Thursday, 16 July 2015

Logo goes up in smoke


I always enjoy a good rocket launch and last night's Ariane 5 from French Guiana carrying Europe's latest weather satellite for EUMETSAT was no exception.

It was especially good to see the giant MSG-4 logo on the side of the Ariane rocket because the logo was designed for EUMETSAT by myself and Andrew Hunt back in 2002.

At the time I ran the award-winning media agency SimComm Europe, which was based in Havant near Portsmouth, and Andy freelanced for us.

I worked extensively for both EUMETSAT, based in Darmstadt, Germany, and for the media and public outreach departments of ESA's Paris headquarters and Netherlands technology base, writing and producing annual reports, newsletters, website copy, press releases and brochures.

For our humble MSG logo this last night’s launch was its fourth and final flight into space on the side of an Ariane 5 rocket. This was the press release we issued back on 22 August 2002: 

Giant logo emblazoned on European rocket

The design work of a Havant company will quite literally be going into orbit shortly before midnight tonight.

A giant logo created by SimComm Europe is on the side of Europe's Ariane 5 rocket which is due to blast a new European weather satellite into space.

The launch of the first Meteosat Second Generation satellite for Europe's German-based Eumetsat weather organisation is scheduled for 2330 BST from French Guiana in South America.

SimComm, based in Brockhampton Lane, has been working with Eumetsat for a number of years and designed the logo for use in various kinds of publicity material connected with the launch.

"The logo has been used in many documents and on stickers, pens and notebooks," said SimComm managing director Clive Simpson.

"However, we're delighted to see  our work on the side of a rocket - it's quite a coup for a PR and design agency, and not every day you get such prestigious exposure."

Meteosat Second Generation will replace the current series of weather satellites which provide the pictures and information for our daily weather forecasts.

In 2003 SimComm also wrote, produced and handled the worldwide distribution of Eumetsat’s MSG information book and user guide.

The 80-page full colour document, in both English and French versions, promoted the value of the Meteosat Second Generation programme.

SimComm writer Lucy Owens (now Mrs Lucy Kemp), who also acted as deputy editor for myself on Spaceflight magazine, went on a press trip to French Guiana for the first MSG launch.

Unfortunately, as is so often the case with launches, her trek to South America proved in vain as far as witnessing a spectacular launch was concerned after a technical fault delayed it beyond the scheduled length of the press trip.

Article by Clive Simpson

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