Libraries unveil new look

Bold new design reflects vision for the future of libraries



Today, the MIT Libraries debuted a first look at its new visual identity developed by design consultancy Pentagram. The rebranding project follows the release of the Future of Libraries Task Force report, which set an ambitious course for the Libraries in the coming decades.

“Our bold new vision for the research library as an open global platform needed a bold new look,” says Director Chris Bourg. “I am thrilled with what Pentagram has created for us. It truly signals a new era of transformation for the Libraries.”

The Libraries began working with Pentagram’s Michael Bierut and Aron Fay, along with messaging partner Andrea Jarrell, in spring 2017. Their strategy developed from research including interviews with faculty, students, staff, and library peers and close engagement with the task force report.

The central element of the visual identity is an ever-changing angular shape that reflects the task force’s vision of a library where “creation and access to knowledge are dynamically networked.” The shape is algorithmically generated using the programming language Processing, which was developed at the MIT Media Lab by alumni Ben Fry and Casey Reas, and can appear in a range of bold colors.

“Today’s world requires access to knowledge that is fluid, interactive, participatory, and programmable,” says Bourg. “This open source code-generated logo is all of those things. That it’s made possible by an MIT invention makes it all the more resonant.”

The new branding can be seen on select pages of and on the Libraries’ Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram pages. New graphics for the entrances of each library location will be installed early in the spring term, and the rollout of the new identity will continue throughout the spring.