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Case StudyJun 05, 2023

Per Aspera Ad Astra

Written by Maria Sinisterra RGD, Tardigrada Design Studio

Submitted as a part of an RGD Certification Application.


The design pays tribute to the recipient’s hard work and accomplishments; inspired from space traveling, multi-planetary life and the future. The primary purpose of the design is to house three genuine, rare gifts including two books: De La Terra a La Lune by Jules Verne and Apollo by Kollsman Instrument Corporation; and a golden steel Moroccan Astrolabe. The design should also work as an exhibition art piece and should allow interaction creating a sense of curiosity. This project timeline given was 3 weeks, this time included design and making.


• A first call with our client to introduce ourselves and get clarification on the project goals, objectives, and specifications (determine the number of pieces the box package would hold and the dimensions of each).
• Initial mood board with objects to include, inspiration about space and multi-planetary life, and references: classic books structures, contemporary packaging among others.

Design Process

1. Research immersion:
• Client's call with projects goals and objectives.
• Initial mood board with space travel information and references.

2. Ideation:
• Mood board: to explore and put together alternatives and directions for the client. This mood board included three structural directions for the box and two graphic styles.
Brainstorm, 3D modelings, sketches, references and typeface alternatives were presented.

3. Identify:
• Together with the client we select the most suitable direction.

4. Develop:
• Refine and develop the design. We worked in the proposal refinement and were able to present a 3D digital prototype to the client in which we get a final approval.
• Collaboration with production to build a tangible product. There were a few modifications in the structure based on production times and costs. We conduct several visits to select the materials that would give the package a majestic feel while making it functional and timeless.

5. Submission:
The final project was delivered at the client's place in person.


• Per Aspera Ad Astra was the name selected for the piece, it translates ‘Through Hardships to the Stars’ and pays tribute to the recipient’s hard work and accomplishments. It is designed in a futuristic typeface that expresses the contemporary look the client was aiming for.
• Geometry and lines appear subtly and elegantly in a black surface to reference elements from pure and applied mathematics, as well as physics and engineering among others, which are co-related with space travel.
• The size of the exhibition package reflects grandness and its structure allows smooth interaction while holding all the pieces securely in place.
• Aspects such as opening the spine and placing both slipcases together to create the sine wave create a sense of curiosity and wonder.


Testimonial from our client on her twitter account:
"Just had a spectacular experience with Tardigrada Design Studio… if you're looking for someone, hands down this new startup team just delivered brilliance. This was delivered on a crazy deadline with amazing quality. Couldn’t be more impressed."

Maria Sinisterra RGD

Tardigrada Design Studio

Maria is the co-founder of Tardigrada Design Studio, a branding and interior design studio based in Vancouver. A Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) alumni and Registered Graphic Designer (RGD) who brings over a decade of graphic design expertise, mentorship and global work experience. Her passions include photography and typography.

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