Founded in 1886, the Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD) is a well known and regarded college offering students graduate and undergraduate degrees — in academic programs like Graphic Design, Advertising, Fine Arts, Photography, and even Comic Art — from the cold confines of Minneapolis. Yesterday, MCAD introduced a new identity designed by MCAD DesignWorks, an MCAD-run design firm that does work for the college as well as outside clients and is staffed by MCAD students and led by J. Zachary Keenan. The new website was designed by Little & Company and developed by The Nerdery, both Minnesota-based businesses.
The new logo mark shows two arrows coming together to form an intersection. The Intersection is illustrative of the new MCAD vision statement, “transforming the world through creativity and purpose.” MCAD is a place where creativity meets purpose, and increasingly where the student experience will take place at the intersection of the campus and the world at large.
— Press Release
The old logo was perfectly suitable for a design/art school, in a sober sans serif with just enough of an edge to make it more unique. The X above the name in the old one, shifted into abstract forms for different applications but it served as the basis and now as the segue into the new identity. The new “X” or the “intersection” as it has been nicknamed is a decent devise to build an identity around, but it’s too generic to establish a direct association to MCAD. The execution is fairly basic and the application on the website, as well as the motion piece below, are very shy and leave you wanting for more… not necessarily in a good way. For a progressive art and design school I wish the applications were more engaging and explorative while allowing the official, static logo to be, well, static and official. The new type feels like a step backwards visually with an odd Art Deco-ish feel that accentuates the big counter space around the pointy top of the “A” whereas the old one, being a condensed sans serif had much better rhythm in the counter spaces. Unless the applications take it up a notch, this identity isn’t quite yet an improvement over its predecessor.