Help Fund a Campaign to Reissue NASA's 1975 Design Manual

In 1972, just 14 years after NASA was established, the National Endowment for the Arts initiated the “Federal Graphics Improvement Program," aimed at improving the design standard for government agencies.

Designers Richard Danne and Bruce Blackburn eventually won the bid to reshape the look and voice of the United States space program, and in 1974, presented their portfolio to administrator Dr. James C. Fletcher and his deputy, Dr. George Low. The following year, the Danne & Blackburn-designed NASA Graphics Standards Manual was released in a simple, 8.5-inch x 11-inch ring binder.

That manual—from letterheads to motor vehicles—would become the visual identity of the program for the next 17 years, with the “Worm” logotype at the forefront. Everything changed in 1992, when mounting pushback culminated in the rescinding of the Danne & Blackburn logo, with the original “Meatball” logo reinstated in its place.

The "Worm" and "Meatball" logos // Kickstarter.

“I’ve had an exhilarating career, and I love it," Danne said. "But, this was the toughest thing to swallow that I ever had to deal with.”

That quote is from the Kickstarter campaign to reissue the 1975 NASA Graphics Standards Manual. The men behind the campaign—Jesse Reed and Hamish Smyth—have already blown past their fundraising goal with 33 days to go. For $79, a copy of the reissue can be yours, and $292,166 in pledges from nearly 3000 backers (at the time of writing) suggest that the 40-year-old design document is still as relevant as ever. Danne describes the work as not simply a logo but a true, comprehensive system to create a unified program, and a successful one at that.



The 200-page reissue will be printed and bound as a hardcover book using scans from Danne’s own copy. It will also include supplemental materials and the original NASA presentation. The publication is not connected to NASA in any way, and Reed and Smyth write that it’s “... undertaken in an effort to preserve and disseminate an archival record of graphic design from the era.” It’s hard to imagine what it would have been like designing the look of a such a massive organization, rife with infinite possibilities and final frontiers.


Or, as Danne says in the video for the project: “It was a great undertaking to tackle one of the toughest assignments known to man.”

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Tom Etherington, Penguin Press
The Covers of Jack Kerouac's Classic Titles Are Getting a Makeover
Tom Etherington, Penguin Press
Tom Etherington, Penguin Press

Readers have been enjoying classic Jack Kerouac books like The Dharma Bums and On the Road for decades, but starting this August the novels will have a new look. Several abstract covers have been unveiled as part of Penguin’s "Great Kerouac" series, according to design website It’s Nice That.

The vibrant covers, designed by Tom Etherington of Penguin Press, feature the works of abstract expressionist painter Franz Kline. The artwork is intended to capture “the experience of reading Kerouac” rather than illustrating a particular scene or character, Etherington told It’s Nice That. Indeed, abstract styles of artwork seem a fitting match for Kerouac’s “spontaneous prose”—a writing style that was influenced by improvisational jazz music.

This year marks the 60th anniversary of The Dharma Bums, which was published just one year after On the Road. The Great Kerouac series will be available for purchase on August 2.

[h/t It's Nice That]

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Apple
Here's a Preview of the 70 New Emojis Coming to Your iPhone
Apple
Apple

Get ready to add a whole new set of symbols to your emoji vocabulary. As CNN reports, Apple has released a sneak peak of some of the 70 new emojis coming to iOS in late 2018.

In February 2018, the Unicode Consortium announced the latest additions to their official emoji database. Software makers have since been working on customizing the designs for their own operating systems, and now iPhone and iPad users are getting a preview of what the new emojis will look like on their devices.

One of the most highly anticipated new symbols is the redhead emoji, something people have been demanding for a while. A curly haired option, another popular request, will be added to the line-up, as will gray-hair and bald emoji choices. Each of the new hair types can be added to the classic face emoji regardless of gender, but when it comes to specific characters like the bride or the jogger emojis, users will be limited to the same hair options they had before.

If Apple users ever want to express their inner superhero, two new super characters, a man and woman, will let them do so. They will also have new "smiley" symbols to choose from, like a party emoji, a sad eyes emoji, and a frozen emoji.

In the food category you have a head of lettuce and a mango, and for dessert, a cupcake and a mooncake—a festive Chinese pastry. New animals include a peacock, a kangaroo, and a lobster. The lobster emoji stirred some controversy in February when Mainers noticed the Unicode version was missing a set of legs. The design was quickly revised, and Apple's version is also anatomically correct.

These images just show a small sample of the emojis that will be included in an iOS update planned for later in 2018. Users will have to wait to see the final designs for other the symbols on the list.

New Apple emojis.
Apple

New Apple emojis.
Apple

New Apple emojis.
Apple

New Apple emojis.
Apple

[h/t CNN]

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