Carnegie Airborne Observatory
I was first contacted by Sheldon Decosse to add a professional touch to the Carnegie Airborne Observatory logo. I had worked with Sheldon in the past on graphics for his custom skis and snowboards. He is also a highly regarded pilot and flies scientific research missions for the CAO (Carnegie Airborne Observatory). The Carnegie Institute had outfitted a Dornier 228 aircraft with very special equipment that can scan rainforests and determine the health of the vegetation over time as an example of it’s many uses.
The challenge was to add a professional touch to their old logo and aircraft graphics. Sheldon stuck his neck out by recommending me to take over the redesign from another company that wasn’t making much progress. Since he had worked with me before, he had confidence that I could come up with a professional solution.
This is the final compact version of logo using just the CAO initials. It was specifically designed to fit on both the left and right sides of the tail section.
Since the main function of the specialized equipment is to scan the earth from the aircraft I focused on the invisible rays that are being sent down. I was able to give them double duty by creating the “A” with the actual rays.
I chose this particular color green because it has an environmental/earth-friendly feel. It is on the lighter, modern side to match the feel of the fresh new logo and lettering.
This is the full-length version of logo – specifically designed for the side of the aircraft. It worked out well that the “A” represents both words “Airborne” in the compact CAO version as well as the “A” in Carnegie.
They were impressed by the results of the logo design and asked me to help with the design of the graphics that were to be applied to the plane. The company that was tasked with applying the graphics was struggling to work it out themselves so they sent me outline files of the Dornier 22. They also included specific requirements, like keeping matte black around the cockpit to eliminate glare from the metal. What you see above is the result. Pretty cool huh?!
"One of the best aspects of working with James on our new CAO logo for our aircraft was his willingness to iterate on design ideas and to quickly implement them for us to review together. This process resulted in a fantastic new look that has played a big role in our outreach."
Click here to visit the Carnegie Airborne Observatory website.
Read about the unveiling of the NextGen CAO aircraft.