MIT Media Lab Made Itself a Self-Generating, 40,000 Variant Logo

Illustration for article titled MIT Media Lab Made Itself a Self-Generating, 40,000 Variant Logo

How do you design a logo with longevity? One that won't seem stale and tired after a few years? Make it beautiful, of course, and then give it 40,000 possible appearances based on an algorithm—enough to last 25 years of use.

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MIT, you guys are are incredible. That being said, the concept does violate nearly every rule of traditional logo design and branding—you know, that the symbol should be something static that you remember and identify with an entity across time and space. Coherence, and the ability to drill itself into your memory, is something that companies spend fortunes on—while MIT seems to trash these notions entirely. The colorful shifting spotlights are almost an anti-logo. Is that conceptually more powerful than, say, a Nike Swoosh? [via CoDesign]

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DISCUSSION

The logo doesn't really violate the rules of branding consistency. It's got very consistent elements. Motion is simply another dynamic to the brand. It's kind of like how some companies will have an identity that can incorporate different colors or imagery.

Although, I'm sure quite a few of those 40,000 permutations will look like some other identity. And eventually they're going to have to settle on one variation or other in applications where it needs to be static.