Gee Whillickers!

Twinkle, Twinkle Little Ad?

Enjoy the unadulterated beauty of star-studded night sky while you still can. Unless you’re someone who takes their teeth out at night, you may just live to see the emergence of space advertising.

That’s right. We’re talking about billboards large enough and low enough in space to be visible from the planet’s surface by the unaided human eye.

In 1993, a Georgia-based company, Space Marketing Inc., announced plans to launch square-mile size billboards made from Mylar sheets into low orbit. Company logos appearing in the sky about the size of the moon would have been visible to millions of people on Earth. However, strong public opposition caused them to withdraw their plan.

At that time, a bill was introduced, banning advertising in space, but the issue is presently still up in the air (pun intended). There is presently a Space Advertising Prohibition Act (SAPA) which modifies the ban and some say leaves a little gray area by prohibiting only “obtrusive” advertising. Does anyone consider billboards on the roads these days obtrusive? Well, one could argue “yes,” but we still have them sprouting like weeds in our towns and cities.

NASA has entertained the idea of selling advertising in the future to help raise funds by placing logos on rockets and astronaut uniforms and so forth. And, the Russian space program has already launched a rocket bearing a 30-foot Pizza Hut logo.
Who can tell where the line will be drawn for marketing and advertising? Does that line exist in our atmosphere? Think about that the next time you finish watching commercials before a movie in a theater. Then think about the number of people who would turn out for a Pepsi logo eclipse of the moon.

The NASA Insignia

The NASA insignia was designed in 1959 by former NASA employee, James Modarelli, and though it represents the history and tradition of the agency, it is also commonly referred to as the “meatball.” No lie.

The logo consists of the following symbolic elements:

The overall blue circle represents a planet. The white star speckles represent… well, space. The red, wishbone-shaped vector represents aeronautics. The white orbit ring represents space travel. And, of course, the acronym for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration


Lost in White Space

(1959) White space is used to convey simplicity, bolstering a campaign message of humble honesty. The annals of advertising history know this VW campaign as the start of a new culture of advertising.

White Space
The space between visual elements is an integral part of forwarding the message. It can help you guide the viewers eye. It can emphasize or de-emphasize. It can define where one thing ends and another begins, separating pieces of info, and, in some cases, it can also provide a visual intermission of sorts.

In addition to white, it can also be anything from pastel, to blood red to solid black. White space is a term that is also used to describe the “unused” areas on any graphic design piece that has words or art.

Definition: The margins—top, bottom, and either side—is the space between the “live area” (primary text and graphics) of the page and the trim (where the page is cut) or window limit on computers. Sometimes headers, footers, page numbers, copyrights, etc., are placed within the margins.

Alley & Gutter
Definition: These terms are used to describe the blank space between two columns of text. This space is used to help keep the reader’s eye from jumping over to the next column.

They’re also used to describe the space or offset between wrapped text (text columns that follow the form of something else).

The inside margins or blank space between two facing pages are sometimes referred to specifically as the gutter. This is the extra space allowance used to accommodate the binding in books and magazines.

Sometimes, in saddle-stitched (stapled) publications the amount of gutter, as well as the outside margins need to be adjusted to allow for creep. Creep is what happens when larger numbers of pages are wrapped over each other. The cover sheet winds up the largest because it has more pages it has to sandwich.