MIT Libraries. A Bold New Look for a Bold New Vi­sion.

In 2014, The Mass­a­chu­setts In­sti­tute of Tech­nol­ogy cre­ated a task force to ar­tic­u­late a bold new vi­sion for the MIT Libraries. The goal was to cre­ate a re­port with rec­om­men­da­tions of how to evolve to best ad­vance the cre­ation, dis­sem­i­na­tion, and preser­va­tion of knowl­edge. The re­port was re­leased in Oc­to­ber 2016, and it in­cludes a set of 10 rec­om­men­da­tions that out­line a com­pre­hen­sive vi­sion for the MIT Li­braries in the com­ing decades. At this time, MIT be­gan work­ing with the de­sign con­sul­tancy Pen­ta­gram to cre­ate a bold new look for this bold new vi­sion.

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We worked as tech­ni­cal part­ners with Pen­ta­gram on the pro­ject to cre­ate a cus­tom de­sign tool that can be used to gen­er­ate end­less vari­a­tions of the new MIT Li­braries logo.

Cre­ated by Michael Beirut and Aron Fay, the new vi­sual iden­tity con­sists of an ever-chang­ing an­gu­lar shape that re­flects the vi­sion of a li­brary where cre­ation and ac­cess to knowl­edge is fluid, in­ter­ac­tive, par­tic­i­pa­tory, and pro­gram­ma­ble. We worked as tech­ni­cal part­ners with Pentagram on the pro­ject to cre­ate a cus­tom de­sign tool that can be used to gen­er­ate end­less vari­a­tions of the logo. Rather than de­liv­er­ing a sta­tic set of logo files, this gen­er­a­tor soft­ware can be used to gen­er­ate new lo­gos whether for event posters, sig­nage, or so­cial me­dia.

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The logo soft­ware is writ­ten in the Pro­cess­ing pro­gram­ming lan­guage, which was de­vel­oped at the MIT Me­dia Lab by alumni Ben Fry and Casey Reas. A tool­bar in the in­ter­face al­lows the user to change the word­mark, color, stroke set­tings, and back­ground of the logo, and ex­port the logo as ei­ther a sta­tic im­age or an­i­mated video se­quence. It is li­censed un­der the MIT open source li­cense.