Flight Lab

I designed for a flight simulator.

When:
August 2016 - Present
What:
Visual Designer

Background:

Flight Lab is a 20% project at Google (where employees devote 20% of their time to pursue a creative project of their choice) that aims to build a flight simulator. I was approached by the group to design the logo and visual assets for the team.



Insights:

To design for Flight Lab requires a good understanding of the project. I met with the members of Flight Lab, and when they described the nature of their work, a few words emerged out of the woodwork:
aeronautical

scrappy

experimental

a bit wacky
I studied common images of flight, from throttle quadrants to cockpit views, and also tried to unpack the lexical meaning of flight: (n.) the action or process of flying through the air.


As you can see, I took every image of flight I could fathom and research, and while the concept of a throttle quadrant was well received, it was too esoteric and not inviting enough for somebody who didn’t know anything about aeronautics, which deviated from the purpose of Flight Lab: to make flying accessible to everybody.

Going back to the drawing board, I thought of the bare bones of flight, and came up with an image accessible to all: a paper airplane. Who isn’t familiar with paper airplanes from their childhood? But what the paper airplane captured that the other logo ideas didn’t was the scrappy, “prototype” nature of Flight Lab. The idea that you can create flight with some of the most basic materials in your arsenal.

The logo was unaminously loved by the Flight Lab folks, who loved the uncomplicated yet all-emcompassing concept of the paper airplane. ✈️