Creating a brand for the world's first space
Star ALE is a space entertainment startup on a mission to create the first on-demand shooting stars in history.
It is an ambition driven by major scientific advances. Natural shooting stars occur when dust particles of several millimeters in size burn up as they enter the Earth’s atmosphere. ALE will reproduce this through the deployment of artificial ‘meteoroids’ from custom microsatellites launched into orbit around Earth.
The particles will travel approximately one third of the way around the planet and burn upon their entry into the atmosphere, just like the natural phenomenon. The result will be a spectacular display of shooting stars that can even be personalised with different colours. The resulting show will be visible from the ground-level in an area 125 miles in diameter.
“Imagine a future where you can use our meteors for international fireworks displays, a proposal for marriage, or a special memorial”
Shinsuke Abe, Star ALE Research Director and Nihon University Aerospace Engineering Professor
Star ALE expects to launch its first satellite in December 2018. It can store 300-500 human-made meteoroids for deployment over three years, before the spacecraft also disintegrates at the end of its lifecycle.
This is pioneering vision of Lena Okajima, the founder and CEO of Star ALE whom, after gazing up at the night sky and unexpectedly glimpsing the Leonid meteor shower, was inspired to create ALE and push the boundaries of science. In 2011, following a career in bond investment at Goldman Sachs, she made that dream a reality. Lena holds a Ph.D. in Astronomy at the University of Tokyo.
Inspiration from the stars
Since December 2016, Sunshine has worked closely with Star ALE as its lead creative consultant. Inspired by the ALE vision, we have developed its brand from scratch - creating a new visual identity, logo and positioning.
The logo enshrines the founding moment of the brand: the stars surrounding the 'A' form a map of the Leo constellation; representing the moment that Lena witnessed the Leonid meteor shower as an undergraduate in 2001.
Further to the logo, Sunshine created the full visual identity designed to complement their revised positioning and direction. The logo mark was accompanied by a simple grid system upon which the identity was built and developed.
We also adjusted the brand name to align it more closely with Star ALE’s new proposition. ALE is now an acronymization of Astro Live Experiences - giving equal weight to the brand’s twin aims of advancing science, and pursuing new forms of entertainment.
The work was created by Wren Graham (Copywriter), Alice Clifford (Designer), Rosie Beard (Project Manager), and Emma Simmons (Business Director) at Sunshine, combined with Kei Oda, Nobuhiko Ohtsuki, Yoshie Sakamoto and Rie Yamamoto at Star ALE.
“ALE are a true innovation story. Not only are they pioneering new, exciting forms of experiential entertainment, they are also developing new technology and learnings that could have a profoundly positive impact on our relationship with space.”
Kit Hawkins, Co-Founder and Executive Chairman of Sunshine
The public will get a closer look at Star ALE in an future-facing exhibition at London’s iconic V&A Museum from May 2018. The Future Starts Here will showcase innovations “from smart appliances to satellites, artificial intelligence to internet culture”. The exhibition will bring together more than 100 objects as “a landscape of possibilities for the near future”. Find out more here.
Sunshine will continue working closely with Star ALE as it continues its ambitious, visionary work on Earth and beyond.