By Melanie Wells
Graphic Design Student
Walking into Chapman’s Guggenheim Gallery on that chilly November night, I was met with an expanse of sketches, taped and overlapping, from the floor to the tops of the 10-foot-tall gallery walls. To most who visited the Lunar Mission UK exhibit, from November 9
through the 13
, the surprising volume of ideation shown just in the entryway corridor evoked awe and pride. But for the 13
Chapman Graphic Design students
, whose light bulb thoughts and hurried sketch
es the walls exhibited, having spent 5 weeks living and breathing Lunar Mission One, there were a different set of emotions.
It all started when the 12 of us, lead by Chapman professors Eric Chimenti and Ron Leland, began the London Sustainable Design course, where we would spend two weeks at Chapman and three weeks in London working on a real-world project with a real-world client. This year, our client was Lunar Mission One, a kick-started space company, now supported internationally, with plans to drill a core sample of the moon for research and place a time capsule of Earth’s digital information in its place. Thus far they have rallied a team around the cause, and have plans to launch sometime around 2024. Our challenge was to help Lunar Mission One build a larger group of supporters from the United States by developing a communication tool to create emotional interest and encourage professionals, and the general public, to get involved.
At first, we were charged with naming this communication tool, branding it, and implementing it within a “launch kit.” Creating logos and using them within branded materials were challenges we were very accustomed to, having completed countless classroom projects with these goals. But as we delved into these challenges, we began to realize that, in order for Lunar Mission One’s ultimate goal to be achieved, we needed to think bigger, adventuring outside the scope of our original charge.
We decided to create Lunar Mission Everyone, a program that gives young adults and children ages 4-24 the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to contribute their stories to the digital archive on the moon. We knew that to reach students, Lunar Mission Everyone will need to gain acceptance from their administrators, who will then develop a way to incorporate the project into their curriculum. As students from these initial pilot schools contribute their written stories, videos, and voice recordings using Lunar Mission Everyone’s upload website, the project’s recognition will grow. We strategized that the program would then grow from pilot schools to any schools wishing to contribute, and then anyone wishing to contribute.
With this thoughtful, detailed strategy, our creative minds flourished from “how” to “what” – what can we create to make this a reality?
Fast forward three months later to November at the Guggenheim Gallery. Each of our solutions could be seen, as well as our initial sketches, hanging on walls and covering the tables. We re-branded Lunar Mission One and branded Lunar Mission Everyone to reflect one another and their goals, mission, and vision. We created Archie, Lunar Mission Everyone’s adorable brand ambassador, a personified archive who collects the stories of life on Earth and keeps them safe on the moon. We developed a launch kit for pilot school administrato
rs, with designed email blasts, two direct mail pieces, and three poster sets. We produced concepts for branded promotional items and even Lunar Mission Everyone’s website and content portal.
Our work inspired the praise and support of our fellow Chapman Panthers. President Doti stated that Lunar Mission UK was “Very impressive…This rebranding, I’m sure, will be very well received.” Graphic Design alumni were impressed as well. Kristin Hinkley (BFA ’11) stated, “What an exciting time to be at Chapman.” And Selita Limtiaco Tolentino (BFA ’03) said the “…talent roaming the campus has gotten better each year.” One of our team members, who wrote anonymously on our What Would You Contribute? interactive wall, said, “I want the world to know that the Chapman University Graphic Design program gave me some of my best lifelong friends and taught me some kick-ass skills along the way.” Beneath the writing was a drawing of a heart.
David Iron, the creator of Lunar Mission One, after having seen the work, stated “Chapman have created a wonderful branding for us that we look to use from next year.” And Allan Fraser-Rush of Lunar Mission One’s Marketing Team, said “we love the new design…. Just about ready to run with, a great effort by all.”
Over the course of 5 weeks we realized that our work, Lunar Mission Everyone, has the ability to become an all-inclusive program that members of all demographics, cultures, lifestyles, and locations can be a part of. It can give them a voice, a unique opportunity to share their lives. Along the way, we made lifelong friends, inspired others, and inspired each other. When we stood in the Lunar Mission UK exhibit, surrounded by all our hard work and memories, we felt our impact – on those around us, on one another, and on the future.