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NASA’s Golden Age of Design Chronicled in Reissued Standards Manual

Design nerds rejoice

1992 was not a good year for NASA -- at least, not according to graphic designers. That was the year the space agency ditched their futuristic "worm" logo in favor of the old "meatball" logo, effectively sidelining two decades of modern design standards. This golden age of NASA design was chronicled in Danne & Blackburn's 1974 NASA Graphics Standards Manual, a visual brand guide outlining the look of everything from stationary to space shuttles.

Last year, two graphic designers launched a wildly successful Kickstarter campaign to bring back the manual as a hard cover book. Now, they're releasing the book to the public.

"Speaking as a design nerd, I think the "worm" logo is almost perfect, and the system behind it is a wonderful example of modernist design and thinking," said Hamish Smyth, one of the designers behind the reprint.

Smyth and fellow Pentagram Associate Partner Jesse Reed raised $942,000 through 8,798 backers on the crowdfunding site.

Created by meticulously scanning Richard Danne's personal copy of the NASA Graphics Standards Manual, the new hardcover edition contains everything available via the Kickstarter campaign — the foreword by Danne, an essay on 1970s NASA culture by writer Christopher Bonanos—and some additions, including scans of the 1974 35mm slide presentation that Danne & Blackburn gave to NASA, and The Manager's Guide to NASA Graphics Standards.

Pre-orders of the book will ship on May 3, 2016.

Pre-order the NASA Manual [Standards Manual]

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