Client: Tetra Tech, Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Southern Illinois University
Studio: Span
Strategy: Nick Adam, Donna Speigiel
Design Direction: Nick Adam, Bud Rodecker
Design: Nick Adam, Avery Branen, Valeria Bernal, Darcy Nathanson

Illustration: Suzie Shin

Animation: Valeria Bernal, Leah Wendzinski, Zach Minnich
Scope: Research, Strategy, Naming, Identity Design, Website, Collateral, Motion Graphics 

Ap Press
Block Club Chicago
Chicago Suntimes
Chicago Tribune
Food and Wine

Washington Post

The Great Lakes are in danger of catastrophic impact from an invasive fish widely referred to as ‘Asian carp’. Several species of carp brought from Asia by fish farmers in the 1970s to reduce nuisance vegetation in commercial ponds escaped into the Mississippi River, the second longest river in North America. Several stopgap measures — such as billions spent on barriers to prevent the carps from spreading further — have been implemented, but Asian carp still threatens the Great Lakes. If the carps aren’t stopped, the fish will severely damage the already vulnerable ecosystem.

Water and Environmental engineering firm, Tetra Tech (commissioned by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and Southern Illinois University) hired Span to reposition the fish for human consumption. ‘Asian carp’ — made up of 4 species of carp — are in fact low in contaminant levels and compare well with other popular fish in terms of purity. They also happen to be some of the most loved fish in cuisines around the world.

Span’s solution was to rename the fish Copi (derived from copious), rendered with a friendly, recognizable logotype and distinct identity system. The Copi rebrand — along with the tagline Eat well. Do good. — reintroduces these carps (which are in fact a clean, top-feeding fish rich in protein and fatty acids that are eaten all over the world) to the public as a healthy, delicious, and responsible seafood option that also helps solve an environmental crisis.

Copi will become synonymous with a responsible lifestyle and a healthier planet, attracting aware citizens, responsible consumers and modern adapters of new ideas — supply chains, chefs, retailers, consumers.

Simple and fun, the Copi logo contains a not-so-secret message. The forward-facing fish is created using the negative space within the ‘c’ and letter-space reserved for the ‘o.’ The fish centers vertically within the geometric letterforms inspired by the Futura Black typeface. The stencil form balances hard-working, utilitarian aesthetics with a playful feeling through its assembly of simple semi-circles, triangles, and rectangles. This stencil approach allows each letter to be its maximum weight. The heaviness of the logo aligns with the physical qualities of these fish that can weigh over 100 pounds, reach five feet in length, and each lay over a million eggs per year.



This website incudes the curriculum vitae and a portfolio of projects Nick Adam lead, directed, and/or designed.
Much of the work was collaboratively designed in the internationally-awarded design studios of Span, Thrist, and Firebelly.
Some of these projects are personal explorations and some can be found in the permentant collection of museusms.