News / Graphic Design

NASA releases free PDF of 1970s design manual in response to reissue campaign

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Over the past few weeks, NASA’s Graphics Standards Manual from the 1970s has garnered a lot of attention across the design world. The design manual created for NASA by New York studio Danne & Blackburn has not only recently resurfaced on Flickr, but also become the driving force behind a viral Kickstarter campaign. After graphic designers Jesse Reed and Hamish Smyth tracked down an original copy, they decided to publish a high-quality reissue funded through Kickstarter and selling for $79. The project currently counts some 6,515 backers and $686,900, and has been spotlighted by publications including The New York Times and Wired.

Now, presumably in response to this flurry of media attention, NASA has released a free PDF of the 1975 manual. Speaking to Vice, Reed explained, “We can’t say the move is directly responding to our project, but it’s safe to suspect they are related. It’s great that they’re making the guidelines available to the public, we think they should be. That said, we don’t think that having an online PDF is the easiest way to engage with the information.”

NASA has not issued a statement with the digital rerelease.