Established in 1932, ABET (Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology) is a nonprofit, non-governmental organization that accredits college and university programs in the disciplines of applied science, computing, engineering, and engineering technology at the associate, bachelor, and master degree levels. So far, they have accredited approximately 3,400 programs at nearly 700 colleges and universities in 28 countries with the help of over 2,200 volunteers who help evaluate the programs. The main takeaway from this is that the people who graduate from university and colleges accredited by ABET are the people you want building bridges, airplanes, computer infrastructures, and space stations. In June, ABET introduced a new identity designed by Baltimore, MD-based Ashton Design.
ABET’s new logo is an abstract mark that uses a simple visual form to convey the organization’s purpose. It is a contemporary and fresh design created to appeal to a modern audience — the next generation of computer scientists, engineers, and technologists — who will shape our world.
“A circle is bold, confident, timeless, and dynamic,” explained Danielle Duran Baron, ABET Senior Director, Global Communications and Marketing. “It can be associated with concepts that are relevant to ABET, such as globalism, unity, and continuous quality improvement. The color orange is associated with positive outlook, inspiring confidence and motivation, while the grey we use for the ABET word-mark that sits under the circle is associated with precision and sophistication.”
The old logo meant well and it definitely had a hard-hat-engineering vibe to it but that’s about as much positivity as I can muster for it, given the offensive “ET” ligature. The new logo, as a logo on its own in this big world, isn’t anything special or original or exciting but as a revolution from its predecessor, it’s excellent. The logo has a nice balance, with the thick ring matching the thickness of the wordmark that has been letter-spaced quite generously, which creates a pleasant relationship between the center of the ring and all the counter spaces. I would move the “A” about 1% to the right but, other than that, this is a solid logo.
Based on the old logo alone you can easily picture how bad ABET’s communication materials were. I bet you somewhere there was a stock photo of two people shaking hands. Like the logo, the applications aren’t the great leap in identity design but they are very well designed with a highly commendable level of minimalism and give this non-profit, volunteer-based organization a very put-together look representative of the standards they seek themselves in others.