Page 1



NASA Identity Handbook and Brand Manual



Apollo 17 12.14.1972



chapter 9

been there _ Apollo 15 07.29.1971

Apollo 11 06.20.1969





What’s our

_ next




For six decades nasa has pioneered space exploration in order to increase humanity’s knowledge of itself and its world. But there are many secrets left to discover. Many of them are not in space. The hidden parts of our own Earth are as mysterious as the outer reaches of the cosmos. That’s why na sa is expanding its gaze to include our own planet. And we’re inviting the public to join us. The role of the general public in na sa’s missions is currently of a distant spectator. The purpose of na sa’s new identity is to increase its scope and bring the excitement of scientific discovery directly to the people as active participants.


nasa _


this is


The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is an agency of the United States government, responsible for the nation’s civilian space program. Since 1958, na sa has developed and built space probes, sending them into Earth orbit, to the Moon, to Mars and other planets, and beyond the solar system. The Agency’s research activities include aeronautics, robotics, and Earth science. It has conducted these activities for the United States Government, and more broadly for the international scientific community. Its ultimate motivation is to increase humanity’s knowledge of the universe. President Eisenhower established the National Aeronautics and Space Administration in 1958, in response to the Soviet Union’s launch of the first manmade satellite. Its predecessor, the National Advisory Committee on Aeronautics (naca), had been researching flight technology for more than 40 years. m a nned mis sions President Kennedy focused na sa on sending astronauts to the Moon by the end of the 1960s. na sa developed the technology and skills it needed for the journey. On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first of 12 men to walk on the moon in the Apollo missions.


2003 Columbia Shuttle disaster

mars rovers


1958 na sa replaces naca


1961 First American in space jfk pledges man on moon by 1970


1992 “The Meatball” logo

1915 naca founded

1969 Moon landing 1970

1990 Hubble telescope launched

1972 “The Worm” logo

space shut tle 1986 Challenger Shuttle disaster

1981 First Space Shuttle launch


origins 17

After Apollo, na sa focused on creating a reusable ship to provide regular access to space: the space shuttle. First launched in 1981, the space shuttle has had 120 successful flights and two disastrous failures: Challenger in 1986 and Columbia in 2003. na sa did not build a new shuttle to replace the second loss. In 1990, before the program was cancelled, the Space Shuttle carried the Hubble Space Telescope into orbit. Data and images from the telescope have led to many breakthroughs in astronomy and astrophysics. unm a nned mis sions Throughout its history na sa has deployed several unmanned probe missions. The Mariner program surveyed Mercury, Venus and especially Mars in the 1960s. The Magellan probe orbited Venus from 1990 to 1994. The Galileo probe went to Jupiter in the late 1990s. Two Voyager probes have now escaped the solar system. Active from 1973 to 1979, Skylab was the United States’ first space station. In 2000, the us and Russia established permanent human presence in space aboard the International Space Station, a multinational project between 16 nations. In 1997, Mars Pathfinder mission was launched, with two Mars Rover robots landing on the surface of Mars in 2003. The rovers have been active for over five years, providing an unprecedented cache of knowledge about the world beyond our own.

chapter 19

v838 Monocerotis Nova Monocerotis 2002 Constellation Monoceros 20,000 LY from Sun


space _

chapter 21

is not the only


Pacific sea nettle /Chrysaora fuscescens/

We have better

maps_ of

Ares Vallis Chryse Planitia Area Oxia Palus Quadrangle




chapter 25

Mariana Trench Pacific Ocean –11,030m 11°22’N 142°36’E

than of the



Every three days


we discover足


1,220 new species since 1999 Poison dart frog /Ranitomeya amazonica/ Inca guitarfish /Apistogramma baenschi/ Blue fang tarantula /Ephebopus cyanognathus/ Glass frog /Nymphargus wileyi/ Green anolis lizard /Anolis cuscoensis/ Bald parrot /Pyrilia aurantiocephala/ Bolivian river dolphin /Inia boliviensis/

new life _Amazon. in the

Vesleskarvet Ahlmann Ridge Antarctica 71°50’S 2°25’W


is committed to

revealing our universe _

chapter 29

Now you can

come with us.

