This guide will help introduce you to the world, characters, colors, and fonts of Black Hole Week. NASA is celebrating Black Hole Week April 12-16, 2021 to captivate the public with one of our favorite cosmic objects. Our goal is that no matter where people turn that week, they will run into a black hole. (Figuratively, of course — we don't want anyone to fall in!)
The world of Black Hole Week is bold, colorful, and a bit retro. It's also populated by a fun bunch of characters, including a little blue explorer (called the "Traveler") and their black hole friends. This year, we're also introducing a new set of black hole "birds" for our Field Guide to Black Holes!
Below, you'll find tons of helpful images, GIFs, and other materials to get you going if you want to join in! All of this content is in the public domain, so use it wherever and however you like. But, just so you know, NASA can't endorse anything you create with these materials.
An Introduction to Black Hole Week
This video, presented as "NASA's Guide to Black Hole Safety," is a great way to get introduced to the world of Black Hole Week. It's the first video to feature the Traveler and Black Hole characters, as well as the omnipresent narrator who wants to keep the Traveler safe and the public informed about the wonders (and dangers) of the universe. Watch the video to learn more about the style, tone, and potential audiences for Black Hole Week!
This little character can't wait to travel all over the universe, and since they clearly can't be convinced otherwise, we need to help them stay safe. This character is defined by boundless enthusiasm, a bit of naivete, and a childlike love of exploration and discovery. They also prefer being referred to as "they/them."
Download all stills (png files): traveler_images.zip (~28 MB)
Download all GIFs: traveler_GIFs.zip (~3.3 MB)
The Black Hole
Honestly, all this black hole wants is to be left alone. But, if that's not possible, it at least hopes that any visitors can keep a safe distance. This character is aloof and a bit too cool for the rest of us, but it's ultimately friendly and willing to help people learn more about black holes.
Download all stills (png files): black_hole_images.zip (~2.2 MB)
Download all GIFs: black_hole_GIFs.zip (~1 MB)
Stellar-mass Black Hole Birds
These little black hole birds are a fun-loving bunch! They're happy to either flit about by themselves or grab a nearby friend for a fun (for them, at least) orbital dance. They also love showing off their plumage in the form of accretion disks or jets.
Download all black hole birds (png files): black_hole_birds.zip (~1.2 MB)
Other Black Hole Friends
An unlikely pair, the baby (stellar-mass) and supermassive black holes enjoy just doing what they do best. For the supermassive black hole, it's being, erm, super massive. The baby loves crying.
Download all black hole friends (png files): other_black_hole_friends.zip (~400 KB)
There's Other Stuff in the Universe, too!
From rocket ships and galaxies, to space potatoes and unicorns, there's a lot of other stuff out there in the universe of the Traveler and Black Hole Week!
Download all the other stuff (png files): other_stuff_images.zip (~6.8 MB)
"Black Hole Week" Text Treatment
While we could just write out "Black Hole Week," we decided it would be more fun to make the "o" a black hole. Fun fact: If you squished the mass of Mars into a sphere the size of that "o," it would turn into a black hole!
Download all the text treatments (png files): text_treatment_images.zip (~650 MK)
The colors we use are meant to be friendly, accessible, and bright — even though most of our adventures take place in outer space! Our primary colors are blues, purples, and oranges, with a few wild card accent colors thrown in for good measure. Finally, since our black holes are, well, black, we usually depict outer space as a dark or medium purple.
To evoke a bold, retro feel, our primary font is Futura PT Bold. Also, we'll often write in all caps or small caps for headings and large labels.
For smaller labels, footnotes, and other special cases that call for something lighter or more organic, Coniferous is our alternate font.