Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Boston Branding

Northeastern University, following Boston University's lead, had decided to rebrand their image. What, you ask, why would prestigious east coast schools rebrand their image? To attract new students? Modernize? What if all the schools started doing this? Boston Magazine asked six top Boston design and advertising companies to give their shot at redesigning either the Harvard, MIT, or Boston College logo, just for fun.
Interesting work...see below.
"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."
"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.")
"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."

My own thoughts: Not crazy about any of the Harvard redesigns. I don't think anyone should mess with the Harvard logo. As far as MIT goes, I like what Arnold did, but its not very practical. I love what Verve Creative did with the BC logo; its much more elegant now. I would also suggest to use the initials " NC" instead, because Boston College is Newton, MA. (I'm kidding, just a a little Boston University fun).


Josh said...

I like the original Harvard and MIT ones a lot, but I'm not a fan of any of the Boston ones shown. The one by verve looks like something i church would have as a logo.

Tess Mattern said...

This is a great find! I like the original MIT logo too— In my opinion, none of the new designs can touch it.

What do you think of the actual redesign done by BU? While it's not an extreme change, I do like that they are using some consistency at our alma mater. Finally.

Sarah Martin said...

I've always liked BU's identity. It was never in a dire need of a redesign like Boston College.

I dislike MIT's logo; it looks very dated to a bad way.

Sarah said...

Actually, the BC logo shown is used for their sports events and was recently updated. I like that one best. Several years ago their development office went through a rebranding with Cory McPherson Nash and the resulting logos can be seen here at the bottom left:

I think what they use now is better than the redesign in this article. I doubt Father Leahy would approve either of them.

Sarah said...

Also, adding on the BU rebranding: It's great but the trickle down hasn't reached all of the colleges, yet, but hopefully in the next year or so there will be a more unification across the school. The University put out guidelines for everyone but they are not being enforced and the font (Whitney) needs to be bought by each office that wants to use it (not top priority everywhere). I wish they'd just buy it for us all! For a real retch check out ENG's in-house logo design (from several years ago but still being used). ICK! I REFUSE to use it.