nasa see



Pacific barreleye fish /Macropinna Microstoma/ Discovered February 2009 Monterey Bay, California


meet the

crew_ They’re a lot like you. Everyone sees the world through their own lens. But regardless of personal differences, most people want to know more about it. These are na sa’s new crew of researchers.

identit y_profile 33

The thrill seek er _ K at Kat is very active, upbeat, optimistic, and gregarious. She has a steady job verging on a real career. She loves nature and treats is as a spectacular playground. She works hard and plays harder, goes rock climbing, skydiving, bungee jumping, anything exciting. She lives for these moments on the edge.

The je t se t ter _ Bl a k e Blake is a competitive business entrepreneur. He consumes conspicuously, dresses fashionably, and gets VIP bottle service at clubs. He tries to learn as much as possible about a variety of subjects because it’s important to be able to talk about interesting things. He seeks out exotic experiences and new opportunities. Whether it’s a trendy restaurant or a tropical island, he wants to be the first to say he’s been there.

The e sca pis t_ n ata lie Natalie is perpetually looking somewhere else. She works basic jobs, lives with roommates, and moves a lot. She backpacked around South America for a year after college and loves the idea of unknown tribes of people living in the Amazon. She is fascinated by the idea of discovering something new. She never seems quite content with the way things are, but she’s willing to try anything once and will stick with if for as long as it makes her happy.

The dre a mer _ m a rcus Marcus believes in the unity of humanity and the planet. He rents an apartment in the coastal city where he lives. He eats vegetarian, shops fair trade/organic, and votes Democratic. He is very concerned about climate change. His ideas of nature are romanticized and abstract, as he has fairly little direct experience with science or the natural environment.

identit y_profile 35

The scientis t_ dav id David has a masters degree in physics. He now works as a structural engineer and part-time teacher. He builds his own computers at home, where he lives with his wife. He is practical and down to earth, with nothing to prove. His enthusiasm for science comes from real experiments and mathematical certainty; besides his beloved sci-fi novels he has little use for “popular� science.

The e x plorer _ a nn a Anna has a liberal arts education. She works retail jobs that allow for flexible hours. She is bilingual, loves diversity and seeks authenticity. Her experience with the natural world is more emotional than scientific; she is in awe of the beauty and magnitude of life. She is certain of life on other planets and would love to meet them someday. She reads National Geographic and daydreams intensely about all the variety in the world.


nerd The current image of na sa is a cross between a scientist and a bureaucrat. Admired mostly for his technical skills he also has a reputation for expensive failures. While the Moon missions gave his work an element of human drama, na sa is essentially a nerd: highly intelligent, not very stylish, and hard to engage with on an everyday level.

identit y_profile


old nasa _



genius Smart and stylish, the new na sa is the well-rounded and talented guy you want to talk to at a cafe. Highly skilled, intelligent, and engaging, he is far from a worker bee and not a mere intellectual: na sa the genius is adroit, creative and focused. This is someone who’s going places and you wish he would take you with him.

identit y_profile


new nasa _


this is the

new nasa _






this is


adventure _ The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is now the National Agency for Scientific Adventure. It isn’t just about space flight anymore. With the expansion of na sa’s scope into all corners of our undiscovered world, and the inclusion of citizen researchers, the agency’s name had to be changed to reflect its new identity.





harmony of the


visual _standards



The new nasa logo is made of the union of three spheres: space, land, and sea. These intersecting spheres are duplicated and tilted 23.5°, the same as the Earth’s axis. The resulting cone-shaped emblem recalls the shape of na sa mission patches, and points in three directions at once. The dynamic curves suggest the rotation of galaxies, clouds and ocean currents, and the cyclical connections between all parts of our world. Tomorrow’s na sa directs itself at all parts of the universe—known and unknown. Dynamic but stable, like our world, the outer cone points in three directions at once, while the inner cone engages inner and outer space in a continual spiraling motion. The name na sa is set in Biome Wide Bold, a 21st century typeface inspired by both the natural world and the optimistic “Space Age” in which na sa was founded. The logo is designed to be versatile, distinctive, and beyond trends. Arising organically from pure geometric forms, it is truly timeless and universal.



