An Anti-Academic Identity

The Harvard Graduate School of Design’s new identity is about as far away from a traditional university crest as it can be. At the center of the new identity is the letter H, which is a letterform that is easily built from smaller building blocks—shapes, other letters, tiny illustrations—that are chosen for the context in which the H is shown.

Explanation for the new system from the School’s Instagram: “The letter ‘H’ immediately connects the GSD with the greater Harvard community. We also took inspiration from Gund Hall, the GSD’s main building. Stripping away the surface of the ‘H’ glyph reveals the underlying structure of the letter’s form and composition: its architecture. The letterform reveals the features of its own design and construction, just as Gund Hall’s design foregrounds the building’s structure and core functions.

“The logo is designed to be versatile and accommodate different creative perspectives. A template of the ‘H’ structure is available to students, faculty, and staff to create their own versions of the ‘H.’”

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