NASA’s vintage Graphics Standards Manual is enjoying a bit of a renaissance thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign to revive the print edition, and now the space agency has made the full document available for free.
If you’re unfamiliar, the 1975 Graphics Standards Manual is a NASA document that detailed a new design and typography approach for the agency. Created by designers Richard Danne and Bruce Blackburn, the designs were used from the mid-1970s until the early 1990s. Though the higher-ups at NASA loved it, many longtime NASA employees hated it — and fought for years (and eventually won) for the new “worm” logo to be dropped for the original, iconic “meatball.”
It’s a testament to the art of design, and is one heck of a pretty book in itself.
Now, we can all dig into the full, 90-page manual for free at our leisure. NASA has released the document as a free PDF to download. No word on if the move was a response to the Kickstarter campaign that saw more than 6,500 people pay $79 for a stunning hardcover edition, but it’s interesting timing. Most likely, NASA’s enjoying the buzz and wanted to capitalize by making the document more easily accessible.