use _ There are two official versions of the nasa logo. The solitary mark is the primary na sa identity. It is seen most frequently on signage, products, and advertising. The logo with the addition of the wordmark is to be used in official documentation both paper and electronic. The wordmark is set in Verlag Bold. Maintain a 3x clear space around the logo at all times.



x visual _standards




3x 2x



use _

The logo should always be used in its entirety, in either black, silver or white. Any distortions or modifications of the logo beyond this simple standard should not be used.

visual _standards 49

don’t remove “na sa”

don’t reorient the cone

don’t use multiple colors

don’t outline the logo

don’t fill in the center

don’t use visual effects

don’t remove parts

don’t rearrange the parts

don’t rotate the logo



elements_ The nasa style includes two standard graphic elements derived from traditional nasa expedition imagery: irregular black edges, and fiducials. Use fiducials as ornaments on headlines and to mark the beginning of a text block. Black edges should be used primarily on the margins of photographs, and sparingly around the margins of text pages.

visual _standards 51

Original photo Martian surface 2008

bl ack edge s The Mars Rovers’ digital cameras take relatively small photos. Large images must be pieced together, leaving voids where there are no photographic data. The irregular black borders of Martian imagery is an icon of modern na sa photography and should be integrated stylistically into na sa marketing photos.

Original photo Lunar surface 1971

fiduci a l s The Apollo cameras had clear glass plates on which were etched small black crosshairs, called fiducials. This allowed na sa’s researchers to correct for distortion and measure position. As a graphic element, it indicates na sa’s ongoing commitment to science and technology.

Mount Saint Helens Washington, USA 46°12’N 122°11’W 100m magma slab grows 1 meter per day

visual _standards 53

Photogr a ph y Photos are a key element of the na sa identity. The most important factor in a na sa photo is to communicate a mood of awe or wonder. A na sa photo must never seem ordinary. Landscapes should be immense. Single subjects should take up a substantial portion of the frame. Photos should include a grid of fiducials and black voids whenever possible as in the photo at left. If a spot photo is needed without dominating the design, the triangular shape of the na sa logo may be used as a frame, as above.


bl a nk space The blue blank at the end of each headline represents the gaps in our knowledge that na sa seeks to fill. It suggests a continuation rather than the finality of a period. It also references technology via the cursor of early computer text inputs. The black is simply a typed underscore (shift-dash) in the same font size as the preceding word, baseline shifted up to align with the text.



colors_ To express its universality, nasa’s graphical color scheme is largely monochromatic. The majority of the color in na sa’s visual identity is expressed in photographs. Logos, typography, and other graphic elements should merge harmoniously with the photos, enhancing their impact. Silver and black are the primary colors. White is appropriate when a graphic element is reversed out of a photograph. Blue may be used sparingly to provide accents.

visual _standards 55

silv er

pms 428C / 427U / 428M cmyk c10 m5 y5 k10 rgb 204-204-210

bl ack

pms 433C / Black 6U / 433M cmyk c90 m70 y40 k90 rgb 0-0-0

w hite

pms n/a cmyk c0 m0 y0 k0 rgb 255-255-255


pms 2985C / 2985U / 2985M cmyk c70 m0 y10 k0 rgb 105-190-220


type specimens _ Text is nasa’s technical voice on the page. The following typefaces have been selected to express nasa’s character in printed materials. The primary na sa text face is DIN Pro. Based on a design from Germany in the 1930s, DIN is a classic of functional, efficient style. The precision of the letters reflects na sa’s commitment to science, while its occasional quirks speak to the surprises to be found in the hidden parts of our world. DIN should be set in DIN Regular 7 point with 10 point leading. The initial paragraph of a story should be set in DIN Light 12/14. Headlines should be United Sans Heavy, all caps, with +40 tracking. Sizes 12, 18, and 36 point may be used together in a headline lockup. United was designed by House Industries. Its mechanical geometry draws on na sa’s foundation in engineering, while its strong shapes are daring and bold. Photo captions, which are treated as technical indicia overlaying the photograph, should be set in United Serif Light, 5 point, with +180 tracking.

