design shaastra

The new Shaastra logo: capturing the spirit of engineering

IIT Madras celebrates Shaastra. It is our technical festival. We celebrate the spirit of engineering. So it was essential for us to figure out what exactly did the ‘spirit of engineering’ stood for. We did figure that out but instead of me stating that for you, let me take you through the process by asking you certain questions.

What does engineering mean to you? I asked this to many and almost everyone gave a similar reply: engineering is about applying science. It is about taking ahead the theories of science and implementing them. This is what engineers do.

Now, what is science all about? It’s about logical creative thinking of explaining nature and various other kinds of phenomena. Years of experiments, hits and trials, and out of the box thinking, led to various theories of science. Which now lay as a resource for all the engineers to use. In engineering, you still have to think out of the box, but unlike science you cannot afford to go for hits and trials. In engineering, you don’t take chances.

Albert Einstein once said: ‘God doesn’t play dice‘. We, the engineers, try to live up to it. We think out of the die. We celebrate the spirit of engineering. Ladies, and gentlemen. Let me present to you all, the Shaastra logo:

God doesn\'t play dice

Do notice how the two dice are mirror images of each other, and yet flawed one on that. Why is there a flaw in spite of so much of symmetry? We try to remove all uncertainty, induce perfect symmetry and strive for perfection. And yet we can only strive for it. Perfection. Like God, we don’t play dice. Unlike Him, we are never perfect.

May the Gods be with us. 99.99% Three cheers to the spirit of engineering! Three cheers to Shaastra!

PS: Copywriters: Misre, Sania, Vatsap | Art: Vatsap | Graphic rendering and enhancements: Mamme

12 replies on “The new Shaastra logo: capturing the spirit of engineering”


bad 🙁

This is _all_ we could come up with? Dice, and uncertainity, and flaw and symmetry? Too bad you left out the universal constants too.

This would have been a good logo for something far more deeper and philosophical – maybe the theory of relativity, or the absolute nature of the universal, but definitely NOT for Shaastra

Is there anything we engineers do that is dependant of symmetry or flawed singularities? Nothing. We do not even use something as elementary as Group Theory.

I am not even complaining about how the logo looks. I am just asking you the reason behind it.


>”engineering is about applying science. It is about >taking ahead the theories of science and implementing >them. This is what engineers do.”
How is creating technology that benefits mankind even vaguely reflected in the logo?

>”Albert Einstein once said: ‘God doesn’t play dice‘. >We, the engineers, try to live up to it. We think out >of the die. We celebrate the spirit of engineering.”
If I am interpreting what you mean correctly, it is as good as saying, we have the die as a symbol for Shaastra, because we as engineers think out of the die?

That, I feel is a negative predicate – and negative predicates lend themselves beautifully to bad logos. Reflecting what we do not, and not what we do.

For example : wouldnt then, a wireless communication company use a wire as their logo, because they think outside the “wire” ?

Thanks for the feedback. Let me try my bit to answer your points 1, 2 and 3.

1. You cannot include micro-aspects in a logo which is supposed to cover something as wide and as huge as engineering. So, instead of defining engineering as a superset of a million things (including technologies that benefit mankind), a logo symbolizing the bigger picture is being used.

2. What you see in the logo is not a die. Is it? Is that what you call a die? A die doesn’t have the same number on all faces. So, first of all let me correct this statement of yours that we have dice as Shaastra logo. We have an image which is highlights the fight every engineer has to put to eliminate chance. That’s the core of engineering and that’s how engineering differs from science.

In fact, what you said about negative predicates is absolutely true. That’s exactly we didn’t use dice. We used something else. A wireless company using something which is not a wire but which still looks like wire till you notice carefully, in my opinion, is perfectly alright.

Dotty! The symmetry comment is a reference to Feyman’s discussions on symmetry. Google for it dude.

@ Mamme — brilliant execution da.. colours look really modern ish

@ Vatsap — Why are your comments enabled?? T cube for you to encourage a hundred thousand comments before the concept is put into the right words and before the art work is done. Some hundred million people who have no proper fundaes on either design or engineer or shaastra or all three will leave their expert opinion!

Either put off the post till the posters are made or disable comments. You ll only end up paining the few of us who ve put weeks into developing a new logo.

that took only weeks of effort? I am scandalised.

Interesting chain of comments though.

@Vatsap: Seriously, no new post save this?
@Dotty: you hit the nail partially – I disagree about the existence of an absolute nature in the universe 😀
@Misre: I dont see how Feynman’s discussions on symmetry relate to Engineering

Oh yes! a hundred million people with no fundaes on all three. I would do anything to think about the world the way you do. All layman. tchtch

This should be ed. Could you allow the comments section to be digged?

I think the logo isn’t that great. The funda of the imperfect symmetry is nice, but I think you could have used something better than die to show that. I’m not saying the logo is bad, but I don’t think it’s right for Shaastra, I really don’t see how it reflects the Spirit of Engineering. I agree with dotty, the reasoning is just too simplistic, and if you’re saying this reflects the bigger picture, you could just have had a wheel or a spanner as the logo. Oh, and if you want imperfection and all, how about a wheel with a spoke broken? Or a bent spanner?


No democracy, eh? So, all other junta in IIT, and passing out junta have no right to comment about the logo? We should play no part in it’s development? Shaastra belongs to only you guys? Geez. And for all the hundred million people with no proper fundaes, I’m sure you’ll get some fifty odd people who have enough fundaes to know what they’re talking about.

Amrut is a creepy leech, a bawd and adopted son of lesbians. bloody coward ran away rite after shitting in his pants. 😆

the concept might be nice but think of it in terms of this symbol appearing on the website..the t shirts…most importantly the certificates… from the certificates it takes off the seriousness of the whole concept of looks more like a saarang