The MIT logo was created in 2003, and after 20 years it was time for a refresh. This is a process that many brands – even those with popular and successful visual identities – go through over time. There were two main goals for the brand update: modernize the system to better express the warmth, dynamism, and vitality of our community, and make it easier to leverage the MIT brand across the many channels we use to communicate.
The updates to our brand system include:
- A modernized MIT logo that’s been simplified to one color
- An expanded color palette
- A set of suggested typefaces
- Updated options for how departments, labs, and centers (DLCs) may express themselves relative to the MIT parent brand
- Minor improvements to the MIT seal and Tim the Beaver illustrations
- Templates for letterhead and presentation decks
- New designs for printed letterhead, envelopes, and business cards
MIT’s brand system is designed to allow for flexibility and expression, but there are three important expectations that we are asking the entire community to meet:
- Use the updated MIT logo in one color only
- Include the logo in all communications
- Use the updated brand architecture options
No, the MIT logo is now one color only. In communications, it may be used in any of the colors from the core palette: MIT red, silver gray, bright red, black, and white. For branded merchandise only, it may be used in any color, but we recommend considering the core palette first.
The MIT logo is a globally recognized symbol that’s distinct from the letters “MIT.” Including the MIT logo on all communications creates an instant and powerful visual connection to the Institute.
Include the MIT logo at the top of all web pages in desktop, tablet, and mobile views so your site is instantly recognized as being part of MIT. The logo should link to the MIT homepage. For sub-brand logos, the entire graphic should link to the department’s homepage.
Update the website favicon on your sites if you were using the former version. The new favicon uses the updated M from the MIT logo.
On digital newsletters, include the MIT logo in the header area to indicate your immediate connection to MIT.
For both types of communications, be sure to include the full name of Massachusetts Institute of Technology. You can use an MIT logo lock-up, or you can place the full name in text in the footer contact area of your website or digital newsletter.
See the social media section for guidance on branding your social accounts.
On print materials, the logo should be in the same visual field as your department’s logo, such as on a brochure cover. The logo should be considered from the beginning so its presence in your design will be more effective. It shouldn’t be hidden on the back cover or an interior page.
Be sure to include the full name of Massachusetts Institute of Technology somewhere on your print piece, if you are not using it as part of a logo lock-up.
We offer two options for branding your DLC: sub-branding and endorsed branding. All communications, including websites, social media, printed materials, and branded merchandise, should conform to the updated branding options.
If you are using a branding option that has been retired (master branding and equal focus branding), you will need to update your communications materials. Contact email@example.com for support on making the updates.
Sub-brand logos may be used by DLCs only. They may not be used for publications, events, or resources (such as this Brand Guide website); by departments or programs that include the name of an external company; or by student groups.
There are several compelling reasons to use a sub-brand logo for your DLC:
The strength of the MIT brand is closely connected to your department, increasing recognition and trust.
Clarity and consistency
Sub-brand logos eliminate ambiguity by presenting a unified voice across MIT.
By leveraging MIT’s visual brand language, you save time, energy, and resources.
Events, publications, resources, and departments that include the name of an external company should use endorsed branding.
Only MIT student groups sponsored through formal channels (those that request and receive written approval to be sponsored by a department, laboratory, or center) or clubs recognized by the Association of Student Activities are authorized to use the MIT name and logo for club-related purposes. Approved student organizations are not permitted to alter MIT’s logo or combine it with any other logo, text, or image, or to use the MIT logo as their social media icon. For additional guidance, please contact the Institute Office of Communications.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Logos must be created by the Institute Office of Communications to ensure that they qualify to use sub-branding and that they are built correctly. Please do not build your own logos.
While we strongly recommend that DLCs use sub-branding to leverage the MIT parent brand’s strength, reputation, and broad recognition, you also have the option to use an existing custom logo or create a new one. Just be sure to include the MIT logo in your communications and allow for proper spacing. The Institute Office of Communications is available to review designs. Contact us at email@example.com.
The MIT logo social icon is available for download in 15 colors. You can also use a background color of your choosing, except for black, white, or gray. The MIT logo must be in black or white. If you use your own color, confirm that there's sufficient contrast between the black or white MIT and the background color.
The MIT community can access Neue Haas Grotesk through Adobe Fonts.
Templates and stationery
No, the seal may only be used by licensed merchandise vendors. MIT departments and student groups should use the MIT logo, acronym, or Tim the Beaver.
Resources and timeline
Yes, we want to make updates as easy as possible. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you need help updating the branding on your websites.
We’ve divided the rollout into multiple phases:
Update in fall 2023:
- Websites, social media, newsletters, and other digital communications; contact email@example.com if you need assistance
- New orders for business cards, letterhead, and other printed materials
- New orders for branded merchandise
Upon reprinting or reordering:
- New orders for printed materials and branded merchandise—you may use your existing supply until you need to reorder.
Within 1-2 years, as opportunity arises and budget allows:
- Door and building signage
- MIT-branded uniforms
- Other more permanent items