Nixon, NASA, and How the Federal Government Got Design
By: Fast Company
The federal government doesn't stray too far from a few familiar topics when it comes to its agenda: the economy, health care, national defense, immigration, reproductive rights. But for roughly a decade not long ago, good graphic design was a national priority—and the story of how it became one is a forgotten chapter of design history.
In the 1970s, federal agencies and departments like the National Park Service, the Environmental Protection Agency, the United States Postal Service, the Department of Transportation, and NASA overhauled their visual identities and communication systems. Suddenly, famous designers like Lella and Massimo Vignelli, corporate identity pioneers Ivan Chermayeff and Tom Geismar, wayfinding guru Lance Wyman, and Raymond Lowey all had an expanded influence at the national level. And they welcomed the challenge.