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Identity Evolution

The Next Giant Leap: Vol. 2 Logo Design Process

NASA’s identities throughout history

Insights from the sketches: 1. Some of the sketch are too similar to the already existing logo, but using the swoosh-like shape is good for showing the speed and the idea of reaching new height. 2. When shows only the symbol, its hard to tell what the symbol is about, maybe it’s too abstract and lack direct connection to the brand.

National Alliance for Scientific Advancement Rebranding The Next Giant Leap Logo Design Process

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National Alliance for Scientific Advancement Rebranding The Next Giant Leap Logo Design Process


Initial Sketches

The Next Giant Leap: Vol. 2 Logo Design Process

NASA’s identities throughout history

Insights from the sketches: 1. Some of the sketch are too similar to the already existing logo, but using the swoosh-like shape is good for showing the speed and the idea of reaching new height. 2. When shows only the symbol, its hard to tell what the symbol is about, maybe it’s too abstract and lack direct connection to the brand.

The Next Giant Leap

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Logo Research 06 Identity Evolution 08 Logos from Current Competitors 09 Future Competitors 10 Visually Similar Logos


Identity Evolution

The Next Giant Leap: Vol. 2 Logo Design Process

NASA’s identities throughout history

Insights from the sketches: 1. Some of the sketch are too similar to the already existing logo, but using the swoosh-like shape is good for showing the speed and the idea of reaching new height. 2. When shows only the symbol, its hard to tell what the symbol is about, maybe it’s too abstract and lack direct connection to the brand.

02

Initial Sketches

03

Digital Sketches

04

Final Logo

14 Symbol

06 Symbol

42 Reviewing Previous Sketches

24 Wordmark

08 Symbol with Wordmark

43 Right Direction

27 Bring to Computer

44 Go for Diversity 46 Process of Simplification 47 Pair with the NASA Wordmark 48 Detail Refinement 50 Final Logo Standardization


Initial Sketches

NASA’s identities throughout history

Insights from the sketches: 1. Some of the sketch are too similar to the already existing logo, but using the swoosh-like shape is good for showing the speed and the idea of reaching new height. 2. When shows only the symbol, its hard to tell what the symbol is about, maybe it’s too abstract and lack direct connection to the brand.

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The Next Giant Leap: Vol. 2 Logo Design Process


Identity Evolution

The Next Giant Leap: Vol. 2 Logo Design Process

NASA’s identities throughout history

Insights from the sketches: 1. Some of the sketch are too similar to the already existing logo, but using the swoosh-like shape is good for showing the speed and the idea of reaching new height. 2. When shows only the symbol, its hard to tell what the symbol is about, maybe it’s too abstract and lack direct connection to the brand.

Logo Research Chapter 01: Logo Research 06 Identity Evolution 08 Logos from Current Competitors 09 Future Competitors 10 Visually Similar Logos

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Identity Evolution

The Next Giant Leap: Vol. 2 Logo Design Process Logo Research

NASA’s Identities Throughout History

NASA Official Seal

Previous Logo: Insignia

Previous Logo: Worm

NASA Seal

NASA Insignia

Pros:

NASA Logotype,

Pros:

1958–present

known as the “Meatball,” 1958–1975, 1992–2025

NASA Insignia is the original logo which has been used for a long time. NASA’s Staffs and most of crews feel resonate with this logo very much.

known as the “Worm,” 1975–1992

The design is ver y contemporar y, and has great legibility with high flexibility in different usages.

Design: James Modarelli

Design: James Modarell i

Cons: There are too much details in the logo, and the space and stars limit the future possibility of the brand.

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Design: Danne & Blackburn

Cons: Without the connection with the original logo make NASA decide to change it , and not keep using it.


What Will Be the Next NASA Logo?

Future Logo directions: 1. Keep the future design simple. 2. Connect to brand history. 3. Enable to include NASA’s future possibility. 4. Stick with the NASA’s soul. 5. Full of the sense of hope and inspiration

Design Objective: The new logo design should be connected to the original logo, and should focusing on improving the legibility and simplicity. The goal is to make it modern and have great flexibility to the future of the brand possibilities.

