Established in 2891 OEC (Old Earth Calendar), 127.B Universal Date Code, Trigalax is a multi-galactic transport service provider consisting mainly of deep space travel stations, distributed throughout the three habitable galaxies. With over 800 stations housing a network of hospitality, service and security divisions, the Trigalax company portfolio also includes properties in Dark Energy Fuel production, Deep Space Information Network (DSIN) distribution, and interplanetary, cross-species PR agencies.
With a series of infrastructure upgrades and the launch of 45 new stations, the company engaged the Turiip-based design firm Rubyrhod & Associates in a full redesign of the company’s brand and graphic language. Throughout the years of expansion, the previous brand had become convoluted, confusing and incapable of accommodating the new realities of the late third millennium — it was a time for a new look to send a signal to the company’s commercial and private consumer audiences that would convey Trigalax’s dedication to its service foundation and maintain its well-established position as a leader in the advancement of safe, reliable intergalactic space transit infrastructure.
With a history spanning 600 years OEC, Trigalax has always been a forerunner in space travel services, supporting the private, commercial and military sectors. The company’s roots lie in the successful development of proprietary Dark Energy Propulsion Technology and the successful mass production of Einsteinium™ — the development of which allowed civilizations of the original eleven connected planets to travel faster and further than ever before. Through the development of this technology, Trigalax established its infrastructure of stations to reach further across space, first as military exploration outposts, but later transforming into full-service stations providing robust intergalactic travel-related amenities to both private and commercial intergalactic vessels. This technological evolution has not only allowed for the expansion of the company, but further expanded the network of connected planets and galaxies, an essential part in the formation of the Universal Planetary Alliance (UPA). From ship fueling to mechanical maintenance, and immigration to luxury hotels, Trigalax services all travelers and ships recognized under the T78 Transport Registry.
Though the overarching business model of Trigalax has gradually expanded to encompass a wide range of intergalactic travel services, the stations on which the company was originally built remain the heart and soul of the business. These stations mainly include Deep Stations and Planetary Entry/Exit stations, but also consist of Light Stops, Galactic Hubs and atmosphere-based Inner Stations. Located in the vast open space between galaxies, deep stations were originally established to safely supply dark matter to vessels traveling intergalactic distances at near-light speeds, but with the expansion and growing popularity of intergalactic space transport, they have gradually evolved into full-service stations accommodating both private and commercial transport. For private space travelers, these stations offer a place to rest, refuel and repair the damage and wear sustained during long-distance space travel. Commercial space transports use the stations for export and import services, as well as load management and warehousing (due to Trigalax partnerships with various companies involved in deep space freight). While most stations offer a baseline level of services, these scale up and down based on the location opportunities for both private and commercial travel.
The Design Process
The redesign process began with a deep immersion into Trigalax history and current usage of graphic communication materials — simultaneously working with hundreds of stakeholders to capture and understand company culture and vision. From this deep discovery work, a strategic approach was outlined to segment the entire design process into five distinct phases; brand foundation, conceptual exploration, test driving ideas, refinement and pilot implementation across select pilot stations. These phases were then followed by a learnings and findings analysis that preceded the final rollout of a wide-scale design evolution.
Rubyrhod & Associates worked closely with company stakeholders, and interviewed employees across various levels and Earth-compatible-language species to uncover the underlying corporate narratives (both explicit and inherent), values driving their day-to-day operations and the overall spirit of a company representing a diverse range of services and employing over 478 galactically recognized races. Out of these sessions emerged a sense of pride, and a strong belief in the sustainable qualities of Trigalax’s service offering. It was clear to the creative team that a symbol was needed which could provide a signifier of excellence and reminder of Trigalax’s promise to 3,228 planetary cultures with over 2,115,398,765,098,200 sentient inhabitants. This mark would need to successfully convey company values across this myriad of planetary cultures and be effectively reproducible across the standard visible and trans-visible light spectrums. From there, a strategic plan formed that would leverage legacy graphic sensibility, classic timeless execution, crafted through a lens that would represent the future evolution of an ever-growing intergalactic corporation dedicated to meeting the needs of a pan-galactic clientele. A mark that could withstand the test of time, space and be represented effectively across the 10 dimensions of the known universe.
