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MIT Media Lab Generates a New Logo

March 13, 2011

This is a fun story.  Getting a logo can be a pain (as much of a pain as thinking up a game or company name!) and it is hard to get it right.  Witness the kerfuffle over the London 2012 Olympics logo (though personally I like it!)  So its a logo for a lab with a rep for cutting edge – so how did they come up with it?  They generated it via an algorithm!

To honor 25 years of backseat-driving robots and vision-scanning iPhones and touchscreen-keyboard-3-D-display hybrids, the MIT Media Lab tapped Brooklyn-based designers (and erstwhile Media Lab rats) E Roon Kang and Richard The to dream up a fresh visual identity. The result is pure, unadulterated Media Lab: an algorithmic logo that generates a sui generis image for each of the Lab’s sui generis brains. …

The basic idea here is that the logo has three intersecting spotlights that can be organized in any of 40,000 shapes and 12 color combinations using a custom algorithm. That’s enough to supply each and every new card-carrying Media Labber with his very own logo for a whopping 25 years.

Folks select a design on a web-based platform, and once they’ve made their choice, no one else can poach it; it’s as personal as a Social Security number — perhaps more so.

I’ll admit – it an amazing way to come up with the logo. The medium is the message, if you like. Wish I’d thought of it…

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