One nice thing about government agencies is that many neat things they produce are ultimately free to the citizens. Keeping with that tradition, NASA just released the graphics standards manual behind the iconic “worm” logo as a PDF. You can now download the 90-page document for free.
As soon as you do that, you should check out the Kickstarter campaign to republish the 1976 document in the form of a handsome $US80 coffee table book. It’s perhaps thanks to that campaign that NASA ponied up and released the digital version. Don’t go getting any bright ideas that involve your inkjet printer and some staples, though. The republished NASA Graphics Standards Manual from the Kickstarter campaign promises to be a real hardback conversation piece. The PDF version promises to be a great way geek out alone in your bedroom on a Thursday evening.
You honestly ought to get both. You’ll know by scrolling through the digital version that this piece of design history is a gift sent by some bell-bottom wearing bureaucrats in the Nixon era to us, the newfound enthusiasts for sans serif logos. Turns out that government agency that flies around the solar system dropping off robots and looking for aliens is pretty hip after all.