[hello, universe]

METI (Messaging extra-terrestrial intelligence) has launched a new identity, created by The Partners.

METI is an international organisation dedicated to making contact with extra-terrestrial intelligence. With its network of technical experts, METI is leading a sustained interstellar message transmission project that promotes understanding and awareness of space exploration.  As well as conducting scientific research, development and educational programmes METI also considers the human impact of its mission.  METI, therefore, needed an identity that reflects this humanity at its centre; an identity that reflects their approach to collaborating with the specialists of humanities, social scientists, artists and thinkers to explore the ethical societal impact of potential interstellar communication.   In a word, METI is about messaging; and this is where we focused on finding our inspiration.

METI is concerned with designing and sending messages out into space whilst looking back at ourselves and asking the big questions. What makes us human? What is the future for our species? Why should we make contact? What we do we want to say about ourselves?

In creating METI’s visual identity, we were inspired by the first interstellar communication broadcast into space - the famous Arecibo message. Transmitted in 1974 from the Arecibo radio telescope in Puerto Rico, the message was constructed using binary code to represent a variety of scientific and mathematical data as well as simple graphic pictograms about life on Earth. It was humankind’s first attempt to make contact with the universe.  

We created an identity for METI that sees the roman alphabet in binary code become a metaphor for a universal language that appears unfamiliar yet can be deciphered. The use of black and white with rational typography grounds the identity in the realm of science and research. Square brackets are used to show the direct translation of the seemingly alien binary message into a more familiar local language. The logo is based on the underlying grid of the binary squares and itself requires some decoding. These graphic, utilitarian elements - combined with emotive imagery and a philosophical tone of voice - connect METI to our human experiences of outward and inward discovery.

Instead of “Hello, world,” METI’s new identity greets a much larger audience with “Hello, universe.”

See more: www.meti.org