Graphic design junkies have a chance to reserve a copy of a coveted NASA Graphics Standards Manual on Kickstarter until October 4.
The manual first went to print in 1975 and lays out the insignia and design of everything from cars to rockets to spacesuits. It also has the design specs for NASA’s retired but much loved “worm” logo.
Graphics Standards Manuals like this one have a cult following among design enthusiasts.
The project is being spearheaded by designers Hamish Smyth and Jesse Reed, while “crowdsourceress” Alexandra Daly, who’s raised millions on Kickstarter for various projects, is running the campaign. They’re the same team behind a wildly successful crowd-funded reprinting of the New York City MTA’s Graphics Standards Manual, and Smyth and Daly made it to TI’s list of New Power Couples.
Their fundraising goal was $US158,000 and as of this writing, they have raised over $US838,000.
Scroll through to learn more about the NASA Graphics Standards Manual.
NASA began in 1958 but the worm logo, seen below, wasn't developed until the 1972 Federal Graphics Improvement Program took effect.
Richard Danne and Bruce Blackburn's year-old graphic design firm won the contract to determine NASA's visual identity.
'The very idea of tackling something as herculean as this with what would be an extremely small-sized firm in those times really defies the odds,' Danne says in the manual's Kickstarter video.
The key to the manual was to explain logos and standards succinctly and for the designs to 'look great from miles away, whether on a space craft or the side of a truck,' Danne said.
Their project wasn't just to slap the logo on NASA apparatus, but to create 'a true systems program that reached deeply,' he said.
The 'worm' logo seen throughout the manual was rescinded by NASA in 1992 and now has a cult following among designers, Smyth told TI.
'There's nothing frivolous to it,' he added. 'It's not a passing whim or anything like that. It's not a flier. It's a design document meant for the ages.'
The redesigned manual has supplemental material including photos and copies of the original presentation boards from when Danne and Blackburn were trying to get the NASA contract.
'It's a document and a moment in time,' Danne said. 'It raised the design principles to another level.'
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