Seeking inspiration through the deflection of easy targets we found British artist Norman Wilkinson's 'dazzle painting', also known as "razzle dazzle" or dazzle camouflage. Unique to each vessel, this patterning was intended to protect merchant ships during World War I by distorting perspective, masking form and hiding direction. It was adopted by the British Admiralty and the U.S. Navy to help safeguard their fleets.Branding, Creative Direction, Exhibition Design2014
Branding collaboration between Firebelly and IDEO on the naming, logo and brand strategy for Chicago’s new bike share program. We focused on the practical and utilitarian aspects of cycling to position bike-share as a smart, active and logical option for getting around the city. We appealed to the playfulness of riding to ease some of the fear around biking in the city. We choose to honor Chicago's great city pride enticing to the down-to-earth and cosmopolitan traits of our city's citizenry through the color and the symbolic Chicago star. From the truly collaborative team, through the launch of the city-wide transit system, the opportunity to participate in the extensive and embedded program within our community was honor in of itself.Branding, Graphic Design, Typography2014
Each year Firebelly creates a look back at the Typeforce gallery experience while honoring and celebrating each artist in the show. The studio’s third Typeforce catalogue explores new heights in fundamentals by uniting history with the discovery of contemporary methods. Honored typographic traditions, simple mark making and hand-carved stone forms are complementedwith emerging glimmers of light, moments of resounding reflection and bursting brilliance. Size is 6in x9in.Graphic Design, Print Design, Typography2014
The Chicago Design Archive is a cultural resource archiving the "now-ness" of each year in Chicago's communication design community with design artifacts dating from 1869.
For Archive13, Nick Adam of Firebelly Design and Matt Wizinsky of Studio Junglecat + UIC's Innovation Center collaborated with Archive Creative Director, Bob Zeni, to define the 2013 voice and image across various identity and promotional materials.
CLIENT: Chicago Deisgn Archive / Archive13 co-organized by STA + AIGA Chicago | DESIGNERS: Matt Wizinsky + Nick Adam | ARCHIVE DIRECTOR: Bob Zeni | DEVELOPER: Bill TalsmaGraphic Design, Typography2013
Hermann is a modular lettering project inspired by the black forest. The form moves through multiple weights by simply adding or subtracting the leaf elements. Eight different weights are possible touring a 'regular', multiple levels of condensed, extended and bold. Functionally it operates through a dual horizontal and dual vertical tracking systems that accommodate varying combinations of leaves (much like a dinning room table). It's physical form is inspired by owls, cuckoo clocks and my grandfather Hermann, a man of great strength and vast ability.
CLIENT: You Are Beautiful | STUDIO: Camp Firebelly | MATERIALS PARTNER: Rebuilding ExchangeFine Arts, Sculpting, Typography2012
Each year AIGA Chicago produces a retrospective book given out at its Annual Members Meeting. The Firebelly Design studio was asked to design the 2010-2011 year's piece around the theme of boundaries. In looking for conceptual thought to drive visual direction, we defined the term and explored this meaning through form and space while designing the book.
CLIENT: AIGA Chicago | STUDIO: Firebelly Design | CO-DESIGNER: Will Miller | PRINTER: Classic Color | PRODUCTION: Sand-Trapping Varnish, Spot Florescent and a Wraparound Cover BandGraphic Design, Typography, Writing2012
See and be seen. Every day in Chicagoland there are more than 800 traffic crashe. Most of these crashes are cars crashing into other cars, but these car crashes are not isolated events - many happen on streets filled with innocent passersby, pedestrians and bicyclists. A great amount of these altercations occur from not being seen or not quickly understanding what is to see on the street, is quite often the cause of most accidents.
Bud Rodecker of Thirst and I collaborated on this Moving Design site specific installation. Splitting the work load down the middle Bud took on the 'cause' portion of this issue, and I had the effect. Bud's exquisite skinny-ultra-condensed type when placed in public was the personification of being inconspicuous. The effect is deadly, life changing in the worse ways. My interpretation of the effect, is a discombobulated swollen fat-face thrown into the air to let the pieces fall where they may.
