Lester has designed the logo for the Surface Water & Ocean Topography Mission, which will aim to give a better understanding of the world’s oceans and surface waters and to provide an early-warning system for flooding.
The identity will be used on mission patches, merchandise, SWOT website and print materials and on the launch vehicle itself. Lester says, ‘My first question to the client was, “Is the logo going into Space?” It is.’
Lester says he was contacted earlier this year by the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in the US and asked to create the logo for the mission.
He says, ‘I had done an interview for Salon magazine where they asked me what my dream job would be. I said I’d love to design for a national Space agency. One of the scientists at NASA saw that and they got in touch.’
Lester says, ‘In discussions with NASA JPL it became clear that the three key words in the mission were “global”, “water” and “flow”. So that was the starting point for my work.’
He adds, ‘I wanted the logo to evoke the earth, rivers and oceans. The arrows represent the swirling flow of eddies in the oceans that are central to SWOT’s focus. I wanted the letterforms to look elegant, modern, aerodynamic and robust.’
The mission is set to launch in 2020 and the logo will be used in the run-up. Lester says, ‘I wanted to create something fairly timeless, not trendy or gimmicky – there is a certain aesthetic to NASA projects.’
He adds, ‘It was a hugely intimidating brief and I wanted to create something that they could be proud of.’