the dutch flag, which makes a lot of sense considering New York was once led by the people of Holland.

These colours are clearly a nod to the history of the state, however the updated seal design we think was very much needed.

Albany Seal: The Same, But Different

For this update, the contents of the seal haven’t changed much (sorry), but we have colour, so that’s a bonus.

The seal has been renewed with the introduction of colour and the word Assiduity, meaning real care and attention to detail.

Despite the changes, we are sensing the theme that the cities are jumping on the bandwagon using slightly different variations of the same flag design, making the state and the cities within it seem more outdated than it is.

Albany Branding: The Danes, The Egg, and The Albany Pump Station

Let’s kick the capital city off with the collegiate team that certainly mean business.

albany great danes
Credit to University at Albany Great Danes

Albany Great Danes

Onto a collegiate team for the capital cities branding, and that is the Albany Great Danes.

Produced from the University of Albany collegiate teams and football programme, the danes play in the NCAA division, and adopt the colours yellow and purple.

The logo however is what we are interested in, as thanks to its latest update, it’s more subtle and unlike a typical sports team logo.

The main feature of the logo is the scowling grey great dane that is detailed with purple accents to keep the colouring totally on brand.

The four legged logo is accompanied by the wording ‘UALBANY’ underneath, keeping it simple and slick, showing that the danes are here to win.

the egg performing arts centre
Credit to Discover Albany

The Egg

As we mentioned above, Albany is a tough one to rival for its cultural and artistic flare, and The Egg is a perfect example of that.

Otherwise known as the centre for performing arts, The Egg is made from two curved auditoriums to provide great acoustics and unforgettable theatre experiences.

The building showcases everything from dance, to music, to comedy and is the place to go if you want to witness unique and extraordinary artists.

If you’re more of an architecture admirer, fear not, the building has the wow factor too.

The building is nicknamed “The Egg” due to its shape, and from afar looks more like a sculpture than a building for performing arts.

This is the beauty of the building and exactly what causes the intrigue.

albany pump station
Credit to Albany.com

Albany Pump Station

Once the Quackenbush pumping station for Albany’s water works, now a brewery.

The Albany pump station, or now more commonly known as C.H Evans Brewing Co., is now home to a restaurant and brewery, rather than a pump station.

The building continued to function as a pump station until 1920, and drew water from the Hudson River.

The property now offers 12 in house brews (that are award-winning might we add), and a full scale restaurant menu, to dine-in or take-out.

But what we are most interested in is interior design…

True to its historical nature, the pump station still holds pumps, pipes, and exposed light fittings to mimic the factory feel.

welcome to rochester signage
Credit to Zero G

Rochester Branding

Population: 204,768 (roughly)
Time Zone: Eastern Daylight Time (EDT)
Abbreviation: RNY

Moving on to Rochester now, known as both the ‘Flour City’ and the ‘Flower city’, thanks to its thriving mill industry and booming seeds trade back in the 1800’s.

Not only this but Rochester can rival capital city Albany, for its arts and culture, particularly its unique and impressive history in photography.

rochester flag
Credit to CRW Flags

Rochester Flag: The State of Branding

Despite the controversy (and slight confusion) the Rochester flag is split into 3 sections, much like other flags for the cities in this state.

Consisting of 3 vertical bars of equal width, coloured blue, white and a yellow gold, with the coat of arms of the Rochester family on the white middle section.

For the colouring it is said that the blue represents the impressive water and electrical power of the city, the white the cleanliness of the city, and the yellowy gold to represent the financial and industrial prosperity.

The coat of arms overall uses colouring and symbolism to represent various themes, for example the crane represents vigilance.

Beneath this, we can see 3 crescent moons, with points facing upwards to represent fertility and prosperity, and the red border on the shield symbolises military affirmation.

Rochester Seal: Flower City, or Flour City?

With the Rochester seal however, we return to the rounded emblem continuing the theme of the creation and construction of the state of New York.

The seal yet again contains the all important eagle symbol, this time balanced upon a shield, holding a ribbon with the words ‘Flower City’.

Below the eagle is, you guessed it, another ribbon with the phrase we’ve seen before ‘Excelsior’, representing a brighter and better future for the state.

Behind the main imagery within the seal is an urban skyline including the Erie canal, the church, ships, a railroad, and flour mills, all surrounded by a rising sun.

As we can see, all cities in New York are invested in the maintenance of the state for a better future, and showcase this within their seals and flags, through themes of, peace, justice, and economic growth.