STUDIO: Moving Design | CO-DESIGNER: Bud Rodecker | CLIENT: New Wave Coffee + Logan Square SUPPORT PARTNERS: The Elements Group, The MCA, PUBLIC Bikes, The Rebuilding Exchange, REI, TREK, VSA PartnersGraphic Design, Icon Design, Typography2012
Rare-Form’s objective was to offer moments of visual silence while celebrating the power and the beauty of letterforms. In an act of info-reduction, signage from Illinois’s 2010 primaries was removed from public spaces to be repurposed as canvases. Violating the one-color graphics with hand-lettering substituted the multiple messages once held by the sign for a much simpler one.
The slab-serif letters are a custom alphabet created for this project. Each was freestyled with brush in one-shot enamel.
Displayed individually as well in groupings, we are privy to observe each character outside of its common codependent context of conveying a message. Sans-statement, these letters will not judge your lifestyle, ask you for help, nor will they tell you where to be. Simply these symbols exemplify the power and capabilities of our human kind.
CURATORS: Edward Marszewski and Dawn Hancock | EXHIBITION: Typeforce | GALLERY: Co-Prosperity Sphere |Fine Arts, Street Art, Typography2012
The base lettering in the Our Life installation is a custom typeface built inspired by the deco-letters and showcard painters of the 1920s-30s. Constructed entirely out of hand cut French Paper and grommets, the letters are connected by the hands and reflect the celebratory nature of banners found at Showers, Birthdays, Graduations, Over the Hill, and Retirement parties.
EXHIBITIONS: Typeforce, Pop-Up Loop, Letter/Form | GALLERIES: Co-Prosperity Sphere, Chicago Urban Art Society, Flatcolor GalleryFine Arts, Typography2012
This icon system and installation was a response celebrating the symbiotic relationship that connects the often disconnected communities in transit: drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians. Through decorating the boulevard with the 90 miniatures we playfully illuminate the likeness that falls across each walker, bicyclist, and driver... it's the universal truth that we are all going somewhere.
During Moving Design's Call to Action on bicycle safety our work's central goal was to awaken the public to issues surrounding bike safety and awareness through design.
STUDIO: Moving Design | CLIENT: Active Transportation Alliance + Logan SquareGraphic Design, Icon Design, Street Art2012
Our lives are built upon the memories of moments that we deemed to be important. We allow these moments to define us, they speak of our being and shape who we are. They can be inspiring and even motivational, propelling us forward towards great success and self-defining monument. The adverse is true as well, there are moments of failure and defeat that plant seeds of disbelief in oneself.
We each have the ability to increase the amount of positive moments in the lives of those around us. Through the appropriated voice of scratch’n’win tickets, these cards target individuals in a moment readied for an uplifting experience, delivering a seemingly random touching message. What I can only described as bombastic-color and energetic TNT typography, these faux-lottery tickets incite impulsive actions to reveal an unexpected surprise. Rather than a free ticket, three hearts, or a row a cherries.... scratching the surface unveils simple universal truths toward the individual scratcher.
EXHIBITION: Typeforce 3 | PRINTER: Graphic Artist Studio | PRODUCTION: Indigo Press, Pearlescent Paper, Veritable Data, Scratch SurfaceFine Arts, Graphic Design, Typography2012
Working with Cody Hudson of Struggle Inc., we created three shirt designs to be part of the Spring 2012 collection for Stussy Worldwide. The designs are comprised of 3 hand-styles of sign painter lettering, an ornamented border style and fields of spray paint to create an quick and impactful violation of the background. The simple iconic nature of the t-shirt ties directly to the thirty year history of the Stussy brand and the original designed created by Shawn Stussy.
