Q2 2019 Cosmaward for Brand Excellence: Spire

We’ve had our eye on Spire for a while. A refreshing, solid red beacon in a sea of blue swooshes, their logo is tight, powerful and fresh. Not immediately obvious, Spire’s logo is a clever abstraction of a cubesat making connections in the distance. As one of the first new space companies to successfully launch and operate a satellite constellation, this mark is fitting. For their wordmark, Spire makes use of a trim serif typeface set in lowercase. The light font weight and traditional serif convey sophistication perfectly juxtaposed against the playfulness communicated by the case choice. This typographical combo works wonders to set them apart from the typical san-serif, extended, overly-futuristic font choice we so often see in newspace wordmarks. Kudos on creating a true breath of fresh air for your master brand, Spire.  

They use acronyms with relevant meaning, not confusing initialisms

Spire’s name itself is also a breath of fresh air in the space company landscape. It evokes powerful mental imagery of a steeple while simultaneously cuing “inspire.” They also win points with us in how they’ve named their satellites: The Low Earth Multi-Use Receiver (LEMUR). When it comes to abbreviations used as brand names (something the space sector mercilessly clings to) we are only fans of acronyms that have relevant meaning (an abbreviation formed from the initial letters of other words and pronounced as a word, e.g. NASA ) as opposed to initialisms (an abbreviation consisting of initial letters pronounced separately, e.g., CPU ) . We feel initialisms are lazy cop-outs that highly technical companies rely on far too much. LEMUR is memorable in that it calls to mind an image of the animal, which, conveniently, is about the same size of the satellite itself (or the same size as a racoon, or a physics textbook or a bottle of wine, as their clever website copy states).

For god’s sake they built a reference guide for jargon. Brilliant!

Verbally, all of the language on their website is simple, uncomplicated, and non-jargony, making it easy to understand for a wide range of site visitors. Even small decisions to say “Meet the satellite” project their down-to-earth (ha) brand voice and approachable tone. They even take things a step further in their creation of the Spirepedia: a handy collection of short articles about topics mentioned throughout the Spire website, complete with additional citations for further reading. That level of attention to detail speaks volumes; this is a brand that deeply cares about people understanding the work they do.

Gorgeous, balanced and animated website.

The website is also refreshingly visually balanced. Confident, chunky, capitalized text is juxtaposed against lightweight animations, thin lines and an unoppressive nav bar at the top that doesn’t demand your attention but rather is ready when you are. The interplay of big and bold with small and delicate provides a sophisticated, considered visual experience.

What’s a Cosmaward?

Every quarter, we announce a peer in the industry who, in our humble opinion, has achieved excellence and differentiation in the world of space company branding (visually or verbally).