Politecnico di Milano logo stems from a 1906 medallion commemorating the 50th year in education of Eng. Giuseppe Colombo, the university's second Rector. The medallion was designed by architect Luca Beltrami and engraved by Angelo Cappuccio.
In 2002, the University reviewed its overall image and in particular its logo, with a view to standardising its corporate identity based on a set of newly defined rules.
The 2002 project rejected a number of (pictorial) weaknesses in the logo, in favour of a more direct and visually striking approach. In particular, the inscription was made to stand out through the use of unusually marked spacing between the letters.
In line with the 2002 project, the University has decided to further simplify and update its logo and the corporate image in general.
In particular, to solve the visual shortcomings of the logo's two-dimensional nature, it has been decided to start from a reinterpretation of the detail taken from Raphael's School of Athens, so as to provide a more effective basis for the new graphic rendering.
A late 19th century etching by Paquier (drawing) and Stéphan Pannemaker (engraving) depicting the detail of the School of Athens (Stanza della Segnatura, or "Room of the Signatura"), stored in the Archives of the Civica Raccolta delle Stampe Achille Bertarelli, has been identified as a possible basis.