Rochester Branding: Ice Hockey, Neighbourhood of the Arts, and Seneca Park Zoo

We are getting things started with a friend of the earlier mentioned Buffalo Sabres, a team that has adopted retro style branding.

rochester americans logo
Credit to 1000 Logos

Rochester Americans

The Rochester Americans are an owned and operated affiliate of the Sabres, in the north division league for ice hockey.

Their colours are red, white, and blue, and if it’s not obvious already that the team are American, the police shield logo confirms this further.

Now, while the logo has nothing at all to do with ice hockey, it does give off a retro vibe, as it hasn’t actually been updated or changed since the 70’s.

The branding is simple but the typeface for “americans” on the logo gives us something different, as rather than the capitalised harsher fonts of other US sports teams, the Rochester Americans use a softer, cursive font.

seneca park zoo
Credit to WXXI News

Seneca Park Zoo

This is a zoo with a bit of a difference, as Seneca Park Zoo pride themselves in being more of a conservation organisation, rather than a tourist attraction.

The company’s goal is to be a national leader in conservation and education for species survival, and they have ongoing plans to expand, in order to care for more animals in the future.

With over 15 acres of land, and 90 species living on site, the zoo’s branding is simple: support them, so they can support the animals.

What’s different about this zoo, is that the emphasis is hugely on the conservation and protection of species with the zoo caring for over 30 species on their survival plan, and working to save 3 species from extinction.

Rather than pushing tourists to spend money on merchandise or refreshments, Seneca Park Zoo encourages visitors to sign-up for memberships to ensure there is consistent funding for the animals.

This is not your typical zoo that comes across as showy, or entertainment oriented, but instead focuses on preservation of species in the correct environments.

neighbourhood of the arts rochester
Credit to NOTA Neighbourhood Association

The Neighbourhood of The Arts

If you are into cities with a metropolitan vibe, full of a diverse range of art and attractions, this one’s for you.

The Neighbourhood of the Arts is 15 blocks of Rochester that packs in more art and expression than any other area in the city, and quite frankly is the place to be!

The area is host to galleries, museums, studios, cultural institutions, and the School of the Arts, as well as a wide range of businesses and restaurants.

This neighbourhood really has it all.

All of this however, is connected by the ARTwalk, the permanent urban art trail created by residents and local artists.

The walk uses art as a vehicle and links all parts of this desirable neighbourhood together, like a form of outdoor art-trail, that engages pedestrians with local work.

city of syracuse
Credit to PlanetWare

Syracuse Branding

Population: 141,073 (roughly)
Time Zone: Eastern Daylight Time (EDT)
Abbreviation: SYR

The city of Syracuse gives Rochester a run for its money in terms of the cultural and artistic value the city has to offer.

Hosting the annual New York state fair, and home to the popular Syracuse University, this city is a regional hub for students due to its entertainment options, and city based campus.

syracuse flag
Credit to Syracuse.com

Syracuse Flag: The State of Branding

This flag switches things up with horizontal stripes this time!

The stripes are baby blue and white, with the seal placed in the middle to coincide with the running theme of all NY state flags.

The seal this time is a lot more colourful and we will get into that below, as it’s a slightly different scene to the others in this post…

It’s nice to see more colour for this flag, while still fitting in nicely with the others.

Syracuse Seal: Mixing Seals Together

Funnily enough, it seems the Syracuse University seal (don’t worry our take on their branding is coming up soon) is more popular, and searched for more often than the city seal!

However, the seal is encompassed again in a circular outline, containing the Erie canal, and a factory in the background, all while the sun sets on the city.

This seal as we mentioned above is a lot more colourful, and contains the wording “Central city” due to its position within the state of New York.

As close to the middle as possible!

Syracuse Branding: Stallions, City Campus, and NY State Fair Fun

Lets get into some branding examples now, and our first University in this state!

syracuse stallions
Credit to Dribble

Syracuse Stallions

The Syracuse Stallions are a professional team and members of the Basketball league, so when it comes to branding they have got to mean business.

They do this through their stallion mascot, that looks fearless, in shades of silver and blue, and outlined in black.

Again the stallion is encompassed by a shield type shape that seems to be common within the sporting world, particularly for basketball, however the stallion takes centre stage.

syracuse university campus
Credit to Syracuse University

Syracuse University

By far the most well branded and popular aspect of the city of Syracuse, is the university.

The campus is more like a haven in the middle of the city, surrounded by greenery, meaning it feels rural while being so close to the buzz of the city centre.

However, green is not the adopted colour of the university, but instead orange was their pick, to show off the boldness of the student after winning an athletics meet against Hamilton College.

The city is known for its private research university, as students can work alongside leading scholars and have access to hands-on research and learning opportunities, across a whopping 13 schools and colleges in total.

