Contributed by Paula Benson of London-based Form.
We have recently completed the new and eagerly-awaited marketing and promotional materials for pioneers of commercial space travel — Virgin Galactic — consisting of a 5-colour brochure with DVD, a flyer and limited edition HD laminated, foil-blocked box.
Featuring new images of the VMS Eve mothership and VSS Enterprise spacecraft in flight, exclusive photos and quotes from the future astronauts, and a visual of the Foster + Partners designed Spaceport America in the New Mexico, the brochure has been designed to fulfill the brief from Virgin Galactic — to communicate that commercial spaceflight is no longer a dream, but a reality — and indeed, that deposits are now accepted. The test flight programme for the new space vehicles is currently underway, prior to the start of the world’s first regular commercial manned spaceflight service.
The brochure design is based on a structured yet flexible grid allowing a lively, considered layout and features stunning imagery and muted colour palette.
The brochure also features:
- A fold-out cover detailing the history of spaceflight
- Centre section throw-out illustrating the journey into space with relevant altitudes
- Explanations of the actual experience (eg. how travelling at 4 times the speed of sound and floating in zero gravity really feels)
- Information about technology and safety issues
- Classic but poignant quotes about discovery and exploration from authors like Mark Twain which pepper the pages, together with quotes from the likes of Burt Rutan – the aeronautical design inspiration for the launch system and founder of Scaled Composites where the mothership and spaceship were built and are now being tested.
- Wide, asymmetric borders for the photos (influenced from the iconic images taken from the Hubble telescope which were often seen with ‘staggered’ borders when imaged together).
- Back cover throw-out with the very sexy Virgin Galactic Girl logo!
- Printing in 4 colour process with silver, and gloss sealer throughout, plus a high-gloss laminated cover to represent the spacecraft.
The limited edition hinged box houses the brochure and features the original Virgin Galactic logo inspired by Phillipe Stark plus some simple detailed metallic foil blocking of the ‘DNA of flight’.
“We wanted the box to represent space, and the brochure to represent the spaceship, so we have designed a black box with an HD laminated finish to give a tactile rubbery matt feel, revealing the hi-gloss, predominantly white, brochure for an interesting combination of textures and finishes.”
— PAUL WEST, FORM
Client: Virgin Galactic
Art Direction: Paul West and Paula Benson
Design: Paul West
Design assistance: Joe Wassell Smith/Lucy Purling
Virgin Galactic introduction film, November 2009
Update: 29 March 2011 — This project follows the brand identity guidelines laid down by GBH Design and utilises many images created by GBH for Virgin Galactic. The typeface was also created by GBH, in conjunction with Dalton Maag.