Interstellar Identity

Humanity is on the brink of a defining stage in its history: colonial expansion into the universe. Cross-medium design can be used to create an identity for humanity in this context, which is practically applicable for understanding by both humans and extra-terrestrial intelligence.
Project         Process Work
Above:  Complete visual system, depicting our solar system (scaled mathematically) and the molecular composition of each planet's atmosphere.
Project Aim

The aim of this project was to create a cross-medium identity for humanity in the context of our impending colonial expansion into the universe. This identity needed to be understandable by both humans and extra-terrestrial intelligence — a task which required accounting for variances in the audience’s ability to receive communication. Thus, a system needed to be developed which allows the identity to be translated across mediums while still retaining its meaning absolutely.

Above  Isolated audio system, containing information about Earth and our solar system encoded through wavelength and duration of tones.

The graphic for Earth is made up of multiple components. Centrally, we have the circle for Earth size relatively to the rest of the system, and in a hexagonal pattern surrounding are the molecules which make up human DNA. Further out there are the molcules for water and oxygen, before finally we have the molecular composition of Earth's atmosphere, which each planet also has included.

The Planets


Atmosphere: 40% Oxygen, 30% Sodium, 10% Helium, 20% Hydrogen.


Atmosphere: Carbon Dioxide (CO2).


Atmosphere: Carbon Dioxide (CO2).


Atmosphere: 90% Hydrogen, 10% He.


Atmosphere: H2.


Atmosphere: 75% Hydrogen, 25% Helium.


Atmosphere: 80% Hydrogen, 20% Helium.
The Sun

The sun is scaled compared to the planets, and contains its atmospheric composition: 75% Hydrogen, 25% Helium.

Process work for Interstellar Identity.
Research Proposal

Part one of this project was the research and design proposal. This document contains the research, case studies, theories and early ideas which Interstellar Identity came from.

The full research document can be found here.

Early Ideation

Early development focused on basic symbols, binary and morse code as a visual form of presenting information. I also decided early on that the information would be scientific in nature as this is most likely to be a universal concept.

Digital Development

Using Adobe Illustrator, I began experimenting with icons, visual forms and layouts. It was important to ensure the design was mathematically sound (especially in terms of proportions and sizing), which made for an interesting problem in balancing that with aesthetically pleasing design.

Audio Development

While designing the visual form, I was also working on the audio, using the tone generator in Adobe Audition. I used different wavelengths and lengths of tones as a way to present data in audio form.

Accompanying Report

Alongside the development of the project was a studio report, detailing the process, theory and thinking that went into each and every detail.

The full report can be found here.

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