The school has been said to be able to provide students with ‘limitless educational pathways’ with over 200 customisable majors.

We sure can see why it’s a favourite among prospective students.

new york state fair
Credit to New York By Rail

The New York State Fair

Now, we couldn’t pay a visit to Syracuse in this post and not mention the one and only, New York State Fair.

Running from the 24th of August to the 5th of September this year (and around a similar time every other year too) the state fair hosts a range of events that are sure to suit everyone and anyone.

Across the 375 acre fairground, there are rides, sporting events, theatre productions and nearly 100 food vendors.

So don’t worry about going hungry…

Over a million visitors travel each year to pay a visit to the fair, that generates a revenue of over $10 million easily!

niagara falls
Credit to Britannica

Niagara Falls Branding

Population: 46,844 (roughly)
Time Zone: Eastern Daylight Time (EDT)
Abbreviation: NF

Now we are moving onto the Falls, famed for its overwhelming beauty and valuable source of hydroelectric power, the city has become one of the worlds biggest tourist attractions.

With water that falls at 32 feet per second, and is capable of producing over 4 million kilowatts of electricity, the 3 waterfalls of Niagara are really something to behold.

But first, you know what’s coming, the flag and the seal.

niagara falls flag
Credit to CRW Flags

Niagara Falls Flag: The State of Branding

Despite the falls lying between Ontario Canada and New York, meaning technically two flags are on the cards, we will stick with the New York state design for today.

This flag is a darker shade of blue, and as all flags in this post do, contains the seal front and centre.

So, we might as well get onto the seal right away!

Niagara Falls Seal: More Artistic Than The Rest

The seal is of course outlined with a circular ring, and contains the words “City of Niagara Falls Incorporated March 17 1892”.

Inside this circular outline is a more of an artistic seal design as it reminds us of a watercolour painting, using only the colours green, blue and white.

This showcases the falls in a unique way and is more suited to the city itself, rather than a replication or remake of other cities’ seals.

There are a few different versions of this seal, one more haphazard, one less colourful version, and one that looks more like a photographic image of the falls.

Now that we’ve covered the flag and seal, let’s jump into some of the city’s branding.

Niagara Falls Branding: Eagles, Observation Tower Views, and The Aquarium of Niagara

Niagara falls is all about the wonderful outdoors, and in a sense branding the natural wonders the city has to offer.

Niagara purple eagles
Credit to Sport Travel

Niagara Purple Eagles

The purple eagles are a collegiate basketball team that represent Niagara University in Lewiston.

The colours of purple and white are taken from the University’s seal and the eagle doesn’t represent a mascot, but the location of the school, on Monteagle Ridge.

The eagles have kept things original, as the logo hasn’t been updated or altered since 2001, definitely keeping on trend with the retro style sporting team logo’s.

observation tower niagara falls
Credit to Twin Travel Concepts

Observation Tower

Now, bear with us, we know this may seem like an obvious choice, however how could we visit Niagara Falls and now mention the most obvious attraction.

The falls, made up of 3 separate waterfalls, The Horseshoe Falls, The American Falls and the Bridal Veil Falls, has an observation tower that offers the only unobstructed panoramic views of all 3.

Visiting the Observation Tower gives you not only amazing views, but the chance to climb down to the bottom of the gorge and catch the Maid of Mist boat tour, or climb up to the Crows Nest.

An added bonus for the birdwatchers, or those who are interested, you can spot bald eagles, peregrine falcons and other species of gull, all from the top of the falls.

niagara falls aquarium
Credit to Niagara Falls

Aquarium of Niagara

Staying on theme here, we are moving to a different body of water, with the Aquarium of Niagara.

The aquarium is another top attraction of the city, and doubles up as a rescue facility, with the goal of evolving into a facility for blind seals.

But wait, it gets better.

Much like Seneca Park Zoo, the Aquarium of Niagara aims to celebrate natural wonders, and inspire people to make a difference for aquatic life.

The company has a real emphasis on the preservation and care of underwater mammals and fish, and encourages visitors to donate and even volunteer for the day.

They support and take in reduced animals with all kinds of conditions or illnesses, in order to give them a second chance at life.

The Niagara aquarium was founded by a group of chemists and scientists, with the plan to introduce artificial sea water to the wildlife, which was a success and is now unsurprisingly used in major aquariums across the world.

A real game-changer if you ask us!

yonkers city hall
Credit to Wikimedia Commons

Yonkers Branding

Population: 201,831 (roughly)
Time Zone: Eastern Daylight Time (EDT)
Abbreviation: YN

This city is home to a variety of cultural amenities (a few of which we will dive into below), but it has long been the home to innovators and inventors.