A Pilot Program for Brand
With over 8000 space stations, 2,400 interplanetary stops, a vast vehicle fleet and over 7.8 million employees, a phased approach to testing, validation and implementation was needed. To fully understand how the design system would be utilized by various company needs, from internal-facing elements to external communications, a single station was chosen as the pilot testing grounds for the new brand language. Deep Station DS-KR21, located between Kruuniptum and Römö:nunk, was used for full implementation of materials. From sovereign travel wayfinding to service vehicle graphics, the creative team applied the new brand language to fully transform the station. Following the initial implementation, one full year of user testing spanning multiple cultures and species was observed and analyzed across the station, leading to further refinements.
This pilot program allowed the design team to truly understand how a wide range of Trigalax customers used and responded to the new graphic language. Observing the flow of creatures and sentient species within the station provided useful data on new wayfinding graphics, while customer interviews utilizing GalaxTrans™ technology gathered overall liminal, subliminal and superliminal reactions to the new brand. Further, A/B testing across each interactive touchpoint gave exact data for a collection of ideas. This rigorous testing allowed the Rubyrhod & Associates creative team to forge an understanding of the overall impression and functionality of the new brand language system, and to further refine designs in order to best accommodate the needs of an intergalactic clientele.
Through a rigorous design process and extensive testing that informed further refinement, a brand language for Trigalax was launched across all company surfaces. The resulting design system injects energy and inspiration into the space travel experience, communicating speed, reliability and focus at every stage of the journey. This design system is a mark of excellence and strength internally, and a symbol for the intergalactic public that Trigalax is an established leader in space travel firmly vested in their commitment to enabling all species to voyage to the far reaches of the universe for another Myraannum to come.
Working closely and collaboratively across such a vast company as Trigalax, with hundreds of stakeholders and thousands of employees, stretched across dozens of different divisions, and communicating through space time regions in order to develop a new brand was no simple feat. Everyone involved in the process brought their unique expertise to the process, and it shows in the results.”
— Taaruk Zendontil, President of Marketing, Trigalax
The final icon, and its accompanying word mark, is a symbol that seeks to represent the three unified galaxies and their connected planets. A symbol that communicates the ongoing movement between worlds and a spark that sets the tone for an entire design system sensitive to the needs of a diverse blend of intergalactic cultures.”
— Munru üülino Head of Strategy, Rubyrhod & Associates
With the new brand identity, Trigalax is making a commitment to its customers that we will continue to invest in trans-galactic infrastructure and services that are safe and reliable for all. Additionally, Trigalax plans to invest in greater pioneering expansion within the three galaxies, working in lockstep with the Universal Military Division to expand to new territories.”
— Fermin Uk Badalan CEO, Trigalax
This project began with a question: Could I use my professional creative medium of graphic design to build a fictional universe? Graphic design (and branding in particular) are almost always tied to a real-world commercial ask. An existing client approached a designer or studio with a creative need concerning communications, and said designer executes a solution aligned to that client’s brand and audience. This is a process most always tied to real world specifications or constraints. As a creative medium, graphic design is very different from other mediums like illustration, writing and film making, in that it is often linked closely with tangible realities. As a sci-fi and fantasy fan, and creative world builder, I often find my own professional medium at odds with my creative desires. From this starting point, I began brainstorming ideas around how I might use my professional medium to tell a fictional story. How could I use the constraints and process of graphic design to create a world and tell a story as intricate as one found in a novel or short story for example?
This article and project are my attempt at bridging the gap between the different creative mediums for which I have a strong passion. My goal is to use the discipline of graphic design, (specifically branding) to develop a science fiction story way beyond our time, space and world. Right from the start, this brief itself provided some interesting restrictions and areas of focus. Rather than begin a creative story with characters, places, plot lines, etc., I began with a traditional brand building process, sketching ideas for marks, design systems and brand graphics that could then be applied to various touch-points across a complex space station. This process has lasted me, on and off, several years now. In that time, the project has taken many turns, been inspired with a variety of ideas, and led to some fun collaborations. What you see here is the culmination of several years of work on a hypothetical brand design — both far ahead of us in time and far away from us in space. I hope to continue to build on this project more, and invite in more collaborators in the process. Let’s see where it goes from here.
I hope you enjoy it!
- Tomi Lahdesmaki
Thank you to the following people who helped me so far: Annette Signorelli (logo animation), Tom Briggs (words) and Daniel Bueno (book renders).
Special thanks also to the UnSplash photographers for some of the images I used.