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Logos from Current Competitors Space Related Organizations or Institutes

By researching other space agencies’ logos to understand what features should be kept and what should be removed. To goal is to avoid creating very similar logos but still have the connection with emotion connection to NASA.

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Insights from the Research: • Most of the space agencies’ logos color are blue. If the future NASA wants to emphasis on collaboration and forming a solid alliance, choosing similar color would be a good choice. •

Most of the space agencies’ logos have circle shape in it. It’s more easy for people to recognize it as a space related organization, but also have the sense of abstract.

The Next Giant Leap: Vol. 2 Logo Design Process Logo Research


Future Competitors

The Next Giant Leap: Vol. 2 Logo Design Process

General Science and Technology Related Organizations

By researching other scientific or technology related companies and organizations’ logos to understand what parts are the thing we can borrow.

Logo Research

Insights from the Research: • Try not to be too specific to any field of science, it will project a strong impression which related to science and limit the future possibility. •

Try to find better connection between the symbol and wordmark.

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Visually Similar Logos

The Next Giant Leap: Vol. 2 Logo Design Process

Logos with Swoosh or Similar Redesign Logos

By researching visually similar logos help us to avoid creating analogous identities. It is also helpful to see how other companies treat the same swoosh ideas differently.

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Insights from the Research: • Upward swoosh looks more energetic than other directions. It will fit very well with the concept “reaching new heights” •

Use swoosh in wordmark might not be a good choice because it will easily break the balance of the type and creating visual distraction.

Logo Research


Identity Evolution

The Next Giant Leap: Vol. 2 Logo Design Process

NASA’s identities throughout history

Concept 1: Reaching New Heights Insights from the sketches: 1. Some of the sketch are too similar to the already existing logo, but using the swoosh-like shape is good for showing the speed and the idea of reaching new height. 2. When shows only the symbol, its hard to tell what the symbol is about, maybe it’s too abstract and lack direct connection to the brand.

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Initial Sketches

NASA’s identities throughout history

Insights from the sketches: 1. Some of the sketch are too similar to the already existing logo, but using the swoosh-like shape is good for showing the speed and the idea of reaching new height. 2. When shows only the symbol, its hard to tell what the symbol is about, maybe it’s too abstract and lack direct connection to the brand.

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The Next Giant Leap: Vol. 2 Logo Design Process


Identity Evolution

The Next Giant Leap: Vol. 2 Logo Design Process

NASA’s identities throughout history

Insights from the sketches: 1. Some of the sketch are too similar to the already existing logo, but using the swoosh-like shape is good for showing the speed and the idea of reaching new height. 2. When shows only the symbol, its hard to tell what the symbol is about, maybe it’s too abstract and lack direct connection to the brand.

Initial Sketches Chapter 02: Initial Sketches 14 Symbol 24 Wordmark 27 Bring to Computer

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Initial Sketches Symbol: Reaching New Heights

Insights from the sketches: 1. Some of the sketch are too similar to the already existing logo, but using the swoosh-like shape is good for showing the speed and the idea of reaching new height. 2. When showing only the symbol, its hard to tell what the symbol is about, maybe it’s too abstract and lack direct connection to the brand.

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The Next Giant Leap: Vol. 2 Logo Design Process Initial Sketches


Initial Sketches Symbol: Reaching New Heights

The Next Giant Leap: Vol. 2 Logo Design Process Initial Sketches

Insights from the sketches: 1. Using the curve to indicate changing direction works well, it have a good vibe to show the spirit of NASA. 2. There is still only one meaning for the logo, which is about reaching new height. Need to add more supporting visual reference to increase the connection to NASA. 3. Circle works better than rectangular in the symbol, but rectangular has more potential to have a flexible appliance for the future visual system.

