Googie is a term that I had not encountered before this project. It refers to the futuristic design and arcitecture popular between 1945 and the early 1970s. Googie has themes and influences based around planes, car culture, space travel, and the Atomic Age. Some famous examples of Googie styles are The Jetsons cartoons, and Tommorowland at Disneyland.


[1] The entrance to Tommorowland in 1996.

The Atomic Age (in design) is the time period from 1940-1963, when design was heavily influenced by nuclear weaponry and concerns of nuclear war. This corresponds with the beginning of the Space Age which began after the USSR launched Sputnik 1 on October 4th, 1957. My upcycling project will be a metal sign based on the aesthetics of this time. I have some aluminum ducting sheets from a previous project that I will use in combination with soda cans to create a sign reflecting major design elements of the Atomic Age. I have an Arduino and LED’s that I will use to provide another dimension to the sign. In addition to avoid purchasing any extra materials I will be making the designs out of the colors already on the soda cans


[2] A Googie styled sign of Ships Coffee Shop in Culver City, California.

One of the major elements of this aesthetic I am going to use are the starburst designs that can be found across the 1950’s. Starburst most commonly include the 8 pointed stars, but other diamond shapes, and even atom-esque shapes can fall into the starburst category. One of the most famous starbusts is located on the “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign in Nevada.


[3] The afformentioned “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign, with a starbust in the top left corner.

Atomic starbursts digital paper 1950s Atomic pattern mid century atomic starbursts Retro atomic digital mid century atomic space image 1

[4] A diagram demonstrating the many different starburst designs found across the 1950’s.

Another design element of the time that I want to include in my design are rockets. After the launch of the space race, rockets, space travel, and futurism became mainstream and feature prominently not only in the designs, but in names and slogans of the era. I am looking to feature a rocket design within my sign as the prominent symbol to encapsulate the Googie style.

[5] A car dealership in Auburn, Washington with a distinctive rocket and a swoop.

Other elements that I am considering, or that appear prominently in Googie signage, are boomerang shapes, geometrical designs, UFO flying saucers, and diagrams of atoms. To keep in line with this Googie aesthetic I am going to try and limit the number of different colors I use on my design and keep my shapes limited to ones with straight lines or sweeping curves.

Space Age Lodge Motel, Gila Bend AZ vintage motel sign | Flickr

[6] A UFO styled sign for the Space Age Lodge in Gila Bend, Arizona.

I chose the Googie aesthetic after doing research for my first aesthetic post. I fell in love with the design, and as it is no longer a common style I thought it would be a fun style to bring back in this assignment.





[1]: “Entrance to Tomorrowland in Disneyland in 1996.” by Ellen Levy Finch.


[2]: “Photograph of Googie architecture, Ship’s Coffee Shop, Culver City, CA, circa 1963” by UNLV Digital Collections,


[3]: “Welcome to Vegas” by User Pcb21,


[4]: “Atomic Starbust Digital Paper” By Roofdog Designs.


[5]: Credit to Ben Faltinowski.


[6]: “Space Age Lodge Motel” By Joyce Mcc.

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2 Comments. Leave new

  • Hi Brandon, please excuse the late comment. I love Googie! I’m really excited to see what you can do with this style and the materials you’ve got. If you’re interested, you should check out a podcast called “Stuff You Should Know”—they did an episode like a year ago on Googie signage and architecture and now I see it everywhere. It also really makes me think of the first couple episodes of Wandavision with those star designs. Very cool!

  • Chris Wachuta
    February 2, 2024 2:32 pm

    I think this is an awesome aesthetic and I am excited to see your result. I think this is a super easily recognizable aesthetic. I am curious why you have aluminum ducting sheets lying around?


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