01 April 2022 19:09:25 IST

IIM Ahmedabad to ‘refresh’ logo in June, sparks controversy among faculty

IIM Ahmedabad

What has triggered the latest stand-off between the faculty members and the management at the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad (IIMA) is the proposed change of logo of the six-decade-old premier management institute.

IIMA management has proposed two fresh designs of the existing logo, which represents the popular 'Tree of Life' carving on one of the stone latticework windows at the 1573-AD Sidi Saiyyed Mosque in Ahmedabad.

A group of faculty members objected to the management's decision, which they felt to be unilateral and taken without the due discussion with the faculty members— one of the key stakeholders at IIMA.

The institute, however, has clarified that while revamping the institute's website, a need was felt to refresh the logo. "The proposed logo continues the legacy of the original logo," IIMA clarified, adding that evaluation, exploration, development of wordmark and development of brandmark were all kept in mind while coming up with the final design recommendations.

"The proposed logo is to be released in June of this year after the annual vacation," it said.

However, the faculty members, in their letter to the Board of Governors have criticised the manner in which the decision of change of logo was taken.

"The faculty members were never informed that there is a need to redesign the logo. Nor was a committee formed, that we are aware of, whose term of reference included logo redesign," a letter by the faculty members to the Board of Governors read.

"The first time we come to know of a logo redesign is when we learn on March 4, 2022 that two logos have been designed, accepted by the board and registered," the letter said.

Long-term impact

Expressing fears of a "long-lasting impact on the IIMA brand," the faculty members sought Board Members' attention to ensure that the "new logo does not cognize IIMA heritage, core purpose, and core objective."

"Furthermore, two logos are being proposed — one which carries the Sanskrit motto (Vidya Viniyogat Vikas) and the other which does not. We have been told that one is for international consumption and the other for domestic purposes. The purpose of this decision defies logic. We are keen to learn of the processes followed by the board to arrive at this conclusion," the letter said raising concerns.

"The logo is our identity — the jaali and the Sanskrit verse define us and our Indian ethos. For us, it a symbol of our Indianness, our connect with “ vidya,” and our link to the institute. It is our commitment to " vikas" of the country, industry, society, students and management discipline. It is our philosophy and mission statement. Any change in the same, either in artistic rendition or change in verse, is an assault on our identity," the strongly-worded letter said.

In its clarification, the IIMA said, "The proposed logo continues the legacy of the original logo, retains the status line in Sanskrit (VidyaViniyogadVikasa) as in the original, the colour rendition has been improved, the fonts modernised, the ' jaali' inspired brand mark has been made more amenable to communication in digital media, and the brand name made more distinct."