Design studio House of van Schneider has created the logo and identity for the launch of NASA’s Mars 2020 mission, which hopes to capture “the energy and legacy of space travel”.
The Brooklyn-based studio has created a logo and identity for the launch of the exploratory Mars Rover, which is being operated by NASA and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), a research and development centre in California.
The mission is being headed up by the Perseverance rover and the Ingenuity helicopter drone, which were launched at the end of July 2020. They are expected to touch down on the Jezero crater on Mars in February of next year.
The aim is to collect samples from the planet’s environment and determine the possibility of past life on Mars. NASA says that it is part of “a long-term effort of robotic exploration of the Red Planet”.
Celebrating an “iconic” design
The studio says that the logo is an “abstract representation” of the “iconic” rover, with a shape that “reaches up to the sky”. The distinctive red shade is a nod to Mars’ reddish tone, which is caused by dust in the planet’s atmosphere. It also ties in with the red colour palette of NASA’s wider branding. The star featured in the logo is actually Earth, which shows the distance travelled by the rover given a successful mission. The home planet appears “in the distance, now a star”.
The logo is applied widely throughout the identity, on the Rover itself for example, but also on NASA products. A version of the logo appears on a key card for the aeronautical company.
According to the design studio, the logomark works as “beautifully on the rover as it does on a 191-foot tall rocket ship”. On the rocket ship, the logo appears alongside the famous NASA logo, sometimes known as the “meatball”, which is also circular.
NASA’s nostalgic design
The 2020 Mars logo is reminiscent of more retro NASA designs, which fits with current design trends at the space organisation.
Earlier this year, NASA’s worm logo was re-introduced to mark the first American rocket launch from American soil since 2011. The Falcon 9 launch is a collaboration between NASA and Elon Musk’s company SpaceX. It was the first time the much-loved typographic logo has been used since 1992.