As most countries attempt to rebound from the last couple years worth of nasty economy, perhaps the last idea anyone had for a boost was to create a new space agency. Yesterday, Lord Mandelson, the UK’s Business Secretary, announced the creation of the UK Space Agency, “Exactly,” he said, “the kind of high value-added industry we need to support as we rebalance our economy, creating sustainable growth and the jobs of the future.” Complementing that sentiment was Lord Drayson, Minister for Science and Innovation, “We’re acting now, because this is a critical moment in the economic cycle — a point where existing markets are set to grow and new markets set to emerge. This is the time to go for growth.” The new agency will replace the 24-year-old British National Space Centre as the go-to body for all things space related. For such a high stakes, important venture, it sure has a funny logo.
Created by Oxfordshire-based Folio Creative, the new logo has all the accoutrements of a United Kingdom logo: Gill Sans, diagonal lines a la flag, and the RWB color palette. In my first impression I also noticed another local inspiration, perhaps far-fetched, the visual language (or at least at the visual attitude) of the Sex Pistols covers. While not as aggressive or authentic, of course, the UK Space Agency logo does have a welcome energy to it that most government logos lack. Except that, unfortunately, that energy is a little misguided. The logo feels too playful and ironic… I mean, do we really need an arrow pointing to where space is? The awkwardness of the logo is even more enhanced by the clunky arrangement and sizing of the typography.
The UK Space Agency is set to launch on April 1, 2010 so maybe the joke will be on us, and not the logo.