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Initial Sketches Symbol: Reaching New Heights & Revealing the Unknown

Insights from the sketches: 1. Logo with diagonal angle works better than vertical symbols. The direction from bottom left to upper right shows more active intention, which is good for the concept “Reaching new heights� 2. Using question mark will be too much for the NASA logo, and the concept of unknown is different than just a question mark. But using a shape behind the arrow to indicate the sense of breakthrough, works good.

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The Next Giant Leap: Vol. 2 Logo Design Process Initial Sketches


Initial Sketches Symbol: Passing Through the Limitation

The Next Giant Leap: Vol. 2 Logo Design Process Initial Sketches

Insights from the sketches: 1. The line for this direction might be too thin, and will become a problem in practical printing production. 2. The concept of passing through works, but now the symbol doesn’t have the sense of excitement or inspiration which is critical important to NASA’s brand Communication. 3. Make the stroke thicker to increase the sense of frame or limitation will make the symbol work better.

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Initial Sketches Symbol: Passing Through & Scientific Advancement

Insights from the sketches: 1. The symbols with molecular or atom feel very chemistry, which will drive the brand to the wrong direction for visual representation. 2. The Big Dipper is not a good representation either, it will project the sense of constellation to general public. 3. The symbol that pass through the folding paper works interesting, but is still not clear about what it means by just look at the symbol.

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The Next Giant Leap: Vol. 2 Logo Design Process Initial Sketches


Initial Sketches Symbol: Breakthrough & Changing Perspectives

The Next Giant Leap: Vol. 2 Logo Design Process Initial Sketches

Insights from the sketches: 1. Taking good advantage of how to use the circles will be a way to try. 2. Using triangle to pass through the spinning route conceptually works well, but it looks generic now. 3. If there is geometry shape pair with organic shapes to form the symbol might work as well..

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Initial Sketches Symbol: Breakthrough & Reveal the Unknown

Insights from the sketches: 1. The searching light or spot light doesn’t work because it limits the categories of discover. The unknown that NASA wants to reveal should deeper than that. 2. The circle with the frame might work, because it shows clearly the sense of breaking through. But the lines within the frame are too thin, which will be a problem in printing production.

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The Next Giant Leap: Vol. 2 Logo Design Process Initial Sketches


Initial Sketches Symbol: Animal Representation / Nautilus

The Next Giant Leap: Vol. 2 Logo Design Process Initial Sketches

Insights from the sketches: 1. NASA has a sense of mystery which is one of the reason why people are curious about it, and nautilus fits that kind of mystery. However if we draw the Nautilus with details, it will becomes too cartoon-like. 2. Some of the sketch has beautiful curve, which visually present the flow that guide the eye toward the ending point. Th future logo should have this kind of curve.

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Initial Sketches Symbol: Geometry & Revealing the Unknown

Insights from the sketches: 1. The problem of this direction is that they are too generic, though the square and the circle might be very useful as an graphic element in the following visual system construction. 2. Using different way to separate the circle and creating some visual movement might be a workable way in the next stage.

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The Next Giant Leap: Vol. 2 Logo Design Process Initial Sketches


Initial Sketches Symbol: Reaching New Heights & Combining with Other Elements

The Next Giant Leap: Vol. 2 Logo Design Process Initial Sketches

Insights from the sketches: 1. Try to combine the letter N with the concept “Reaching New Heights” might work, but don’t stick with it to long. 2. The circle with the frame might work, because it shows clearly the sense of breaking through. But the lines within the frame are too thin, which will be a problem in printing production. 3. Try to combine the workable elements together.

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Initial Sketches Wordmark: General Ideas

Insights from the sketches: 1. Non of them are working well because some of them looks very cartoon like and some of them are similar to existing NASA’s rebranding identities which is something we should avoid. 2. Break the letters into section might be a good way to try in the following experiments but don’t let it look too military-like.

