This month, I suggested on a whim that Kory and I redesign NASA’s logo. Let’s face it: their current design is a little dated, but the biggest problem is that there’s no good reason why NASA’s logo should depict a sperm chasing its tail around a wishbone–yet it does. Once I get started sketching, the new logo came together easily (I didn’t even make a mood board for this one!). Since NASA has its roots in the space race, the atomic age, and mid-century America, I knew right away that the design needed a mid-century feel without looking vintage–the typeface Airplane from Lost Type Co-Op fulfilled that requirement. I also knew that the new design needed to relate to what NASA does, or my own complaint about the sperm-and-wishbone problem would be hypocritical, so space shuttle engines inspired the interlocking circles in the new mark. While NASA’s current motto is not “Infinite Possibilities,” I almost immediately connected the “S” in their name with the infinite sign, which gave rise to the strapline you see.
Once the logo was finished, Kory and I both realized we had a small problem: NASA doesn’t have a whole lot of collateral. On our previous columns, putting the new logos to use was easy: drink coasters, perfume bottles, ads…they all need logos! The last time most people saw the NASA logo was probably on the side of a space shuttle. That seemed presumptuous, so instead, I catered to NASA enthusiasts with patches, model rockets, and water bottles.
Check out Kory’s redesign right here!