CLIENT: Stussy Worldwide. | STUDIO: Struggle Inc. | CO-DESIGNER: Cody HudsonFashion, Graffiti, Typography2012
With two vocalist (one on piano, the other on guitar), a bassist, drummer, and a 3 piece brass section The O'My's blend upbeat Funk, smooth Soul, intellectual Hip-Hop with grown-man Blues. These guys play far beyond their years with a maturity only men carry. This, mixed with the motivation and energy of their actual youth keeps them untouched by any rival and set this group into a class all of there own. One of the my favorite hometown underground bands reached out in need of an Identity, I went straight to their personality and music style for inspiration.
CLIENT: The O'MY'sBranding, Calligraphy, Typography2012
Forever and ever, Mayor Daley. This is a legacy piece, as much as it is a vehicle of social commentary. Equally the message tributes Richard M. Daley's political brilliance as well it acknowledges his personal sacrifice to the people and city of Chicago. For thirty-eight years he dedicated his life to political office, twenty-two of them were invested as Chicago's Mayor. Son of Mayor Richard J. Daley, the younger was a man that did not run on a four year plan.
CLIENT: City of Chicago | CURATORS: Chicago Urban Arts Society + Joholla Projects | EXHIBITION: The Daily ShowFine Arts, Graphic Design, Street Art2012
The psychology behind a sale has much more to do with the emotional feeling than the actual need for the product or service. This is the fueling idea behind companies like Groupon, Jewel's Preferred Card, those 20% off mailers from Bed Bath and Beyond, et cetera and so forth. These strategic savings and sale campaigns have a funneling effect of selling more product and creating large profits for corporations.
The message is "All For 1", a comment on the psychological role the idea of getting a deal plays on commerce and culture. Through the direct use of grocery style signpainting while strictly managing the elements an iconic and contextually appropriate image is formed.
CURATOR: Reina Takahashi + Tanner Woodford | EXHIBIT: Fresh Produced | INSTITUTION: Chicago Design MuseumAdvertising, Fine Arts, Typography2012
Language provides the ability to name anything, thus allowing everything we think and experience to be described. Symbols and letterforms have been the age old tools we use to successfully capture and transfer these thoughts. These four pieces installed in Chicago's Cultural Center celebrate the industrious meaning of a single letterform to transfer multiple messages through symbolic, iconic, indexical and metaphoric applications.
CURATOR: Nathan Mason | INSTITUTION: Chicago Cultural Center | Gallery: The Chicago Rooms | Exhibit: Write Now, Artist and LetterformsFine Arts, Icon Design, Typography2012
"Nothing We Can't Fix" is a confident declaration, a multi-partisan message that lends itself to be easily adapted by person or group. Visually this is reinforced through an authoritarian aesthetic and iconic approach towards elements. This state-sponsored look provides helps ensure a longer public life, as well, encourages a greater probability of social interaction. These works were created with the intent of visually meshing with our environment and prompting discussion, both verbal and physical.
The altered editions were created individually using the technique of hand-lettering. The human touch of brush to surface personalizes the violation of an authoritarian icon by plebeian action illustrating a revolt and a clash of beliefs; our America in a state of struggle.
CURATOR: Public Media Institute | ART FEST: Version Fest 10 | GALLERY: Expo 72 | INSTITUTION: Chicago Cultural CenterFine Arts, Street Art, Typography2012
One of Chicago's premier printers, Classic Color, reached out wanting to develop an experience for the AIGA Chicago's Annual Members Meeting. They were also beginning a naming transition from Classic Color to Classic and wanted to attract additional attention within Chicago's design community. Being held at Salvage One, Classic and I decided to focus on a preexisting onsite photo-booth. In celebration of You Are Beautiful's 10th year, we thought it would be a great opportunity to get them on board too.
CLIENT: Classic Color + You Are Beautiful | EVENT: AIGA Chicago Annual Members Meeting | SPACE: Salvage OneGraphic Design, Print Design, Typography2012
All works © Nick Adam 2014. Enjoy the day.