visual _standards 57

United sans heavy




QRSTUVWXYZ DIN Pro Light 1 2 / 1 4 abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz DIN Pro Regular 7 / 1 0 abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz DIN Pro Bold 7 / 1 0 abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXY Z United Serif Light 5/7 abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ


Letterhead Business card Envelope #9 Shown 1/3 size Neil Armstrong 769 Tranquility Avenue Terre Haute, IN 47801

Dear Mr Armstrong, Thank you for your interest in NASA. We regret to inform you that the position of Astronaut has been filled. However, we will keep your resume on file in case any such opportunities should arise. We wish you the best of luck in your career. We interviewed a number of candidates for the Astronaut position, and we have decided that a different applicant is the most qualified for the job opening. This letter is to let you know that you were not selected for the position for which you applied. The interview committee was impressed with your credentials and experience. We’re offering you the opportunity to interview for a second job opening as a Junior Data Analyst in our Engineering division. Enclosed is a position description for your review. If you are interested in talking with us about this second opening, please call or email Edgar Dyson and we will schedule an interview at your earliest convenience. We are currently doing first round interviews for this position. Thank you so much for taking the time to come to NASA to meet our interview team. We enjoyed meeting you and our discussions. Whatever you decide about interviewing for this second job opening, please feel free to apply for posted positions at NASA in the future. We wish you every personal and professional success with your job search and in the future. Thank you for your interest in our company. Sincerely,

Buck Turgidson

Business system _

visual _standards



The coordinated business system is how nasa presents itself to the rest of the planet. When communicating with people outside of na sa, it is important to maintain a consistent voice. To this end, we have designed a complete business system. All professional communications must adhere to this standard.

nasa’s universe



Astrium Space Jets transport visitors to the Eclipse Space Resort for astronomy research



Science Nasa [old]

Stanford Linear Accelerator

Obscure, hard science

Nasa [new]


Entertaining, accessible science


Obscure Virgin Galactic National Geographic Expeditions National Park Service Discovery Channel



Recreational science




Other companies specialize in science entertainment: the audience is a spectator. Recreational science is active and participatory. NASA currently occupies just a corner of its potential field. There is a wide gap between popular science entertainment and the practice of hard science. By positioning itself at the intersection of science and entertainment, obscurity and accessibility, na sa will reach an untapped audience of people who want an authentic encounter with the unknown world, as participants in its discovery. The new na sa will remain true to its scientific focus but expand into more accessible territory. Still oriented toward real research, na sa remains slightly more obscure than its competitors. This acts as a positive “barrier to entry,� providing a degree of exclusivity. The niche na sa occupies is the most serious, most scientific, and thus most prestigious of the populist science companies.


old n a sa ne w n a sa










Terre s tri a l & m a rine science

Public pa rticipation



Until now, nasa has pursued space-related science almost exclusively. We intend to expand na sa into the full spectrum of fun, educational, scientific adventures, fusing na sa’s broadened scientific mission with a new emphasis on public participation. In addition to its ongoing work in space research, na sa will offer a complete range of products, services, and experiences to engage the public.


niche _

adaptations r e se a rch serv ice

educ at ion

f un

Moon missions

na sa University

Website & mobile apps

Mars Rovers

Lecture series

Social networking

International Space Station

Documentary TV & films

The n a sa Store

Home lab equipment

Scientific books & magazines

Cameras & lenses

Laboratory software

Website & mobile app

Science-based toys

Software for schools

Video games

Research Adventures

Discovery Museum


Space walks

Space Camp

Interplanetary probes produc t

e x perience

Science parties Molecular gastronomy



se a

l a nd

The Eclipse: space resort

The Atlantis: underwater resort

The Emerald: rain forest resort

Naming rights to new species

The Caldera: volcano resort

Naming rights to new celestial bodies & species Space travel

Naming rights to new species


Personal submarines

Equip clothing & gear

Star charts & space maps

Scuba gear

GPS devices

Luggage for space travel

Home aquariums


Space Adventures

Marine Adventures

Jungle Adventures

Space walks

Deep sea diving

Rain forest safaris

Moon sports

Ice diving

Volcano treks

The possibilities for NASA services, products and experiences are as vast as the cosmos. From precision instruments to Martian hotels to the chance to name a new species, NASA’s scope is virtually endless. The above chart summarizes the NASA’s initial forays into its new markets. A few of these exciting expansions are highlighted on the following pages. Re se a rch A dv ent ure s 3.3 Marine Adventures Jungle Adventures Ice Adventures

