Apollo 11 is a limited edition and hand crafted book, designed and screenprinted by Emma Dark and Helen Vine in the Graphic Design Department of Northumbria University.
On May 25, 1961, President John F. Kennedy announced his dramatic and ambitious goal of sending an American safely to the Moon before the end of the decade. The summer of 1969 saw Commander Neil Armstrong become the first man to set foot upon the moon, in an unprecedented feat of human endeavour and ingenuity. Our limited edition book Apollo 11 named after the mission itself, has been designed to celebrate this iconic achievement through the use of screen-printing. This process allowed us to create an elegiac mood by reflecting the grainy images that were watched by millions as the astronauts explored the moon’s untouched surface.
We were initially provided with a sequence of audio clips of the Apollo 11 lunar mission; a dialogue largely between Mission Control and the crew leading up to the landing. Once we had transcribed the audio we began to design the book based around the text we had.
Deciding upon the use of colour was another important task that we faced, choosing to focus on desaturated tones throughout the book, varying at different stages of the journey. We chose a bold red for the opening spread, a fierce and hot colour to sit alongside the countdown, showcasing the energy of the launch. Purple was used for the second spread a warmer and softer colour, as the rocket takes off. Teal was chosen to show the rocket leaving the earth’s atmosphere and signalling the start of the mission. We used a light blue on the following pages to show the moon from above, a colder colour reflecting the coolness of space. Finally a darker blue with purple tones features once the rocket has landed to show the warmth of the astronauts as the energy once again increases as they descend onto the surface.
The publication was designed using the typeface OCR B, a machine readable type that effectively emphasised the minimal tecnology available in the late 1960’s. We also used Univers as a complimentary type to OCR B at the beginning and end of the text, providing a clear textual frame for the narrative.