The designers agree that, like the school itself, Harvard’s existing logo resonates with refined, storied history. However, the ornate crest is hard to reproduce in different sizes and on varied surfaces, which limits its potential as a marketing tool.
"The sans serif ‘H’ visually balances the three books, while the modern serif type for ‘Harvard’ serves as a solid foundation for the shield. It signifies a more modern, more connected school, while retaining its historical elements."
—Stewart Monderer, principal
"With a new font treatment and modernized book icons, we sought to create a more contemporary look that was still instantly recognizable. A vibrant green was added to the wreath to contrast with the crimson."
—Darren Bourque, creative director
MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY (MIT)
This logo is only six years old, yet the designers feel it looks stale, particularly because of its rigid, boxy appearance. (As part of its efforts, Alphabet Arm Design interviewed alumni and was told, "MIT is a school full of nerds. The squarish logo kinda fits that mold.")
"The goal was to evolve and give life to the logo, thereby complementing the school’s mission. The gray and white creates a pure and modern feel; 3-D allows it to move, morph, or function freely."
—James Adame, senior designer
Alphabet Arm Design
"We chose a lighter-weight typeface to add a dynamic feel. The logo has an initial bold impact, nuances that reveal themselves on a second look, and a structure that suggests depth while retaining an overall simplicity."
—Aaron Belyea, senior designer
BC has a more formal crest, but this is the logo it uses most often. The designers think it conveys aggressive athletic prowess rather than academic excellence, and describe it as "clunky" and "a varsity patch."
"In contrast to the logo’s current sans serif italic font, which is athletic in nature, we used a Victorian-era font to symbolize the college’s rich history. The stylized sun cross helps emphasize its Jesuit tradition."
—Sean Horrigan, account executive
"The eagle was important to include in the new logo, but instead of one in an attack mode, I chose a soaring eagle. This is a better metaphor for the BC community: ‘Soaring to greater heights’ versus ‘Attack thy enemy.’"
—Mike Ciolino, managing principal