Space Oddity

Painting atlantis logo on wing

Thinking about branding at the moment and was reminded of this great photo of painting Atlantis name onto the space shuttles wing. Back when NASA was still using the ‘worm logotype’. Unit editions have printed the guidelines in their ‘Manual 1 Design & Identity Guidelines.’ NASA have also shared the guidelines here.

I am quoting the  the following passage from the Nasa Spacecraft Markings page…

‘The marking of NASA spacecraft vehicles is essential, critical, and difficult. It is quite important that any identification or markings which appear on spacecraft be consistent with the overall goals of the NASA Unified Visual Communications System. These vehicles represent tangible evidence of many of NASA’s most interesting programs. As such, they are the focus of considerable public and media attention and should be marked in simple but effective ways.

Another important consideration is that the vehicle be marked so that it can be identified from different angles, whether in a launch mode or in outer space. Of course, the overriding consideration is that the markings not interfere or impede the scientific mission of the craft. This principle applies to maintenance as well as the operational qualities of the craft when performing in space. This objective is very achievable as demonstrated on the Space Shuttle shown below.

Only a few isolated areas were desig­nated for graphics by flight engineers and scientists. Working within these serious constraints, the Shuttle Orbiter is fully marked with all of the basic identifiers: The NASA Logotype , the American flag , United States, USA, plus the name of the particular craft. Helvetica Medium is the typeface used on the spacecraft.

Note that the NASA Logotype appears in NASA Gray so as not to conflict with the red of the American flag . The flag is equal to the height of the capital letters on the side, top, and bottom of the craft. The placement of these identifying elements is responsive to technical requirements as well as being harmonious with the basic shape and form of the Shuttle.’

As guidelines go, not many have to worry about placements on spacecraft.