“A great logo draws attention, it informs, inspires, and wants to be remembered,” says Rocco Piscatello, adjunct assistant professor of Communication Design and noted brand identity and signage designer.
By those measures, the FIT “button” logo is a feat of brilliance: simple, bold, and instantly recognizable. Developed by renowned graphic designer Michael Bierut of Pentagram in 1999, the logo is a contemporary classic, an iconic circle around clean, sans serif Bureau Grotesque type. When FIT’s new Unconventional Minds brand rolled out in 2018, two additional color choices—pink and green—were added to the original blue. The form, typeface, and proportions remain the same.
3. 1960s and 1970s
The logo’s timeless quality makes it easy to forget that there were other logos before it. First there was just a seal rather than a logo. Later marks were more “designed,” changing with design trends. Number 3 was perhaps a too-faithful homage to MIT's logo, a literal reflection of founder Mortimer Ritter's wish that FIT should be an “MIT for the fashion industries.” Piscatello says Number 4, from 1997 and used briefly, was “quirky and attempted to communicate creativity. However, it lacked clarity.”
In contrast, the current logo is distinctive and unfussy, and easy to incorporate into a range of materials, from publications to digital applications to signage. A successful logo lasts, becoming associated over time with the organization it represents, and the FIT button is doing just that.