I was contacted by the Institute of Space Science of Catalonia to create a visual identity and website for an international research project studying neutron stars. Neutron stars (or pulsars) are very small stars resulting from the explosion of a supernova. They are heavily condensed, with an immense mass and a subsequent incredible gravitational pull. They spin at a very high speed, producing a fast and pulsating light which can be seen from Earth with the aid of radio telescopes.
The name Pharos is taken for the description of the project: The Multimessenger Physics and Astrophysics of Neutron Stars, and it was chosen because faro in Spanish means “lighthouse”, so the name resonates with the “pulsing” activity of the neutron stars.
The logo intends to visually synthesize what a neutron star is and how it works and is composed of:
- A small round object, compact and black, to transmit that neutron stars are considerably small in mass compared to any other celestial object.
- A tilted axis, which is responsible for creating the pulsating signal we receive on Earth as if from a lighthouse (faro) in space.
- An interwoven form, representing high speed and high frequency. The wave also has a tentacle-like, almost threatening feeling and a considerable presence in the physical space of the logo in order to transmit that neutron stars are dangerously powerful objects with an immense gravitational force.
All together it’s a powerful yet elegant logo, of unconventional dimensions and also with a certain grace. I thought about the applications in which it would have been printed (notebooks, tote bags, t-shirts and pens) but I allowed myself to think bigger and imagine it as a jewel too. Maybe some indirect homenage to the director of the project, who is a woman, and the many women that worked in this project and in science in general…