The Viper Mk II markings were originality developed during the failed Tom DeSanto and Bryan Singer Batttlestar Galactica reboot. During the DeSanto/Singer preproduction, concept artist and illustrator, Raymond Lai was hired to create detailing, panel lines, decals, panel names, and markings for the DeSanto/Singer style Viper Mk II.
When Ray Lai was hired as concept artist/illustrator on the Ron Moore and David Eick reboot he was able to resurrect the Viper markings he created for the DeSanto/Singer BSG Viper. The following image is a test of the markings on a concept Viper Ray created.
After Ray decided to leave the pre-production team for the Moore/Eick BSG reboot, sign writer and illustrator, Peter Hickey stepped in and modified the Viper Markings to better fit the design aspect of new Viper Mk II design.
One of Peter Hickey’s duties was to create the pilot’s “Aviator Call Sign” nameplates on the Viper. Peter drew inspiration from the Air Force “Call Sign” naming tradition to add real world flair to Battlestar Galactica as he describes below.
Most of the pilots names and “callsigns” with the exception of hero characters such as “Apollo”, “Starbuck” and “Husker” were made up from crew members; [Graphic Designer] Ray Lai is “Raygun”, Margot Ready who was the Assistant Art Director was “Steady”, and I am “Joker, Lt. Pete Hickey.” On very early cast photos were [cast members] are standing by the Viper, the pilot’s name [seen on the Viper] is Lt. Pete Hickey, Joker. For some reason they had gone ahead and shot the publicity stills and then later noticed the Viper didn’t say Adama. †
Peter also created the First Primus Squadron insignia seen on the nose of the Vipers.
Peter was directly influenced by US Navy Squadron Identification when he created the Squadron insignia seen on the walls of the Pilot’s Ready Room. The 1st Squadron, Primus insignia is the only exception from the US Navy style as it was based on the Air Force Command Shield style insignia. Almost all of the clipart used to create the squadron insignia were from the Signlab’s clipart portfolio. The shield, banner, pegasus, stars, and text seen in the 1st Primus insignia were all created using clipart.