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The Next Giant Leap: Vol. 2 Logo Design Process Initial Sketches


Initial Sketches Wordmark: Experiment: Breaking the Letters

The Next Giant Leap: Vol. 2 Logo Design Process Initial Sketches

Insights from the sketches: 1. Try different directions with breaking the letters. The challenge is to keep the legibility high and also make the treatment mean something. 2. Try to draw the letters with grid, it is very helpful to think of the structure of the logo, but the end results are usually similar to existed rebranding logo which is something we should avoid.

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Initial Sketches Wordmark: Stencil

Insights from the sketches: 1. It’s good to try, but after several sketches I found that was lost myself into the process of drawing. Need too review some of workable sketches and re think about the concept. 2. Some of the stencil-like wordmark could work because it have a sense of “revealing the unknown” in it.

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The Next Giant Leap: Vol. 2 Logo Design Process Initial Sketches


Initial Sketches Bring to Computer

The Next Giant Leap: Vol. 2 Logo Design Process Initial Sketches

Pick several workable sketches and bring them into computer to see how they work in digital formats. To goal is to understand the production detail and process when drawing them digitally.

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Initial Sketches

NASA’s identities throughout history

Insights from the sketches: 1. Some of the sketch are too similar to the already existing logo, but using the swoosh-like shape is good for showing the speed and the idea of reaching new height. 2. When shows only the symbol, its hard to tell what the symbol is about, maybe it’s too abstract and lack direct connection to the brand.

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The Next Giant Leap: Vol. 2 Logo Design Process


Identity Evolution

The Next Giant Leap: Vol. 2 Logo Design Process

NASA’s identities throughout history

Digital Sketches

Insights from the sketches: 1. Some of the sketch are too similar to the already existing logo, but using the swoosh-like shape is good for showing the speed and the idea of reaching new height.

2. When shows only the symbol, its hard to tell what the symbol is about, maybe it’s too abstract and lack direct connection to the brand.

Chapter 03: Digital Sketches 06 Symbol 08 Symbol with Wordmark

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Digital Sketches Symbol: Breakthrough

Insights from the sketches: 1. Try to simplify the symbol and stick with the concept of breaking through but they all feel generic and stiff. 2. The geometric shapes are too abstract for people to resonate and it doesn’t convey the idea of breaking through very much.

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The Next Giant Leap: Vol. 2 Logo Design Process Digital Sketches


Digital Sketches

The Next Giant Leap: Vol. 2 Logo Design Process Digital Sketches

Symbol: Breakthrough & Reveal the Unknown

Insights from the sketches: 1. The dots pass through the frame might work. Need to see how it pairs with wordmark. 2. The round shapes direction has the same problem as using only geometric shapes which becomes very stiff and boring.

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Digital Sketches

The Next Giant Leap: Vol. 2 Logo Design Process Digital Sketches

Symbol: Breakthrough & Reveal the Unknown

Insights from the sketches: 1. Some of the logos looks like DC’s symbol, and most of them still feel generic and rigid. They don’t have th emotional connection to the soul of NASA. 2. Maybe stick the idea that want to use fame or square as an element too much. It constrain the logos possibility now.

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Digital Sketches

The Next Giant Leap: Vol. 2 Logo Design Process Digital Sketches

Symbol: Revealing with the Letter N

Insights from the sketches: 1. Use the letter N in the symbol is a good direction, but somehow the N means “national”, which is not representing the whole brand enough. 2. The visual presentation is still interesting, which can keep it developed. Thinking about how to emphasis the “revealing” part.

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Digital Sketches

The Next Giant Leap: Vol. 2 Logo Design Process Digital Sketches

Wordmark: Stencil

Insights from the sketches: 1. Try to use previous sketches and put them into digital versions, some of them are very similar to other NASA rebranding project. 2. The wordmark that remove the bottom part works well with the concept “revealing� might be a good direction to keep developing.

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Digital Sketches Wordmark: Exploration

The Next Giant Leap: Vol. 2 Logo Design Process Digital Sketches

Insights from the sketches: 1. The dots direction works good but there is no strong reason why the dot would appear in specific letters. Never design something without good reasons. 2. The “infinity“ direction doesn’t work because it’s too cute and are still have no reason to be like that.

