Space Force Logo Pt. II

Happy Friday, everyone. We’ve made it to the end of the week. Yesterday, I departed from the usual data visualisation discourse and delved into some branding/identity work. Spoilers, that’s a good part of my career as well.

But I thought it would be interesting to take a look at how the armed forces branch could be represented through some different typographic choices.

Like I discussed yesterday, the designers behind the new logo made some interesting choices. But the idea of setting the words in a geometric sans serif makes a lot of sense.

But a space force is really just the beginning of the American Empire. In Spacceeee. And so a typeface that evokes the expansion of an empire might work. So why not Trajan, inspired by the carved letters in Trajan’s column, a monument to Emperor Trajan and his victory over the Dacians.

On the other hand, this administration isn’t the best with design. And so instead of a lovely but imperial face, they would probably just choose something safe like a Garamond.

Not as grand, and a bit bookish, this doesn’t work really well for an armed forces branch. In Spacceeee. Plus, we also know that President Trump likes to brand everything with himself. And several years ago, Buzzfeed paid a type designer to create a typeface from some handwritten notes they had from Trump. They put it out for the public and of course I downloaded it. So it wouldn’t be surprising to see Space Force in Trump’s own hand.

Little difficult to read, but there is an interesting blend of upper and lower case letters in Trump’s handwriting. Maybe that could work with bringing big space to the little people of planet Earth?

Nah, who am I kidding? We’re all here for what it really should be:

So Cutting Edge

Space Force.

Yep, that’s still a thing. I’ll spare you all the long history of Space Force, because we’ve all pointed and laughed at that enough. So much so there is a Netflix show about it. There was an old logo for Space Force, which basically was the logo for Starfleet Command. You know, the fictional Space Force of Star Trek.

Well, now there’s a new Space Force logo.

And, well, it’s still Star Trek-y. But at least they dropped the most obvious bits. But I want to point out that typography. I get it, geommetric sans serif representing science, technology, the future. Safe pick, easily defensible. But look at those slices in the stems and the crossbars.

I can understand those in the E and F perhaps. But the slices to the stems of the P, F, and R make those letters feel unsteady, as if you had managed to just axe a good chunk out of a tree trunk but somehow the rest of the tree was still upright.

And I would argue further that there’s way too much angling going on, or at least it’s all inconsistent. They have this nice delta shape with its angles. Those could be reflected in the typography. The C comes closest, but in a close examination, it’s also not a match.

And so if you pretend the C is correct, with some less severe slices to the E and F perhaps, you can begin to see how a more refined Space Force logo could emerge. I used the blue lines, pulling off the strong angle in the delta shape, to slice the ends of the Es and F. (I don’t have a match for the original typeface, so I subbed in Avenir Next.)

I think that the quick exercise above, if paired with the original typeface, could work a bit better.

Credit for the original goes to somebody, no idea whom.