Birth of a new logo

Without change there is no innovation, creativity, or incentive for improvement. With this in mind, it was with a heavy heart we bid adieu to our old logo. However, a new design doesn’t come easy, as our Media team found. Read on to find out how we drew inspiration from logos throughout history – such as Manchester United and Adidas and how our logo came to be (early efforts included).

It doesn’t take Sherlock Holmes to figure out that our logo is very old which is understandable – IE is one of the oldest clubs of NITK. The logo which is being used is the original Institution of Engineers(India) logo which was formed in 1920 and thus, the logo was also designed in the 1920’s. It is nearly a hundred years old, and to put that into perspective – older than the institute itself.

Our current yet ancient logo

That logo depicts an engineer of that era. In these hundred years, the identity of an “engineer” has changed and the logo becomes irrelevant. It is interesting to note that many logos are kept unchanged for years even if they are very old. A fine example is the logo of the Manchester United Football Club’s whose basic design remains unchanged.

A brief history of Manchester United’s logos

This is because it signifies the club history – the badge is derived from the crest of the city of Manchester while the devil on the club badge stands for the club’s nickname ‘The Red Devils’, which was adopted in the early 1960’s.
A logo’s true purpose is to symbolize the brand than depict history. This was no problem in the case of Manchester United as the logo has been the identity of the club throughout the club’s history and therefore is easily recognized. In our case, this was the problem. As one can see, the name “The Institute of Engineers” on the logo occupies a very small part of the whole image and is not very easily looked up on.
It looks like a stamp (which was probably the idea behind the design) rather than a logo on the various event posters, t-shirts and other media and is impossible for someone to read the name of the club from it. Thus, the logo does a bad job of publicizing the brand, signifying that a make-over was in order.

Our top priority for the new logo was that it screamed “IE NITK” upon the very first glance. A lot of companies follow this policy and here are some fine examples:

Getting to the design – the grand reveal:

We decided that the logo must contain the letters “I” and “E”.
First, we tried symbolism by visualizing our three main SIGs (Code, Gadget and Garage) on the logo and came up with designs like these:’

In the above logo, we even tried having “IENITK” written in binary for ‘I’. However, as you can see from the above design, all the designs with too much symbolism looked very cramped, making it harder to figure out the “IE” and it felt like we were parting away from what we wanted to achieve by changing the logo.

After this, we tried to come up with various styles of writing IE taking inspirations from various logos and picking the features we wanted and experimenting with it.

Ones we had to sacrifice to the trash bin

In the end, after many views and recommendations, we came up with this. It looks light and cool with the two-colour combination of dark grey and bluish green. The blue green line at the top joining the dot in “i” and top line of “E” can be looks similar to the slider design in smartphones to unlock the phone. The roundness adds to the friendliness of the design making it look simple and modern.


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