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The Many Meanings of the New World Trade Center Logo

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Logos are a pretty big deal for the new World Trade Center. One WTC, Four WTC, the 9/11 Memorial and Museum all have their own logos. And now, the whole complex has a new logo, which was first spotted by the Times on the construction fence at the corner of Church and Vesey Streets. The new symbol of the center, fittingly, holds many meanings, and with a few simple shapes captures the past and future of the complex.

The new logo was designed by Landor Associates, "a corporate identity firm" that has made the branding for big names like FedEx, BP, and Smirnoff vodka. At first glance, it looks like one of the steel tridents that was salvaged from the wreckage of the Twin Towers and now displayed in the 9/11 Museum, but there's a lot more to it than just that. Here's every image, symbol, and meaning depicted in the black and white logo:

1) The most obvious, as stated above, is the three-pronged steel trident.

2) The Tribute in Light. The two spaces between the three fingers represent the memorial beacons.

3) The 9/11 Memorial pools. The two lower rectangles, out of which the symbolic pillars of light rise, depict the memorial pools that mark the footprints of the Twin Towers. These two rectangles are also the exact same shape, recalling the original towers.

4) The five new towers. The logo's five bars each stand for one of the towers in the new complex.

5) The letter W. Not only does this represent "World Trade Center," but also, the Times notes, Westfield World Trade Center, the name of the shopping center that the development will hold.

6) The symbolic 1,776-foot height of One World Trade Center. The slope of the top three prongs is at a 17.76-degree angle.

Among the design crowd, the logo evokes a mix of feelings. One architect told the Times, "It's so anonymous that it almost evaporates," while another praised its complexity. "Its strength is its ability to be seen in many ways. You could never get more meaning in five little bars."
· World Trade Center Logo Captures Site's Destruction and Rebirth [NYT]
· World Trade Center Redevelopment [Curbed]
· All World Trade Center coverage [Curbed]