The UK Space Agency, which was just launched on April 1, hasn’t even gotten off the ground, but its logo is already mired in controversy. Designed by Folio Creative, the mark features a stylized Union Jack with a red arrow soaring toward the heavens. Some have charged that it bears a striking similarity to one claimed by the Space Rocket Group in the BBC-TV sci-fi show “Doctor Who.” The response from Folio Creative was to insist that “There is barely a passing resemblance…. It is inevitable if you combine the Union Flag with a space theme.”
Although we certainly see how that comparison can be made, we also know how designers brainstorm ways to turn a name into visual shorthand. We can just picture the initial concept development discussions starting with designers jotting down every British icon that comes to mind – the British beefeater, John Bull, the Queen, Tower of London, Big Ben…to, I got it!, the British flag! Moving onto “space agency,” the images that come to mind are the planets, stars, galaxy, astronauts…or how about a space rocket! Combine the two and what you get is a succinct link between UK and space travel. The UKSA logo, however, is much more elegant than the “Doctor Who” logo, so we think the linkage is just a coincidence, not a ripoff.