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Space Farce

Space Force! DA-DUNNNNNN!

I mean, it really needs a theme song, right? A dramatic intro. Some flair, maybe some sweet uniforms with lots of room for medals. And, of course, before anyone figures out just what Space Force is for, what they’ll do, or how it will be paid for, we’d better figure out a logo.

Or at least that’s what the “Trump Make America Great Again Committee” political action committee (PAC) is asking its supporters to vote on. Make your voice heard, good people of the nation! Choose from this glorious array of rip-offs, plagiarism, stolen ideas, and downright horrifying typography!

Because who needs good design when you have a SPACE FORCE?!

Option 1: Meat-Worm

Okay, so explain to me how this isn’t just the current NASA logo, a bit mixed up? No, seriously, it’s almost exactly the “meatball” logo currently in use by NASA, designed by employee James Modarelli in 1959. (It’s even copied the swoosh that represents a supersonic wing model used in early wind tunnel testing for aerodynamics.) But they’ve totally changed the colors, so that totally counts. Red and yellow are totes different from blue and red, yeppers. But also! They’ve switched out NASA’s angled-serif font for some lettering that’s reminiscent of the space agency’s old “worm” logotype that was retired in 1992. Way to keep it modern there, folks.

Option 2: Keming Aflame

So we’ve still got something vaguely resembling the parabolic orbit in the NASA logo, good, good, wouldn’t want to lose all ties to NASA, wouldn’t want any completely original ideas. Rocketship clip art, check. Geometric lettering, kerned WAY too close together, check. Upside-down propane icon, check. Throw in some dots and stars in a weird clump that doesn’t spread across the whole blue field, but isn’t restricted by any visible element of the design either. No, no, you don’t need to arrange stuff in any particular way, who cares what’s touching or overlapping? We’re done here, good work everyone, let’s go home.

Option 3: To the Moon, Alice

I guess “space” means just “the moon.” Sorry, kids, that’s as far as our mandate goes, and that’s what you’ll get. I do like the giant blue and red stars, the idea of some huge gas balls moving both away and toward the moon simultaneously really gives this logo some dynamism and excitement. One ship, two ship, redshift, blueshift. Excellent.

However, keeping in mind that I’m no expert on space OR the moon, I’m pretty sure that attaching a giant net to a rocket isn’t gonna help get you to either one. Or wait, maybe it’s a representation of D’Argo’s nose, from Farscape, and that’s set in space, right? And has NASA in it? Wait, not NASA, that was IASA. And the I is for International. Welp, never mind, this administration’s been actively working against any international collaboration… and they worked so hard on their American accents, too.

Option 4: I’m a Little Tied Up at the Moment

There’s a lot going on here, and things are getting a little knotty. Did someone have a peek in Grandma’s knitting basket before sending this one in? Did we really just want to explore what ELSE could be done with a parabola and some stars, to stick with the theme of Let’s Just Keep Borrowing from NASA? Why are there so many teensy little fine lines in that space shuttle? Didn’t we end the space shuttle program in…2011?  ARE WE BRINGING SPACE SHUTTLES BACK?!

I’m not quite sure what to make of the font choice here, either. Yes, let’s add to an already-chaotic design by breaking up the individual letters! Are the slanted cutouts meant to represent… speed? Meteorite scoring? The bits of your DNA that will go missing from spending too much time in the radiation of space? Nah, someone just thought it looked cool. Fie on readability!

Option 5: Blue-Red Badge of Space Courage

SHE’S BLEEDIN’ OUT, CAPTAIN! No, seriously, this one is a nose, too, or someone with a bloody nose. And it’s a cop badge, for some reason. Or maybe a shield! Shields are for defense! That’s logic!

I can’t take this seriously.

Option 6: I’m a Potato

Okay, now we’re not stopping at the moon, but we ARE restricting “space” to the orbit of Mars. It awaits. What it’s waiting for, I’m not sure, nor have I any clue why something that’s supposed to be a logo has a damn tagline in it. But hey, what do I know. I’m just one of those college-educated intellectuals after all.

I’m pretty sure this illustration was also yoinked straight out of a video game, too. Speculation has been Firewatch, No Man’s Sky, or The Long Dark, but I’m not enough of a gamer to confirm… I think it looks like a background from Two Dots.

We Do Not Need Your Silly Grail… We’ve Already Got One!

The thing that’s the most baffling about this proposed “new” Space Force is that… uh… it already exists. The United States Air Force Space Command is definitely a real, existing entity. They’re headquartered at Peterson AFB in Colorado and are staffed by over 38,000 actual, real humans that have actual, real jobs that exist right now. Its mission is literally to “Provide resilient and affordable Space and Cyberspace capabilities for the Joint Force and the Nation.”

Or we could, y’know, give NASA its budget back? I mean, I’m just sayin’. American military space operations don’t generally include actual space exploration, so if Mars truly does await it’ll be waiting an awfully long time if we’re relying on Space Force to get us there.

I know some other folks who are also still waiting on some help, too…https://twitter.com/PoliteMelanie/status/1009960360625999873

Now, if you really, really want to vote in favor of one of those…um… logos… you may be out of luck. Only PAC donors who received the email directly from the Trump Make America Great Again Committee can vote for their faves. On a positive note, it’s supposedly only for “a new line of gear” and not to pay for the Space Force itself.

Which is good, because Giorgio has already heard from the aliens and they say they’re not paying for it.

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Beth Voigt

Beth is a graphic designer in Chicago, a superhero in her own mind, and absolutely nothing on TV. She wrangles fonts professionally, pummels code amateurishly, and has been known to shove fire in her face for fun. Fond of volunteering, late-night bursts of productivity, and making snacks, she dislikes grocery shopping and sticky public transit and is only on her second smartphone. Her opinion is that you should try everything twice; if you don't like it, you were probably doing it wrong the first time around. If external links are your thing, here are links to Twitter and Instagram, and you can support her ongoing weirdness by buying her a coffee or six.

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