The design agency Agence Babel in Paris, France and Steven Noble collaberated to create the new logo identity for the pretigious Ecole Polytechnique in France. The Polytechnique is considered to be one of the most selective and prestigious French Grandes écoles. The logo was designed to represent the four branches of the French military under the Napoleanic era that include: infantry, artillery, navy, and cavalry. Three different detailed versions of the logo were created for use in different size applications that include: large detailed, medium, and small icon size of for use under 1."
The institute sought to remake its image in order to strengthen its visibility and readability in a very dense international competitive arena. Following a call for bids to which over forty agencies responded, École Polytechnique selected Babel and illustrator Steven Noble to guide this image transformation process.
The new visual identity of École Polytechnique revolves around two strong iconic symbols which are integral to the heritage and brand of the institute:
- the letter “X” has been another name for École Polytechnique since the mid-19th century, originating from the crossed cannons in its original insignia, as well as a symbol for the school’s scientific education, stemming from the ubiquitous x variable used in scientific and mathematic equations;
- the school’s coat of arms, a historical insignia which bears the motto given by Napoleon “Pour la Patrie, les Sciences et la Gloire” (For the Homeland, for Science, and for Glory), represents the values of the school and its military status.
In the new logo, the letter X is formed by two dynamic, confident lines. Slightly asymmetrical, this X is not a perfect mathematical symbol but rather the powerful and modern expression of two lines of force. Supported by the X, the insignia once again resembles a traditional engraving in a style faithful to references from the Napoleonic era and with redesigned wings which lend it further elegance and strength, while remaining consistent with the form of the X.