Logo Logo Colors

Transforming the logo with color

Red and gray

Black and gray

We designed the logo to be printed in two colors, but it's also flexible so that it stands out just as effectively in black and white, red and gray, or custom colors. In our design research, however, we discovered that certain color solutions were more successful than others. In fact, we found that a bad choice of color could obscure the identity of the logo altogether.

Quick tips for using color in the logo

1. Optimize the official look

If you want the MIT identity to resonate, use the Institute colors red and gray. You'll want to stick to the official shades to be authentic. Just as slight variations in a fashion designer's logo betray that the merchandise is a knock-off, variations on the official colors may send the message that you are not genuinely part of the Institute.

Equally important is the position of color. We designed the logo in two tones to emphasize the three distinct letters. The stem of the letter "I" is gray, while the rest of the logo is red. If you are reproducing the logo in a black and white document, the stem of the letter "I" should be gray, with the rest of the logo in black.

Your printer or designer will need these specifications:

Print

MIT red = Pantone 201
MIT gray = Pantone 424

or

MIT red = Pantone 201
MIT gray = black (at 50% value)

or

Process colors (CMYK)

MIT red = 0% cyan, 100% magenta, 65% yellow,
34% black (K)
MIT gray = 50% black (K)

Web-safe

Web-safe MIT red = hex # 993333
(RGB equivalent = R 153, G 51, B 51)
Web-safe MIT gray = hex # 666666
(RGB equivalent = R 102, G 102, B 102)

2. Choose color carefully

School colors will give your logo the most powerful connection to MIT. But if the medium in which you are working requires that you use different colors, opt for two that are distinct but don't contrast too strongly. Use the dominant of the two colors for the "M" and "T" and the top of the "I." Use the secondary color for the stem of the "I."

3. Make the most of black and white

If because of financial or aesthetic reasons, you decide to produce a black and white publication, download either the two-tone gray or gray and white version of the logo. As with all other two-color combinations, use the lighter color for the stem of the "I."

4. Avoid the multicolored look

We found that the logo loses both its distinctiveness and its dignity in a multi-colored format. If a logotype is not printed with some uniformity, it looks more like a monogram than a logo. In short, it loses its identity. Use the two-color tips above to guide you. See example.

5. Choose the right color for the web

Color is a tricky business on the web, and logo legibility potentially challenging. We created Logo Lab to help you integrate a color logo into the design of your web page. You might also want to consult MIT's Web Reference Guide.