samedi 28 novembre 2015

Rencontre avec Karen Oldenburg, la créatrice du logo de la mission Proxima de Thomas Pesquet

Le 12 novembre dernier, le nom de la mission spatiale de Thomas Pesquet a été révélé au public : il s'agit de la mission PROXIMA (Cliquez ici pour l'article sur la mission Proxima).

Le logo a été également dévoilé : il est l'oeuvre de Karen Oldenburg, graphic designer de l'ESA.
(cliquez ici pour le descriptif complet du logo).

Rencontre et interview avec Karen qui était présente lors de la révélation au public du nom et du logo de la mission de Thomas Pesquet.

Karen, you work at ESA – what is your job as a graphic designer and why did you choose this job? What is your background ?
I’ve studied at the Graphic Design school in Amsterdam.
As a child I was always drawing and being creative, so becoming a graphic designer sounded like a great job. Just imagine, being able to have your hobby as a job! After graduating at the design school I have worked at a couple of small studios and did some freelance work.
I was looking for a new challenge and ESA was looking for a graphic designer for their team in the Netherlands, so I applied for the job in 2010 and have been working for ESA since then.
Before working for ESA I did not know anything about space but during all these years I’ve learned a lot about space and I really like it.

I am the graphic designer for the Human Spaceflight and Operations department at ESA, this means that all the printed materials are designed by me.
ESA has a corporate identity that I need to follow, and I am the one who makes sure that the identity is being kept in all the productions our department makes. That includes the mission brochures, posters, flyers and also the mission patches.

How did you composed this logo and what was your inspiration for this ? What kind of rules are there for this logo ? How many time did you have to create this logo ?
We started with the design of the patch in the beginning of July (2015).
Thomas and I sat together and discussed what he would like to have. The name was being selected through a competition in France so we had to wait until the mission name was chosen. I started making the first drafts for the patch in August.

In total I have designed about 14 completely different designs and 3 of them were potentially good patches. Then comes the fine-tuning and in total there were about 75 different options.
So it was a lot of work but that’s always the case when designing a patch. Thomas knew very well what he would like to have and also what he did not want to have and that made very easy to work with him.
Thomas was very involved in the design and gave me lots of good inputs and comments – we really worked together on this patch.
It is difficult to describe how we have come to this final design, the Star Trails as we call it. It is a process of playing and puzzling and somehow this futuristic design comes out of my hands.
My main inspiration is of course space and future and I think this design captures both messages.

The rules for making a good mission patch is to always think about the main purpose and that is the embroidered patch that the astronaut will wear on his suit. The other thing that you need to consider is that the logo will be used on very small scales (like pins) but also very big ones. And then of course it has to have the ESA font and style.

What was your reaction when you found out that you would be the one to design this logo for Thomas Pesquet’s Proxima mission ?
The first idea was to have a competition for this patch in France, everybody in France could send their designs of the patch to ESA and one design would be chosen to be the winner. But since that was during the school holiday period and the deadline to have the final logo was in November, there was not enough time to start the competition and the decision was that I would be the one designing the patch.
Of course this is a great honour for me and I feel really privileged. Designing patches is one of the reasons why I love my job so much. Not many people can say that their designs have been in space !

Would you like to go to space? And why?
Yes I would like to be in space. But to get to space, with a huge rocket and all the intense training that you need to do before, I’d prefer to skip that part. Just click your fingers and I’m in space – that’s OK. But I think it would be a great experience to be weightless and to look at the beautiful Earth from such a distance… It would be breathtaking!

Crédit : Stéphane Sebile / Spacemen1969
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