• Transform magazine
  • April 22, 2024


COLLINS rebrands the Institute of Design ahead of its 85th anniversary

17 Workshop Process

The Institute of Design has sought to use design to transform the systems that shape our lives since its founding by László Moholy-Nagy in 1937. Crafted by COLLINS, the Chicago-based organisation’s new brand story attempts to provide a voice and canvas to show the world the positive and impactful power of design.

The institute’s roots spread as far back as 1919 to the founding of Bauhaus, a German art school which disbanded following the rise of Nazism on the European continent in the 1930s. Moholy-Nagy, a professor at the school, left to greener pastures in the US before setting up the New Bauhaus in Chicago, later renamed the Institute of Design (ID) at Illinois Tech.

Eighty-five years since its inception – a period which has seen many of the world’s greatest creative leaders teach at ID – the organisation recognised a change was in order. Brand experience design company COLLINS was brought onboard to evolve the brand’s identity.


With perspective students and potential business partners often stuck with the idea that design is limited to visual arts and product development, the new brand story would instead tell of the transformative power of design.

Rejecting the idea of ‘revolutionaries’, a new voice and visual language called ‘The Evolutionary’ – that itself could evolve – were created by the agency. Spanning every facet of the school, the rebrand sees the implementation of custom dynamic typefaces and motion graphics inspired by Moholy-Nagy’s artistic experiments with geometry and ID’s legendary director Jay Doblin’s work with complex systems. The six foundational structures crafted by COLLINS, represent design’s ability to turn chaos to clarity, can convert abstract shapes into words and images.