• Transform magazine
  • March 03, 2024

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Close encounters

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The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Institute (SETI), the non-profit organisation founded in 1984, has been rebranded.

SETI is on a mission to explore and explain the prevalence of life in the universe; its previous brand did not reflect the goal of the intuition nor carry a particularly iconic element to it. So, Trevor Beattie, the founder and chairman of London’s BMA advertising company and absolute space fanatic, worked with SETI to design a new logo and brand mark. This innovative organisation aims to use their new brand to provoke curiosity, inspire present and future generations and share their passion for discovery.

The most prominent feature of the new logo is the question mark, formed from inverting the ‘S’ in the word ‘SETI’. The question mark is symbolic of the quest to answer the questions of the universe, using research, with ‘Are we alone?’ being the main question. Beattie says, "No one has a better claim on ownership of the question mark than the SETI Institute.” Also, as the logo was intended on being quickly recognisable, it includes bold lettering that stands stark with the contrasting use of black and white.

SETI is a futuristic organisation, always looking to develop their research and motivate further exploration and learning, thus, also, found it crucial to keep up with modern technology. So along with the new logo, SETI set up a mobile app called ‘setiQuest’.

 ‘setiQuest’ allows for the public to get involved in the search for signs of intelligence beyond Earth, helping their interest in space to grow and by having more contributors, perhaps, even, help with research. Real-Time Data from the Allen Telescope Array, dedicated to the search for extra-terrestrial intelligence observations, is available on the app for these ‘hobby astronomers’ to help spot signals of life. The app provides a network where members can review data, exchange information and converse therefore creating more a communicative organisation.

The Institute's new CEO, Bill Diamond says, "To embrace the essence of science’s mission – to be curious, and to seek understanding through groundbreaking research. With this bold new brand, we launch a new era in our efforts to understand mankind’s place in the cosmos.”

SETI may be a research centre however focuses on educating others on their findings. It carries out classroom visits and many scientists from the institution are co-authors of college-level textbooks. The institution comprises of three centres, one is which is purely used for education and public outreach.

Beattie, says “And soon, perhaps very soon, its scientists may find answers to the long-standing question of the ubiquity of life.”