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Digital Sketches

The Next Giant Leap: Vol. 2 Logo Design Process Digital Sketches

Symbol with Wordmark

Insights from the sketches: 1. Some of the logos might work but generally they don’t feel right. Main reason that cause this feeling is that they all look very rigid and not emotionally approachable. This will against our brand soul. 2. Removing the cross bar from the capital A is interesting and have potential in the future. However we need to be careful not to make it too similar to the previous NASA’s worm logo.

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Digital Sketches

The Next Giant Leap: Vol. 2 Logo Design Process Digital Sketches

Symbol with Wordmark

Insights from the sketches: 1. This direction has somehing in there but it still feel generic. Maybe it’s time to go back to review some other possible potential sketches. 2. Using a curve to replace the crossbar in the Letter A, works well but it’s very similar to one of the previous NASA’s rebranding project which we need to avoid doing that.

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Initial Sketches

NASA’s identities throughout history

Insights from the sketches: 1. Some of the sketch are too similar to the already existing logo, but using the swoosh-like shape is good for showing the speed and the idea of reaching new height. 2. When shows only the symbol, its hard to tell what the symbol is about, maybe it’s too abstract and lack direct connection to the brand.

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The Next Giant Leap: Vol. 2 Logo Design Process


“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” ­— Albert Einstein

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Initial Sketches

NASA’s identities throughout history

Insights from the sketches: 1. Some of the sketch are too similar to the already existing logo, but using the swoosh-like shape is good for showing the speed and the idea of reaching new height. 2. When shows only the symbol, its hard to tell what the symbol is about, maybe it’s too abstract and lack direct connection to the brand.

42

The Next Giant Leap: Vol. 2 Logo Design Process


Identity Evolution

The Next Giant Leap: Vol. 2 Logo Design Process

NASA’s identities throughout history

Insights from the sketches: 1. Some of the sketch are too similar to the already existing logo, but using the swoosh-like shape is good for showing the speed and the idea of reaching new height. 2. When shows only the symbol, its hard to tell what the symbol is about, maybe it’s too abstract and lack direct connection to the brand.

Final Logo Chapter 04: Final Logo 42 Reviewing Previous Sketches 43 Right Direction 44 Go for Diversity 46 Process of Simplification 47 Pair with the NASA Wordmark 48 Detail Refinement 50 Final Logo Standardization

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Final Logo

The Next Giant Leap: Vol. 2 Logo Design Process Final Logo

Revisiting Previous Sketches

Most of the digital sketches are not working well, so it’s time to revisit the previous sketched and see what has the potential.

The Key Elements to Be in the Logo: 1. Don’t overuse geometric shapes to avoid stiff feeling. 2. Use upward curve or swoosh to present the sense of reaching new heights and inspiration. 3. Breaking the frame is still a good thing to try.

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Final Logo Right Direction

The Next Giant Leap: Vol. 2 Logo Design Process Final Logo

Insights from the sketches: 1. The bounce-like shapes works very well and fit with the concept of NASA’s motto, which is “Aim for the next giant leap” 2. The bouncing also depicts the progress for scientific improvement. 3. This is the right direction to go.

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Final Logo Go for Diversity

Insights from the sketches: 1. Since we have right direction, now is to go wide in this direction to see if there is any better way to form NASA’s new logo. 2. Circle works better the rigid frame because the circle can indicate different concept, it can be a place of unknown or limitation, but the frame is more about limitation.

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The Next Giant Leap: Vol. 2 Logo Design Process Final Logo


Final Logo Go for Diversity

The Next Giant Leap: Vol. 2 Logo Design Process Final Logo

Insights from the sketches: 1. Try to be more simple, but the small dot is quite important to indicate where the direction of the swoosh. 2. The left part of the swoosh becomes visually heavy which will grab the eyes toward left and becoming a visually distraction. 3. The proportion between the symbol and the wordmark are not balanced. The symbol is way heavier than the wordmark.

