How to Reinvent a Legacy Brand
The Pentagram partner weighs in with some tips
This month, the the 118-year old MIT Technology Review launches the first issue of its redesign, featuring a new visual identity and editorial look. The strategic overhaul of the print bimonthly, led by Pentagram partner Michael Bierut, offers important lessons in how to revamp a legacy brand at a time of rampant disruption.
Founded in 1899 and published independently by MIT, the Review has rigorously examined and analyzed technology over the span of three centuries, even as that term “technology” itself has been vastly expanded and redefined from decade to decade. Surely, the publication’s 19th-century founders couldn’t have fathomed an era where having a personal, hyper-compact supercomputer at our fingertips at any given time would become a ubiquitous reality—let alone the industry-wise demise of print media altogether.
While the relaunch is twofold—a new website, designed by Upstatement, features related, complementary content distinct from the magazine—the choice to keep and reinvest in the longevity of its print edition is a bold and even subversively ironic gesture from an institution that is all but synonymous with cutting-edge innovation.
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