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August 19, 2018

Designing in STEM | Javier Syquia | BFA Graphic Design & BA Chemistry 2021

by jsyquia

As I am approaching my final week of my internship at NASA Ames, I am starting to heavily focus on producing a lot of design work influenced by the research the team has conducted. These designs range from our team logo, to our team’s website and final presentation to be shown in the upcoming iGEM Jamboree this October in Boston.

Creating a team logo was quite an involved task, as it needed to serve several purposes. First, it needed to be a recognizable symbol for our team to be associated with. It also had to be something that the entire team was happy with, as it will be incorporated into our team sweatshirts that will be worn in the Jamboree. Most importantly, it has to creatively show what our team’s research is about, while still fitting into NASA’s already established design identity. After several iterations, I finally created a logo that everyone on the team enjoys.


The design is inspired by NASA’s Mission Patches that are uniquely designed for each mission. We thought it would be fitting to go with a similar approach, as our research has potential to actually be used on Mars to build human habitats.

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In the screenshot above, you can observe the several iterations that I went through before producing the final logo. One of the more interesting pieces of feedback I received from my supervisor at NASA Ames was to include the image of the Moon on the logo, despite our focus on Mars, due to NASA’s shift in goals to additionally bring humans back to the moon (after a change in Presidential administrations). There were several other iterations of the logo, but the final one we ended with allowed for a lot of opportunities to create a strong, yet flexible design identity for the team.

I’ve now been focusing on how to translate our scientific findings to a more captivating presentation for the Jamboree, not only through graphic design, but also through how the entire presentation is organized. Though I currently cannot share the presentation, below is a short video of what’s in the works.

My goal is to go back and forth between our data and analogies to either grasp more interest or frame information in a more understandable manner. I’m looking forward to my last week at NASA Ames, as I wrap up my final laboratory tests and continue to design deliverables for the team!

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