COLLINS Evolves Logo and Identity for Chicago’s Famous Institute of Design
Ahead of its 85th anniversary, the Institute of Design in Chicago invited COLLINS to refresh its branding and visual system.
Founded in 1937 by Hungarian painter and photographer László Moholy-Nagy, the design school was initially named “The New Bauhaus”, with Moholy-Nagy himself having been a teacher at the original and world-famous Bauhaus school in Weimar in Germany between 1923 and 1928.
The educational establishment subsequently underwent a number of name changes, from the “Chicago School of Design” in 1939 to the “Institute of Design” later in 1944.
It would then go on to be called the “Institute of Design (ID) at Illinois Tech” after being assimilated into the new Illinois Institute of Technology university system in 1949, whereupon it became the first institution in the whole of America to offer a PhD in design.
When COLLINS was recently brought in to update the institution’s branding, the agency’s designers were tasked with ‘evolving’ the identity in a way that would communicate ID’s belief in the “transformative power of design”.
“ID does not view design as a tool for revolution or disruption. This is not about tearing down the old to make way for the new,” explain the designers. “Rather, design is used to identify possibilities, focus on the most promising and refine the best. At ID, design is a dynamic process building towards positive impact.”
ID’s new look, which spans every facet of the school, seems to be centred around a bespoke dynamic typeface that begins with the logo and then extends into an array of motion graphic elements.
“The idea of ‘The Evolutionary’ led us to imagine a new voice and visual language that could itself evolve. Inspired by Moholy-Nagy’s artistic experiments with geometry and ID’s legendary director Jay Doblin’s genius with complex systems, we crafted six foundational structures able to transform from abstract shapes into words and images.
“The dynamism of this system is ID’s story, providing a voice and a canvas to show students, businesses – everyone – the extraordinary power of design to create possibilities that are both positive and impactful.”