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Final Logo Process of Simplification

Insights from the sketches: 1. If the left part of the swoosh is too heavy, why don’t we try to remove it and keep the energetic feeling in the logo, 2. The logo with only one swoosh is working, the next challenge is how it works when pairing with the wordmark.

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The Next Giant Leap: Vol. 2 Logo Design Process Final Logo


Final Logo Pair with the NASA Wordmark

The Next Giant Leap: Vol. 2 Logo Design Process Final Logo

Insights from the sketches: 1. Try to borrow the element from symbol and apply it to the wordmark to resonate them together. However, if the swoosh is applied to the wordmark it will start to feel repeated and is not necessary. 2. Trying to alter the crossbar of the last letter “A� is something working quite well. But still the additional swoosh feels surplus. 3. Use the negative effect to get ride of the cross bar and reveal the swoosh is the right way to go.

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Final Logo

The Next Giant Leap: Vol. 2 Logo Design Process Final Logo

Detail Refinement

There are small details need to be fix to maximize the beauty of the logo. Since we change the structure of the letter, we need to do some optical adjust to make it looks right.

Since we remove the cross bar, the

Need to make the connecting part

Since we remove the cross bar, the

of the swoosh more smooth.

negative apex of the letter “A”,

negative apex of the letter “A” and

we need to move down a little bit to

almost one-fourth of the A are gone.

be optically balanced.

We need to move down the down tip of the letter “A” a little bit to be optically aligned.

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Final Logo After Refinement

The Next Giant Leap: Vol. 2 Logo Design Process Final Logo

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Final Logo Standardization

The Next Giant Leap: Vol. 2 Logo Design Process Final Logo

0.75X

0.75X

Logo Anatomy

0.5X

0.5X

0.75X

X 1.7X 2.25X

X

NASA Main Logo and Its Clear Space When putting NASA’s symbol and wordmark together as the main logo, the proportion and the space between each should follow the standard guide which is shown on this page. The “X” represents the width of the letter “N”. The size of the symbol should be as wide as 3X. The space between the symbol and wordmark should be exactly 1X between the outer edge of circle of the symbol and the outer edge of the letter “N”. Around the symbol and wordmark should also keep at least 0.75X “Clear Space”( the area in light blue color). There shouldn’t be any graphic, text or other sort of element within this area.

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2.1X 7X

3X

0.75X

X

0.75X


Symbol Standardization

The Next Giant Leap: Vol. 2 Logo Design Process Final Logo

Symbol Anatomy

0.75x

0.5X

2x

0.5X

0.5x

X

0.5X

0.5X

0.5X

Symbol and Its Clear Space The NASA symbol also has clear space that surrounds it. The space is equivalent to the radius of the big circle of the logo. The radius “X is identified from the outer edge of the circle to the center of the circle.

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Initial Sketches

NASA’s identities throughout history

Insights from the sketches: 1. Some of the sketch are too similar to the already existing logo, but using the swoosh-like shape is good for showing the speed and the idea of reaching new height. 2. When shows only the symbol, its hard to tell what the symbol is about, maybe it’s too abstract and lack direct connection to the brand.

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The Next Giant Leap: Vol. 2 Logo Design Process


Identity Evolution

The Next Giant Leap: Vol. 2 Logo Design Process

NASA’s identities throughout history

Insights from the sketches: 1. Some of the sketch are too similar to the already existing logo, but using the swoosh-like shape is good for showing the speed and the idea of reaching new height. 2. When shows only the symbol, its hard to tell what the symbol is about, maybe it’s too abstract and lack direct connection to the brand.

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T YPOGR APHY Interface DE SIGN TOOL S Adobe Illustrator CC, Adobe inDesign CC DESIGN Chen Chung Yu, Alex Chen 03993547 INS TRUCTOR & C L A S S I N F O R M AT I O N Hunter Wimmer GR 604 Nature of Identity


NASA Rebranding: Logo Design Process (Student Project)  
NASA Rebranding: Logo Design Process (Student Project)  
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