Case Study - Space Machines Company

Connecting the final frontier.

Space Machines Company is an in-space logistics company, aiming to building infrastructure for the Space Economy. Their transportation and logistics services get you precisely where you need to go in space.

Rajat from Space Machines Company reached out to Jellypepper for help getting to market and raising their next round of funding.


Foreword by Rajat Kulshrestha

First, the conquest of horizons that we never thought possible.

Then, the emerging of embryonic industries that foreshadow the explosion of new, allied economies.

And finally, an irreversible shift in our way of life, how we consume and what we dream is possible.

This is the era-changing journey of innovation on which Space Machines Company embarks. It is a noble path navigated by great pioneers and prodigious conscientious industrialists alike, who unlocked our planet to modern trade & commerce and brought access to new goods & services for the prosperity of all.

Space is our new path and new frontier.

And like pioneers before us, transport infrastructure will be the price of the entry to the benefits of open manufacturing in space. This is the emerging industry that will power the new space economy, and this is the business of Space Machines Company.

So, for the benefit of businesses who crave access to a new world of manufacturing possibility, Space Machines Company will shape and harness technology that unlocks the potential of this new, prodigious commercial arena.

The result: like Edison and Florey before us, the benefits and possibilities of easy, reliable and accessible transportation to space will rain down on generations and generations to come.

The Vast Unknown

Our mission was to establish Space Machines as the leading force in the emerging market of in-space transportation. After our initial chat with Rajat, we picked up on a few specific goals:

  • "Right now, the technology is hard to explain. We want to be able to talk about what we do, what the value is to customers and investors"
  • "We want to explain what the core value of our business is, what do we do and why do we do it."
  • "We want our site to position us apart from our competitors, as well as focus on our team, unique technology and culture"

To achieve these, we'd need to rebuild the brand from the ground up and start with the fundamentals - research.

Mapping the Trajectory

As SMC is operating in a new market, we need to make a statement with a futuristic yet accessible brand. In the long-term, the ambition is to become much more of an established, utilitarian brand.

To make sure we were positioning the new Space Machines brand correctly, we considered three key audience needs:

What Space Machines needs

Essentially, to educate on how space navigation works. It can be difficult for people to understand how movement works in space.

The majority of people love to watch space wonders, but very few understand them. According to a survey from Ipsos, 75% of Americans declare watching lunar eclipses, 68% watch shooting stars, and 52% watch meteor showers. However, only a small majority say they are familiar with space exploration or astronomy (56% each), and only 5% consider themselves very well-informed.

In order to understand the value of Space Machines, we need our audiences to understand how machines move in space.

What the Space Economy needs

To democratise access to space. The rise of commercial space attracts investors and drives costs down. According to Morgan Stanley, the global space industry is expected to generate revenue of over $1 trillion by 2040, up from $350 billion in 2020.

Additionally, the cost to launch 1kg into space have gone from $50,000+ (with a very long lead time) to roughly $2,000 - $2500.

As such, we believe Space Machines has the potential to be a leading force in leveraging space opportunities.

What Aerospace players need

To connect space destinations. According to Space Capital, the total investment in infrastructure (launch, satellites, logistics etc.) has jumped to a record $8.9 billion in 2020.

With access to space becoming increasingly democratised through corporations, there is a major need for sustainable, operable and effective transport infrastructure.

Center of Gravity

Based on our findings, we concluded that the new brand should be centered around three key pillars:

  • Education: Making it easy to understand how we move machines in space
  • Connection: Showing how our technology gets you to specific destinations in space
  • Democratisation: Making in-space transportation accessible to all

We'd do this through framing the brand through the lens of a sustainable, accessible and gradual approach to space logistics.

Humankind is great at launching rockets, but once in space we struggle to find our way and reach specific destinations. That's where Space Machines Company come in - your guide in what can feel like the vast unknown.

Their purpose is to make space work for everyone. Just as we need roads, gas stations and maintenance shops for our cars, we are building the infrastructure needed to support space transportation.

In stark contrast to many of the intimidatingly aspirational space brands in the market, we decided to position it as educational, humble, accessible and inspiring.

The Launchpad

Brand Audit

Rather than throwing the rocket out with the launch system (does that adaption work?), we decided to give the current brand an audit. This helped us to gain an understanding of what is currently working in the brand, highlight key areas that we can develop and uncover which assets could benefit from being revised.

This led us to three key recommendations:

  • Clearly articulate and communicate SMC's edge: define SMC's brand positioning, vision and personality to make SMC stand out and ensure everyone instantly understand why follow, work with or invest in SMC.
  • Structure the SMC brand for greater longevity: build an overarching framework that provides consistency and shows how everything works together in the simplest way possible.
  • Build credibility by giving more substance to the brand: create more content around SMC's offering, team and vision for the future of space transportation.

Art Direction

We decided to keep the original logomark - it's unique and recognisable shape, simplicity and overall concept made it a strong structural element to build off.

We started by creating a series of moodboards to find the vibe of the new Space Machines Company brand. While we explored many options - contemporary simplicity, clean and friendly and even retro-futurism, we landed on a concept we called "Engineered Vibrancy".

Essentially, it's the balance of human and machine, the "ingenious machinist", where we pair bright and energetic colours like yellow and orange with a unique geometric headline font and typographic layouts.

For the typeface, we chose Replica as it's strong character creates the foundation for the entire direction. The typeface feels engineered and technical, but it's rawness and brutality is offset by warm, high-contrast colours.

Meteor Shower

A brand as technology-led as Space Machines Company relies on brilliant, inspiring 3D renders to bring their product to life. We worked with their in-house designer to produce a series of stills and video renders for the new website.

Altitude Control

The new Space Machines Company website is designed to be informative and educational rather than convincing and salesy, showing that they don't just have a vision, but a strong plan to get there. We also focused on building credibility by providing more detail about the team, investors and partners behind the company.

The overall site is designed to be a "lean back experience" - we wanted to remove as much navigational thinking as possible for the user. By pushing for a more scrollable / passive experience, the goal was to increase time on site and make the site feel more narrative driven.

The Propulsion Engine

The new website is built on the brand new Next.js 11 and comes with incredible performance, ESLint conformance and Webpack 5 compatibility. Written in Typescript and built on our standard JAMStack technologies of Vercel and Prismic, it's incredibly fast, flexible and scalable.

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