Rome wit’ Love
Rome wit’ Love is a slogan and logo designed both to celebrate the 2015 visit of Pope Francis to Philadelphia and to raise funds for the Archdiocesan’s Children’s Choir, which performed in Rome the following winter.
Pope Francis’ visit to Philadelphia in September 2015 was an historic moment for the city. Although cold weather, high security, and disorganization made for a slightly rocky weekend (not the good kind of Philadelphia Rocky), the crowds were enthusiastic nonetheless. One particularly excited group was the Archdiocesan Children’s Choir. They performed a capella on the steps of the Cathedral Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul for the Pope’s arrival, and they also performed with the Philadelphia Orchestra at the Mass on the Parkway the following day.
This was merely an opening act for the choir, however. In January 2016, the choir traveled to Rome for an international children’s choir festival. They sang at the Basilica of St. Francis in Assisi, the Cathedral of St. Ignatius in Rome, and finally for Epiphany Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City. Such a trip required a lot of fundraising, and one of the efforts involved creating items for sale that captured the spirit of brotherly love between Philadelphia and Rome. Rome wit’ Love was born.
The slogan calls to mind the classic From Russia With Love, substituting the original with the choir’s destination. “From” was dropped for linguistic symmetry, and “wit” was added in reference to the classic Philadelphia cheesesteak ordering question, “Want it wit’ wiz, or wit’out?”
There were several logo concepts developed before landing on the idea of referencing Robert Indiana’s classic Love sculpture. As it turned out, the word “Rome” fit nicely into a similar graphic space. The blue and red of “Love” is contrasted with the Italian red and green of “Rome.” Adding dimensionality to the words furthered the connection between the original sculpture and the logo. The conjunction “wit” joins them and adds an air of whimsy, like the drizzle of cheese whiz on a steak.