The Otis elevator, elevated trainline, and FM radio, were all born and bred in this city, making it an industrial powerhouse that continues today.

So we better get started…

Yonkers flag
Credit to Wikimedia

Yonkers Flag: The State of Branding

Brace yourselves, as this flag and seal is different from the rest.

Yes, you heard that right, the city of Yonkers has switched it up when it comes to the state branding as this flag is plain, simple, and white.

The seal is of course the centre of attention, and is in navy blue, and without the seal the flag is just a plain white flag.

The only reasoning we can see for the white and blue colouring is perhaps a nod to the state flag colours, but no orange is in sight!

Although it’s a change up to the other flags in the state, it is quite simplistic in its style and we can help but feel Yonkers could have incorporated more of its industrial history into the flag.

Yonkers Seal: George Washington Makes an Appearance

So, now onto the seal.

The seal is circular and around the wording “Corporation of the City of Yonkers” there is an additional laurel branch circle, again implying that element of peace we keep seeing throughout almost all of the flags in this state.

Then within the inner circle, is the American flag laid down (in some versions the stripes are red, some they’re completely uncoloured) and above the flag is who most sources say to be George Washington.

However, it has never been explained as to why he made the cut to be on the Yonkers flag.

I guess the mystery lives on…

Yonkers Branding: Lansdowne F.C, River Museum, and Untermeyer Gardens

For Yonkers, we are moving onto a smaller football club, and appreciating the natural and scientific wonders of the world.

Lansdowne yonkers
Credit to Twitter

Lansdowne Yonkers F.C.

Founded by a group of men in 1997, the club have since moved to play in Region 1 of the United States Adult Soccer Association.

Once know as the Lansdowne Bhoys, the team wear the celtic colours and they are highly regarded as one of the best amateur teams in the United States.

Their team branding is based around the celtic cross logo, which is simply coloured in green and white, this is a theme for the team, and even their merchandise stays true to the Irish history.

The team have built themselves up from the ground and are now a huge community in themselves including their senior team and their youth academy.

We thought it only right to include a team like this within the post, particularly as this team celebrates sports for all ages, encouraging children to get involved in the sport as well as those in their 30’s and above.

hudson river museum
Credit to Hudson River Museum

Hudson River Museum

This museum has adopted the mission to engage, inspire, and connect diverse communities through the power of art, science and history.

Now that’s a big mission!

Situated in the banks of the Hudson River (there couldn’t be a more apt setting), the Hudson River Museum was founded in 1919 and is home to the only planetarium in the Westchester County.

The museum sure has a lot to offer, and the building is so grand it almost mimics a modernised, (much smaller), castle from Disney’s Magic Kingdom.

The architectural mix is a huge part of the branding as it showcases how the company is capturing the past, but also moving into the future.

One of the ways they are doing this is by providing entertainment via their Amphitheatre, which seats 400 and offers outstanding views of the river.

untermeyer gardens
Credit to ScienceHudson.org

Untermeyer Gardens Conservancy

Lastly, we are onto our final destination of the New York state tour, and that is the magnificent Untermeyer Gardens.

Now correct us if we are wrong, but we think this is the only garden we have included and that is for good reason as this conservancy is a whopping 43 acres in the middle of the city, open free to the public 7 days a week.

The non-profit organisation has been set on revitalising and preserving the gardens of Samuel Untermeyer for years, to deepen the meaning of the gardens for everyone who visits.

The gardens are some of the most celebrated in America and are perfectly located, you guessed it, along the Hudson river, with such a rich history behind it.

The branding is simple yet so effective, as the website is so clear in its message of restoration and preservation of historical locations, and details everything from donations, to live events.

Really the gardens do the talking all on their own, so take a look for yourself…

The State of Branding: New York (From New York Flags, to New York Brands)

So, there’s our round up; a whistle stop tour of 7 cities in the state of New York.

We hope after reading this post you feel a bit more clued up on some of the major branding examples that span across the “Empire State”, from flags to sports teams, and everything in between.

With Canny being a creative agency there is nothing we love more than diving head first into branding from all over the world, and giving our take on what we love and what we think brands are doing right!

But equally, we love to hear what you think, and see which brand identities took your fancy.

Make sure to head over to our social media channels, and give us a message if there are any brands in particular that you can’t get out of your head!

(We still can’t get over that hidden restaurant inside Beauty and Essex…)

I hope you’ve enjoyed our trip to the Big Apple, but keep your eyes peeled as next week we are off to the Buckeye state of Ohio!