It’s the stunning design book that launched a decades-long war inside NASA, and now you can finally own your own copy. The magic of crowdfunding.
A savvy team of archivists have turned to Kickstarter to fund a reissue of the famed 1975 Graphics Standards Manual, a NASA document that laid out much of the designs and typography that permeated the late 1970s, all the 1980s and the early 1990s for the U.S. space agency. Long story short: The document was created by designers Richard Danne and Bruce Blackburn, and NASA brass loved it.
So they rolled it out with little input from the rest of the space agency, and many NASA veterans did not take kindly to the introduction of the new “worm” logo (seen above), which replaced the agency’s iconic “meatball” logo (aka the blue circle that is synonymous with space exploration). Internal battles raged for years, and finally, in 1992, those who opposed the “worm” managed to restore the “meatball.”
But, controversy or not, there’s no denying the stunning amount of design work and the Graphics Standards Manual’s role in unifying the look of the United States’ space agency. Plus, the thing is a work of art in itself, and it's legendary among design geeks. The Kickstarter campaign has already reached its funding goal, and anyone interested in owning a deluxe copy of the manual can pick one up for $80.
What do you think? Worth the money for this space exploration artifact?