Science Re sort s 3.5 The Atlantis The Emerald The Caldera

NASA Uni v er sit y 3. 4

disc ov ery museum 3.6 Digita l De v elopment s 3.7 Equip Clothing & Ge a r 3.8



adventures _




The Research Adventure is the flagship experience of the new nasa. Combining the trill of scientific discovery with the fun of exotic travel. Research Adventures allow the public to follow in the footsteps of Neil Armstrong, Jane Goodall, Jacques Cousteau, and other heroes of science. With active labs on five continents, na sa Adventure Researchers can discover outer space, rain forests, ice fields, and the deep sea.

Research Adventures: Research + Fun Space + Sea + Land

Deep sea glass squid /Teuthowenia pellucida/


marine _ adventures Marine Adventures: Research + Fun Sea

The ocean is a world unto itself, and we still know very little about it. From NASA’s base in Pago Pago, Marine Adventurers will explore the darkest depths of the sea­— where true alien species reside—and tropical coral reefs, the most fragile and biodiverse ecosystem on Earth.

Palolo Deep Marine Reserve Upolu, Samoa 13°50’S 171°46’W

Black caiman /Melanosuchus niger/ Discovered 2001

expanding_universe 73

Bald parrot /Pyrilia aurantiocephala/ Discovered 2006


jungle _

adventures There are more species of trees in on square mile of the Amazon than in all of the Unites States. One out of five birds in the world is native to the Amazon. And more species of plant and animal are continually being discovered. Jungle Adventurers conduct research in biology, biochemistry, and ecology in this exotic living laboratory.

Jungle Adventures: Research + Fun Land

Admiralty Mountains Antarctica 71°47’S 168°45’E


ice _

adventures Located near McMurdo Station in Antarctica, Ice Adventurers can study the effects of global warming on the ice caps, the migratory patterns of whales, penguins, and other species, and search for specialized organisms adapted to life in this extreme environment.

Ice Adventures: Research + Fun Sea + Land


Erebus Ice Tongue McMurdo Peninsula Ross Island Antarctica 77°42’S 166°40’E


expanding_universe 77


space _

adventures Na sa hasn’t forgotten about space. Circling the Earth at about 150 miles, the latest generation Space Station is ready to receive visitors. Astronomy and astrophysics research is just the beginning: the Space Adventure center provides a peerless venue for zero-gravity zoology, low-impact superconductors, and new horizons for Earth science.

Space Adventures: Research + Fun Space



university_ nasa University provides the educational complement to the Research Adventure through its Certification program. Scheduled to open in 2014, na sa University will be the headquarters of na sa’s education division. A na sa Certified layperson will have professional-level knowledge of scientific methodologies and practices to prepare them for their Research Adventure. Students will be able to achieve na sa Certification in such skills as deep-sea diving, spelunking, storm chasing, and spacewalking. In addition to the certification program, NASA University will also provide traditional degree programs. Open to the public and fully accredited, na sa University will offer degrees in astronomy, physics, chemistry, biochemistry, biology, ecology, and engineering. Its state-of-the-art campus will be located in Arlington, Virginia, just outside of Washington, dc.

NASA University: Education Space + Sea + Land

expanding_universe 79

NASA University Opening 2018 Arlington, VA, USA 38°53’N 77°5’W



resorts_ Those who want a nasa experience but can’t undertake a Research Adventure can have a fascinating and inspiring vacation at a nasa Science Resort. Centered on a scientific foundation, every day at a na sa resort features special lectures by visiting experts, exploratory day trips to nearby sites of scientific interest, and hands-on demonstrations of everyday science, Each Science Resort is located in a spectacular natural setting. Guests at a na sa resort will come home with a new appreciation of the natural and physical world. All na sa resorts are LEED Platinum certified and built with great sensitivity to the local and global environment.

