Graphic design nerds, aficionados or just space enthusiasts can now donate, as a Kickstarter campaign is looking at NASA’s old logo, and aiming to get a proper, hard-cover, beautifully displayed manual out of its most detailed aspects.
Not everyone can attest to seeing, taking notice or remembering the space agency’s old ‘worm logo’, that adorned their merchandise, official products and projects, and was discontinued in 1992. Its sleek, futuristic shape has drawn the nostalgia of two graphic designers that wish to bring out NASA’s Graphics Standards Manual out for the public.
Every designer knows, but it’s more overlooked by others that creating a logo and a brand identity for such an important organization is no walk in the park. It takes more than a simple choice of font, a catchy motto and a practical illustration to denote their main object. In fact, the best of them require intensive thought, clever messages and a lot of modifications.
Besides the creative design of the logo, it takes detailing to the slightest scale, dimensions down to each pixel, consideration of every situation in which it can be used, branding products, color schemes, accepted usage, forbidden situations or modifications, examples of its application and many, many other little details that most outside of graphic designers don’t usually think about as a needed feature.
After being approached by NASA in 1974, a small company in New York City, run by graphic designers Richard Danne and Bruce Blackburn published the NASA Graphics Standards Manual one year later, all completed with a new logo, and everything that there is to say about brand identity. The memorable logo was referred to as ‘the worm’, due to it round, sleek and continuous design that attested to the boundary-breaking goals of the space agency.
However, in 1992, NASA’s initial logo was replaced with the one still present to this day, otherwise known as ‘the meatball’, which has more of a cartoonish implication, but strives to deliver the same message of a never-stopping attempt at exploring the vast outer space.
Designers Jesse Reed and Hamish Smyth, from Pentagram, are now passionately looking to not let the agency’s initial logo fall from people’s memory, and create a tribute to the ingenuity of its simple design. The two have taken to Kickstarter in order to launch a campaign that will revive NASA’s Graphics Standards Manual from 1975 in the form of a hard-cover book, to display its conception to the very best detail, using scans from Danne’s physical copy.
They plan on setting the price of one book at $79, which may seem like a lot for a simple book displaying the details of an old logo that has fallen into disuse, but there are more than enough willing to pay the price. The crowdfunding campaign had its hopeful target at $158,000, but the actual donations have laughed in the face of such an, apparently, low bar.
In just two days, the campaign to bring back a detailed identity manual for ‘the worm’ has raised $384,000, and there’s still a month to go. If anyone thinks this would’ve been a useless project for the sake of an outdated design, it’s certainly not, and there are likely thousands of people waiting to get their hands on it.
Why did Reed and Smyth start this? Because the old logo represents a significant part of their childhood, when it graced upon toys or old memorabilia associated with the space agency, and its design is nothing if not an excellent proof of forward thinking, and boundless hope for future explorations.
Image source: collectspace.com