Posted on 11 July 2010 in:

As a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, I have to put on my RISD hat now and again. Today is one of those days. For what seems like ages, I’ve bothered with a school here in Germany. Specificially, I have been irked by their most-recent rebranding. Today, I saw the school’s name one time too many, so I decided to finally blog about it. What I think was formerly the Design Department of the Fachhochschule Köln has been calling itself the Köln International School of Design for a few years. They also use the abbreviation KISD. I don’t know how long the Rhode Island School of Design has been using been using the acronym “RISD,” it must be at least 60 years by now. The current seal of the Rhode Island School of Design, which features the RISD acronym in a script letter, was designed by John Howard Benson, the noted American calligrapher, stone-carver, and RISD Professor from 1931-56. No matter how you shake it, the Köln International School Design has more than one naming problem… the English word for Köln is Cologne, so even in their title they mix two languages. Adapting the KISD acronym strikes me as a rather cheap dig. Sure, every college everywhere wants to compete with the industry leaders. But it is the students, the professors, the resources, and the work that make an institution great. Copying the name of a successful school from another country just isn’t going to take you anywhere.