Science Resorts: Education + Fun Sea + Land



caldera _ resort

Caldera Resort for geology + volcanology Grindavík, Reykjanes Peninsula Iceland 63°52’N 22°26’W Built on an active geothermal vent


emerald_ resort

Emerald Resort for ecology + biology Manaus, Brazil 16°384’S 483°34’W



_ resort Atlantis Resort for marine biology Tarawa, Kiribati 1°28’N 173°2’E



Hall of Planets Discovery Museum Houston, TX 29°33’N 95°05’W

_ discovery museum & observatory




The Discovery Museum brings hands-on exploration of science directly to the public. Divided into symmetrical wings for space, sea and land exhibits, the 500,000 square foot museum covers every aspect of physical and natural science. The foundation is cut into bedrock and houses the geology hall. Further Land exhibits include displays on biodiversity, rain forests, volcanoes, and the polar regions. The Sea wing covers marine biology, deep sea exploration, and climate science. The 8-million gallon tank houses over 1,000 species of fish, invertebrates and marine mammals— including the world’s only captive blue whale—in a spectacular, immersive environment. The Space wing brings to life the history of the cosmos, from the Big Bang to the current search for dark matter and extraterrestrial life. The edifice is topped by the Aldrin Observatory, a working astronomical research facility.

Discovery Museum: Education + Fun Space + Sea + Land Aldrin Observatory: Research + Education + Fun Space

Aldrin Obersvatory 66m optical telescope 36 x 1.8m hexagonal array 9.2m aperture

expanding_universe 87

The Aldrin Observatory is the spectacular centerpiece of the Discovery Museum experience. Planetariums are a clichÊ of the modern science museum. NASA doesn’t artificially replicate the night sky, it brings it directly into the Discovery Museum. The 9.2-meter aperture telescope is used for astronomical research as well as observation tours to museum guests. The segmented mirror reflector telescope is maintained and operated by NASA Certified Novice Astronomers under the direction of a professional specialist.


digital developments _ NASA brings the real world to the virtual realm like never before. Through a family of digital tools, NASA gives all of us a new window for understanding our world. w eb site NASA’s website is its all-encompassing digital presence. Social networking for the scientific community. Logbooks, databases and references materials for use on Research Adventures. Encyclopedic references on every part of the physical and natural world. Education resources for teachers and students. Virtual tours of other planets and of Earth ecosystems. NASA brings social, educational, and technical concerns together on a single platform.

Web + Digital Media: Research + Education + Fun Space + Sea + Land



n a sa book shelf The NASA Bookshelf computer is a constantly growing and evolving encyclopedia of scientific knowledge. Continually updated via a secure connection to the private networks of science publications and research labs around the world. A unique combination of cloud computing and data hardware makes the NASA Bookshelf fast, flexible, and permanent.

expanding_universe 91

n a sa mobile Every NASA mobile app puts incredible scientific and computing resources in the palm of your hand. Encyclopedic knowledge feeds automatically with your GPS to identify biological and physical features of your location. Specialized scientific calculators, data analysts, and social network apps turn your phone into your essential tool for discovering your world.



equip _yourself


Equip is nasa’s commercial product line, providing stylish all-weather clothing, luggage, scientific supplies, and personal electronics. To prepare for a scientific adventure you need the right equipment. Equip clothing and science gear is designed to withstand Arctic cold and equatorial heat equally well. Waterproof, wearproof, and any other element-proof, made with specially bioengineered natura-synthetic materials, Equip prepares you for any adventure.

Equip: Fun Space + Sea + Land





Do that.

chapter 97




Designed, written + produced by Neil Uhl Academy of Art University San Francisco December 2010



NASA Relaunch  

NASA is ready to be rebranded. This book shows a hypothetical "relaunch" of the NASA brand as the National Agency for Scientific Adventure.

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