Responses by Lucas Fiser, account supervisor; Jeff Maki, senior vice president group creative director; and Tori Reneker, creative director, GSD&M.
Background: “As the United States Space Force’s biggest and most comprehensive brand asset, this website needed to bring further clarity, credibility and context to the newest branch of the U.S. Armed Forces,” Lucas Fiser explains. “The purpose of creating this central hub was to demystify the Space Force for cynics and inspire the next generation that their purpose may be in space as much as it is on Earth. Launched on the third anniversary of the Space Force’s establishment, this expanded site serves multiple functions as an information hub and a hardworking recruitment website. We want visitors to leave the site as fans and believers.”
Design core: “As the newest military branch, it was important to build this site with the right balance of forward-thinking design and grounded realism,” say Jeff Maki and Tori Reneker. “The homepage features a rocket launch complete with 3-D models of a rocket and satellite, as well as audio of guardians communicating throughout the mission. We also built an immersive Capabilities section, complete with 3-D space debris objects and rockets. One of the site’s goals is to educate on the mission of the Space Force, so it was critical to show the different types of missions that guardians participate in.”
Favorite details: “While we love the interactive rocket launch with the authentic chatter of guardians on the homepage, we’re also proud of the quieter details, like how the logo animates to show ‘all systems online’ and the number of bases, stations and guardians active in that moment,” say Maki and Reneker. “It’s subtle, but we’re demonstrating the Space Force’s impact on everyday lives, including communication satellites and the internet we’re all accessing right now. The whole site is powered by space.”
Challenges: “As the newest military branch, there weren’t many assets that existed for us to pull from,” Maki and Reneker explain. “It was also critical that we kept the concept and design grounded to dispel any public perceptions of military astronauts or Star Trek references.”
Special navigational features: “One important thing for us was to create a rich, immersive homepage that still enabled users to access information immediately,” Maki and Reneker say. “After the first loading screen, the primary navigation becomes visible even during the rocket launch sequences. This ensures that any task-oriented user can quickly find what they need.”